16 Irish horses in 100th Cox Plate after first acceptance stage

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One hundred and nine horses feature among the acceptors for the 100th Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m), with Irish champion trainer Aidan O’Brien, who won the 2014 Cox Plate with Adelaide, accounting for 12 of the 17 internationally-trained entries.

The Ballydoyle brigade for the weight-for-age championship of Australasia are Armory, Circus Maximus, Ennistymon, Japan, Magic Wand, Magical, Mogul, Mythical, Order Of Australia, Peaceful, Tiger Moth, and Vatican City.

Joseph O’Brien has three acceptors for the race with Buckhurst, Degraves and Patrick Sarsfield, while champion National Hunt trainer Willie Mullins has one acceptor in True Self.

Today’s 109 acceptances includes 37 Group 1 winners, represents the second highest number of first acceptors in the past decade with the lion’s share of a AUD $5 million purse and a one-off gold Cox Plate trophy on offer for the winner at The Valley on Saturday, 24 October 2020.

Nominal Cox Plate favourites Russian Camelot (entered in next Saturday’s Makybe Diva Stakes) and Verry Elleegant (Group 1 Winx Stakes winner at Randwick) feature among the acceptances, as does the former Aidan O’Brien-trained Sir Dragonet who arrives in Australia on 2 October to join the Ciaron Maher and Dave Eustace stable.

Other notable first stage acceptors include Melbourne Cup hero Vow And Declare (an intended runner in the Group 1 Makybe Diva next Saturday), Arcadia Queen, Behemoth (winner of the recent Group 1 Memsie Stakes at Caulfield), Surprise Baby and last weekend’s Feehan Stakes winner Humidor who is guaranteed a shot at a third Cox Plate placing.

A total of 22 Southern Hemisphere three-year-olds feature among the first acceptors including Alcyone, Farnan, Flying Award, King’s Legacy, North Pacific and Tagaloa.

Second acceptances for the Cox Plate will be taken on Tuesday, 22 September 2020.

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