CB Cox / Ted Van Heemst Stakes Saturday
It was only last year that Ascot’s CB Cox Stakes saw its name changed to the Ted Van Heemst Stakes, the honour transferred from one former Western Australian Racing chairman to another.
No doubt, the switch is still confusing online betting fans somewhat, but the race scheduled for Ascot on Saturday, 23 December is the same 2100m Group 2 weight-for-age race won by Delicacy in 2015 and Ihtsahymn in 2013.
The race dates back to 1914, when it was launched as the Grandstand Plate over a distance of a mile-and-a-half, later metricated to 2400m. In 1920, it was renamed after retiring chairman CB Cox, and it bore his name for another 95 years.
It’s been a Gr. 2 race since 1979, and in 2008 the distance was shortened by 300m to 2100m. This was to preserve the CB Cox’s traditional role as a prep race for the Perth Cup on New Year’s Day, as the Cup distance was also drastically shortened in 2008, from 3200m to 2400m. The prize money is currently $250,000.
In 2016, the race was renamed after another former chairman and Western Australian Racing Hall of Famer, Ted Van Heemst. The change was not without its opponents; some punters on social media were unimpressed, claiming their experience as racing fans had declined during his years at the helm.
Pike Out of Cox and Perth Cup
Some punters would have been backing champion jockey William Pike for the CB Cox / Ted Van Heemst Stakes and in the Perth Cup, but sadly, his Summer Carnival at Ascot is over.
Pike picked up a 28-day suspension for careless riding in the 1600m Gr. 1 Kingston Town Classic at Ascot on December 9.
Stewards ruled that Pike, riding Perfect Jewel, had been insufficiently clear of Achernar Star when he started moving in, causing Achernar Star to move across and check Black Heart Bart badly.
Black Heart Bart was unhurt, but the infraction was dangerous enough to get Pike sat out for a month.
As a result, he’s going to miss both the Ted Van Heemst Stakes and the Perth Cup.
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