Major Spring Blow: Cox Plate Champion State Of Rest Won’t Defend Crown

Cox Plate champion State Of Rest will not return to Australia to defend their title.

Trainer Joseph O’Brien released a statement late Tuesday evening Australian time to say the stallion had been retired to stud.

“An MRI conducted by Racing Victoria found an issue and as such he will not pass the necessary protocols to travel to Melbourne,” O’Brien said.

“State Of Rest will be withdrawn immediately to stud.”

State Of Rest won last year’s Cox Plate ahead of Anamoe following a controversial protest.

Craig Williams, who rode Anamoe, protested State Of Rest, however, the stewards overruled the objection after much deliberation.

O’Brien said on Tuesday night: “Everyone here…is so disappointed that State Of Rest’s career has come to a sudden end.”

“He was undoubtedly a remarkably talented, enduring and consistent performer,” he said.

“He had the most incredible constitution and will to win.

“He will be greatly missed but we look forward to nurturing his offspring in the years to come.”

State Of Rest had 13 starts for five wins (four Group 1s), four placings and a $5.3 million prize money.

He had a $13 chance with TAB for the Cox Plate.

Anamoe is the favorite at $3.50 while Zaaki, who was knocked out on the morning of Cox Plate last year, is on the second betting line at $6.

Originally published as Major Spring Blow: Cox Plate Champion Won’t Defend Crown

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