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Alfred William Cox

1857 – 1919

Alfred William Cox (1857–1919), racehorse owner and breeder, was born in Liverpool, England, the son of a successful cotton broker. He first came to Australia in the 1870s – allegedly because of failing to qualify for the Royal Military College – and tried his hand at farming, acquiring an interest in a property named Illillawa, near Hay. In Australia again by 1884, he acquired a share in a mine at Broken Hill by winning a card game. His opponent on this occasion, George McCulloch (1848– 1907), a cattle station manager, was one of a syndicate of seven locals who’d taken out a mining lease in the area a year previously, but who had yet to reap the anticipated rewards from the venture. In August 1884, a government geologist confirmed that the claim was rich with silver ore, ensuring that Cox and his fellow shareholders – now branded the Broken Hill Proprietary Company Ltd – would soon be very wealthy. Returning permanently to England in the late 1880s, Cox directed his attention to horseracing and as ‘Mr Fairie’, between 1888 and his death in 1919, became a leading and highly successful owner and breeder of racehorses. On his death, it was reported that his horses had won in excess of £180,000 over 33 seasons, some of his more significant victories including the Ascot Gold Cup (with Bayardo) in 1910 and the Derby (with Lemberg) in 1911.

Updated 2018