Cox Plate champion State Of Rest won’t defend crown

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

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

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

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

State Of Rest held onto the Cox Plate after a protest.

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

Craig Williams, who rode Anamoe, protested against State Of Rest, however, stewards dismissed the objection after a long 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 without question a remarkably talented, durable and consistent performer,” he said.

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

“We’ll miss him greatly but we look forward to training his progeny in the years ahead.”

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

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

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