The lead up to the 2021 Cox Plate had it all.

And the race itself has followed suit with Irish galloper State Of Rest surviving a protest from runner-up Anamoe to annex the $5m weight-for-age championship.

In a race that had it all, State Of Rest and Anamoe went neck and neck in the final stages of the 2040m contest with State Of Rest prevailing with Irishman John Allen aboard by a short half head.

But the result then went into the stewards room with Craig Williams, rider of Anamoe, firing in an objection after the pair came together over the final 100 metres.

After a long deliberation, stewards dismissed the protest, not satisfied that the interference at the 70 metre mark was enough to reverse the result.

State Of Rest is trained by Joseph O’Brien, the four-year-old colt sired by former top Aussie sprinter Starstangledbanner.

Anamoe was gallant in his narrow defeat while Verry Elleegant filled the placings in third.

A drama-charged Cox Plate finished the way it started following the shock race morning scratching of favourite Zaaki.