Moonee Valley Races, Race Results & Betting

Moonee Valley racecourse is a tricky track, it has a 1805 circumference and races run in an anti clockwise direction. The track has a very short straight of only 173m. The track rises from the 800m to the winning post. This track is world recognised due to it running one of Australia’ largest races the Cox Plate.

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Moonee Valley Race Track:

Moonee Valley Racecourse

Moonee Valley Racecourse

About the Moonee Valley Races

Horse racing in Moonee Valley has been alive for about a century and it continues to be a vital area of the lively Australian horse racing circuit. As of present, it is one of the most unique racing venues in Australia for it is set in an amphitheatre environment that elicits an intense atmosphere wherein first-class Australian horse races are being staged.

Obviously, the Moonee Valley racecourse is located at Moonee Valley which is adjacent to Melbourne. The race track is maintained by the Moonee Valley Racing Club. The racecourse has a circumference of 1,805 metres and a short straight of 173 metres. This short straight favors horses that are bunched at the front of the pack. This is also where night races were first staged in Victoria.

Horse racing meets at Moonee Valley are scattered all throughout the year but the most prominent races that are staged here are the Manikato Stakes, the Australia Stakes and the WS Cox Plate. The Cox Plate is staged a week before the Victoria Racing Club spring carnival. The race is named after W.S. Cox who is the founder of the Mooney Valley Racing Club.

The Cox Plate is staged over 2,040 metres and it carried a prize pool of AUD$3 million since 2007. It has been considered as the stiffest test for race horses in Australia and has been included in the Emirates World Racing Series Championship in 1999. It is also considered as the Weight for Age championship in the entire Australiasia. In 2009, the JB Cummings-trained So You Think with jockey Glen Boss won the Plate with the time of 2:03.90.

Meanwhile, the Manikato Stakes is named after the legendary horse Manikato which won this race twice when it was still known as the Freeway Stakes. This race for three-year-old race horses and up is staged over 1,200 metres and has a prize pool of $353,000. As part of the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Challenge, the winner of this race automatically qualifies for the Breeder’s Cup Turf Sprint in the United States of America. In 2009, Danleigh won this Group One Thoroughbred race.

On the other hand, the Australia Stakes which is now known as the William Reid Stakes is staged over 1200 metres and has a prize pool of AUD$405,000. This Group 1 horse race is named after Victorian Banker and racehorse owner William Reid which owned champion horses during the early 1900’s. From 2005 to 2007, it has been the second leg of the Global Sprint Challenge.

However, it was then replaced at the Global Sprint Challenge by The Age Classic. Turffontein won the 2010 edition of the Wiliiam Reid Stakes. He denied Apache Cat of a three-peat after winning the 2008 and 2009 editions of the race.

The Races at Moonee Valley Racecourse

Since its inception in 1883, the Moonee Valley Racecourse has become one of the best horse racecourses in the country due to its amphitheatre-like set-up which creates an intense backdrop for some of the highly anticipated race horses in Australia. Races that are staged here are governed by the Moonee Valley Racing Club.

The Moonee Valley Racecourse is located near Melbourne and is governed by the Moonee Valley Racing Club. The race track has a circumference of 1805 metres and it has a short home straight of only 173 metres. Given the short circumference, this race track is favorable for race horses that excel in short-distance events. Thus, the short track distance gives jockeys and race horses little room for error.

It was also in the Moonee Valley racecourse that the first night races in Victoria were staged. This racecourse conducts 52 horse racing meets throughout the year and the most popular races that call the Moonee Valley Racecourse home are the WS Cox Plate, the Manikato Stakes and the William Reid Stakes.

The WS Cox Plate is conducted one week before the Victoria Spring Racing Carnival and is named after Moonee Valley Racing Club founder William Samuel Cox. The Cox Plate has a race distance of 2,040 metres with a prize purse of $3 million. The Cox Plate is one of the most awaited Group 1 races in Australian horse racing and it was included in the Emirates World Racing Series Championship in 1999.

The inaugural WS Cox Plate was conducted in 1922 and it was won by Violoncello. Since then, it has become one of the much awaited horse races in the world and it is widely considered as the Weight for Age championship in the entire Australiasia. Before its current race distance, the length of the WS Cox Plate was adjusted for several times.

From 1922 to 1942, the race distance of the Cox Plate is at nine and a half furlong or close to 1900 metres. In 1943, it was lengthened to ten furlongs and it stayed that way until 1971. Since Australia made the conversion to the metric system in 1972, the Cox Plate’s distance was adjusted to exactly 2000 metres. In 1974, 50 metres was added to the race’s distance and ten metres was taken in 1986 to have its current race distance of 2,040 metres.
Since the WS Cox Plate is under weight-for-age rules, it is often the better performing horses that are used to middle-distance races that take home the top prize. In a span of two minutes, the participants of the WS Cox Plate provide quality horse racing action to punters here and abroad who aim to hit the Caulfield Cup-Cox Plate betting double.

Meanwhile, the Manikato Stakes is named after legendary thoroughbred Manikato that had 29 wins and 13 first place finishes out of 49 career races. Manikato had much success at the Moonee Valley Racecourse for he won two Freeway Stakes which is the former name of the Manikato Stakes and five William Reid Stakes titles in the 1980s. An illness brought Manikato down and he was eventually buried at the Moonee Valley racing complex.

The first Manikato Stakes was conducted in 1968 and it was still a Principal race and it would stay that way until 1978. In 1979, the race was given Group 2 status and the event became known as a Group 1 racing event by 1989. The Manikato Stakes is for three-year-old thoroughbreds and it is staged over 1,200 metres with a prize pool of $353,000. Given its short distance, the sprinters most likely will prevail in this race.

On the other hand, the William Reid Stakes was formerly known as the Australia Stakes and it has the same 1200-metre distance with the Manikato Stakes. This Group 1 racing event was renamed after Victorian banker and thoroughbred owner William Reid which owned horses that won the Melbourne Cup and the Caulfield Cup.

The William Reid Stakes became a Group 1 race in 1987 and it was the second leg of the Global Sprint Challenge from 2005 to 2007. Sprinters often dominate this short race and the ideal tune-up races for it are the 1000-metre Lightning Stakes or the 1400-metre CF Orr Stakes.

Although the quality horse racing action is the main attraction of the Moonee Valley Racecourse, they also have different amenities if you want to take a breather from the high-class horse races. They have concessionaires that offer great food and entertainment and the most prominent area among all is the Mooney Valley Legends that offer a great view of the race track at the Melbourne skyline.

You can get to the Moonee Valley Racecourse by train via the Moonee Ponds Station on the Craigieburn Line, by tram from Elizabeth Street to Moonee Ponds Junction and by car through McPherson Street which is about eight kilometres northwest of the Melbourne Central Business District. Travel time by car can be up to 20 minutes.

Aside from quality Australian horse racing, Moonee Valley also offers great dining and entertainment through the Mooney Valley Legends. Aside from the wonderful music and delicious food, this area offers a wonderful view of the Moonee Valley racecourse and a peek at the Melbourne skyline. This section contains fully licensed bars wherein music and horse racing are of perfect blend.

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