Moonee Valley Racecourse (Australia) is one of the world’s most iconic horse racing venues. Located in Melbourne, Victoria, Moonee Valley hosts some of the biggest races on the Australian racing calendar, including the Group 1 Cox Plate. At its distinctive amphitheater track, Moonee Valley has a long and illustrious history of thoroughbred horse racing, and it was the first major Australian metropolitan track to hold night races.
The Moonee Valley Racing Club was founded in 1883, and the first race meeting was held on 12 September 1883. The Club has been based at its current location since 1955. At Flemington, the Melbourne Cup had been raced 23 times before Moonee Valley Racecourse opened its doors in 1883. Moonee Valley Racecourse, in contrast to Caulfield and Flemington, is situated on property that is owned and controlled by the Moonee Valley Racing Club.
The track is a tight left-handed oval with a circumference of 1805 meters and features the shortest Australian home straight of just 173 meters. This fact alone makes the Racecourse very advantageous for front-runners and runners who are keeping up with the pace entering the straight. Similar to all Victorian racetracks, racing is conducted in an anticlockwise orientation.
The Manikato Stakes, William Reid Stakes, and the WS Cox Plate are three significant Group 1 races held at Moonee Valley Racecourse.
Moonee Valley night racing is staged from late September through early April, with the Manikato Stakes race meeting serving as its kickoff. The Moonee Valley Racing Club holds evening races, and the Friday night Moonee Valley Races is a popular event. The fans and the horses benefit from avoiding the hot midday sun.
The StrathAyr Turf System, which has an upper root zone layer reinforced with mesh elements and a bottom layer of sand, was used to construct the Moonee Valley Racecourse. The surface stands the test of time well over the course of a meeting.
The Cox Plate is the signature race at Moonee Valley and is run over 2040 metres under Weight-For-Age conditions. First run in 1922, the Cox Plate is one of the most prestigious races in Australia and has been won by some of the country’s greatest horses, including Phar Lap, Kingston Town, Makybe Diva, and Winx.
What distinguishes the Moonee Valley track’s surface from other Victorian tracks?
Sand and grass make up the StrathAyr surface of the course. Compared to a typical grass track, this provides the track a bit more give.
How old is Moonee Valley Racecourse?
William Samuel (W.S.) Cox founded Moonee Valley Racecourse in 1883 after buying a farm from John F. Feehan the year before with the intention of building a racetrack.
How Many Horses Compete In The Cox Plate?
Four emergency horses can be added to the Cox Plate’s 14 starting (horses) capacity. The Cox Plate has taken on an international flavour in recent years as many of the top stables abroad pursue the race with appropriate horses. Turning down the $5 million in prize money would be foolish!
What is Australia’s oldest racetrack?
One of the oldest race clubs still operating in Australia is the Hawkesbury Race Club, which was formally founded in 1829. Over 145 years have passed since the racetrack first opened for competition. Two hundred acres of wilderness were converted into a racetrack and grandstand after the Club leased Crown Land in 1865.
Did Phar Lap win a Cox Plate?
His early underdog position gave people hope throughout the Great Depression years, and he achieved remarkable success throughout his distinguished career. He won 19 other weight-for-age races in addition to the two Cox Plates, Melbourne Cup, the Australian Derby, and others.
When were Moonee Valley trots closed?
With the development of the Melton harness racing complex, harness racing in Moonee Valley was discontinued in 2010.
Which Jockey Has Won The Most Cox Plates?
Five Cox Plate victories for Darby Munro as a jockey is a record. John Allen triumphed in 2021 while riding the State Of Rest, becoming the champion jockey.