The Moir Stakes is a Group 1 race held at Moonee Valley Racecourse, which is located about eight kilometres north of the Melbourne CBD.
The race covers 1000 metres and is a magnet for sprinters in the early part of the spring carnivals, during the month of September.
Moir Stakes Race Details
Racecourse: Moonee Valley
Race Distance: 1000m
Prize Money: $1,000,000
How To Bet On The Moir Stakes
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Moir Stakes Betting Tips
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When Is The Moir Stakes: 27/9/2024
What Time Is The Moir Stakes: TBC
Where Is The Moir Stakes: Moonee Valley Racecourse
How To Live Stream The Moir Stakes
To live stream the Moir Stakes, TAB Account Holders can watch the race live.
More Details About The Moir Stakes
Horses of either gender must be at least three years of age and the race is run under weight for age conditions.
Wild Ruler received $600,000 in prizemoney and an additional bonus of $4,000 when he won the race from Inferno by a head, with Trekking a length-and-a-half into third. Inferno unleashed a burst at the end and would have run Wild Ruler down if given another 25 – 50 metres.
History of the Moir Stakes
The race takes its name from a former chairman of the Moonee Valley Racing Club, a Mr. Alan John Moir. Moir held the post for 15 years. He lived from 1903 to 1981, so in this case, he was around to collect the accolade when the race made its debut in 1976. We think 15 years of service is worthy of a race named in his honour and so will overlook his main occupation as a Melbourne solicitor.
The race has carried different names at times due to sponsorship concerns. It was called the Schweppes Stakes from 1996 until 2002. It became the Schweppervescence Stakes in 2003 and we poor writers were glad when that name was dropped after 2006. It reverted to the Schweppes Stakes, much easier to handle with mediocre typing skills, from 2006 to 2011 before reverting to the original name of A J Moir Stakes. The tonic water corporation did not contribute to the MVRC in terms of service rendered, but they splashed the race with money and fizzy water. Besides, who does not enjoy a refreshing G and T with their gallops?
The race was classified as Principal from the inception through 1978. It jumped right through Group 3, becoming a Group 2 race in 1979 and holding that level until 2013, when it was lifted to its current Group 1 status.
The trip was 1000 metres from 1976 through 2006. It grew to 1200 metres from 2007 through 2014 and has remained a constant 1000 metres from 2015 forward.
Prior to 2013, the race was part of the Cox Plate Day meeting, but has since moved to Friday evening and is run under the lights on the eve of the AFL Grand Final. It would make a good outing to go take in the A J Moir Stakes on the Friday evening, and then take in the AFL Grand Final next day, so long as we do not have to caravan to Perth to see the footy and assuming that the MCG will one day again host the Grand Final.
The race has offered up some great champion gallopers over its relatively brief existence. After Black Caviar won her two Moir Stakes in 2010 and 2011, Buffering took over to win one more than Black Caviar, although that is not to suggest he was the superior runner, but his three wins in 2012, 2014 and 2015 is the top mark.
Jockey Damien Oliver has won the race four times, steering Schillaci in 1992, Magic Music in 1999, Favelon in 2000 and Apache Cat in 2009.
Two trainers share the top mark of four wins. Angus Armanasco’s first Moir Stakes win was by Tetranate in 1977, followed by two from The Judge in 1978 and 1979, concluding with Victoria Peak in 1980.
The other trainer, Bruce McLachlan, won twice with With Me in 1990 and 1991, followed by Al Mansour in 1997 and Virage De Fortune in 2005.
Race Venue for the Moir Stakes
The A J Moir Stakes has always been run at Moonee Valley Racecourse, which the race promoters getting some bang for their bucks by marketing Moonee simply as The Valley.
Moonee Valley Racecourse opened in 1883 when a farm purchased by W S Cox was converted to a racetrack. It is sited entirely on privately owned land, unlike Flemington and Caulfield, both of which occupy public ground.
The course is unique in that there is a diagonal straight cutting through the course proper from the east end of the track to about the middle of the north straight. For the Moir Stakes, the horses start from a chute on the south edge of the course, proceeding to the diagonal, and then finishing on the west end, making for three turns for the 1000 metres.
Racing History of the Moir Stakes
Weight-for-age races open to all genders supply some of the best racing history to be found. It certainly helps that from 2019, the race prizemoney was boosted from $500,000 to $1 million.
Even though the race is not that old, the winners list is quite impressive.
The first to win the race was Scamanda in 1976.
The chestnut gelding by Prince of Baden out of Pinanda made 55 jumps for 15 wins and 11 placings. His grandsire was Todman and Todman was by, here is that name again, Star Kingdom. Scamanda won the race named for his granddad when he won the Group 2 STC Todman Slipper Trial in 1974, and he notched a Group 1 win in the 1974 Group 1 Craven ‘A’ Stakes.
The Judge from 1978 is credited with two wins in the race, but he was dead-heated by Grey Sapphire when he went for the repeat in 1979.
Grey Sapphire was the winner of 18 races, several at Group 2 level, but none at Group 1. He was a sort we appreciate for being a worker that made 64 jumps.
Victoria Peak from 1980 was the first mare to win.
Bold Prospect from 1981 and Bold Jet from 1983 shared a common grandsire in Bold Ruler, an American horse that did quite well winning the middle leg of the U.S. Triple Crown, the Preakness Stakes.
Bold Ruler was the U.S. Horse of the Year in 1957 and leading sire in North America from 1963 – 1969, and then once more in 1973. He was quite the galloper if we may be so bold as to suggest such.
Sandwiched in between the Bolds was 1982 winner Manikato.
Manikato left quite a mark on Australian Thoroughbred racing that won some of the big juvenile races in winning over $1.1 million at a time when it was quite the accomplishment to do so. The thing that really jumps about Manikato is that he won the Futurity Stakes four times and the William Reid Stakes five times. He was Australian Horse of the Year in 1979 and was a 2002 inductee into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame. We have an entire page devoted to Manikato should it be of interest to anyone.
The winner from 1986 was Special.
She truly was and proved it to be the case by winning over $1 million, including Group 1 wins in the Gadsden Stakes, the Lightning Stakes and the VRC Newmarket Handicap. Another special thing about her is that she had no Aussie lines, at least none five generations back.
Placid Ark won in 1987.
He was a product of Western Australia and winner of eight major races, seven in 1987 and one in 1988. He was Co-Champion Racehorse of the Year for 1986 – 1987, sharing the award with Bonecrusher.
Placid Ark was deadly on the Flemington straight, winning the Lightning, the Oakleigh Plate and the Newmarket Handicap to fill the Melbourne sprint Triple Crown. He might have won more, but a shattered leg bone compelled his connections to put him down in 1988.
There was another dead heat in the race in 1989, with Good Old Ted and Clay Hero sharing the victory.
The first uncontested dual winner of the race was With Me in 1990 and 1991.
With Me was a more-than-handy mare that won over $1.2 million in just 24 jumps for eight wins and nine placings. Her big win was the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate. We must mention her lines that included Star Kingdom.
With Me set the stage for the champion Schillaci to win the A J Moir Stakes in 1992.
Schillaci is from the top echelon of Australian Thoroughbred royalty. He won over $2.3 million. He won eight races that were either Group 1 or would become Group 1 and won the Lightning Stakes and the Futurity Stakes twice.
Time and space dictate that we have to skip ahead, but we are compelled to mention Al Mansour (1997), Show No Emotion (1998) and Falvelon (2000).
Bomber Bill from 2004 not only receives automatic induction into the Pro Group Racing Hall of Fame, he also has keys to the doors for making 98 jumps, all the more impressive for competing when he did in the early years of the 21st century, when a horse making more than 40 jumps was increasingly rare. He won over $1.8 million, with 23 wins and 11 placings.
We have to forge ahead to 2007, the year the A J Moir Stakes was won by Miss Andretti. There are not enough superlatives to describe her adequately. She won over $2.8 million coming out of Western Australia, with Group 1 wins in the Manikato Stakes, The Age Classic, Australia Stakes and Lightning Stakes, earning Australian Horse of the Year honours in 2007.
It was another champion sprinter, Apache Cat, that won in 2009.
He was the winner of more than $4.5 million, including seven at Group 1 level, two of those coming in the Australian Stakes in 2008 and 2009.
We have to leave Apache Cat though, because the next winner, dual winner at that (2010 and 2011) was the undefeated and unequalled Black Caviar. We have devoted an entire page to Black Caviar, so for purposes of this piece, we will simply say that she won over $7.9 million and was World (World, mind you, not Australia) Thoroughbred Rankings Champion Sprinter from 2010 – 2013. She was Australian Champion Sprinter and Australian Racehorse of the year from 2011 – 2013.
Buffering won the first of three A J Moir Stakes in 2012, with two more coming in 2014 and 2015.
He earned over $7.2 million, including wins in the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes in Perth. He was a rival of Black Caviar and although he never beat her, he more than doubled her in jumps and produced equivalent prizemoney. He made a fourth start in the Moir Stakes in 2016, finishing fifth. In the year of 2013, he was second to Samaready and was in the lead in the final 400 metres before he faded to lose by four lengths.
After Buffering’s third win, it was Extreme Choice taking the race in 2016. Another big win for Extreme Choice was the 2016 Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes. Extreme Choice passed on his ability to Stay Inside, winner of the 2018 Golden Slipper Stakes. The win by Extreme Choice in the Moir Stakes can be seen at the following link. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWpcCOnSofA
Many times, we look at races and the search for good winners can be frustrating, even for races that are two and three times as old as the A J Moir Stakes.
Beginning with Miss Andretti in 2007, there is not one single lucky roughie to be found.
Sprint races have come to dominate and if the A J Moir Stakes is any indication, the biggest names, best jockeys and best trainers will be found at Moonee Valley for this prestigious and lucrative race.
Moir Stakes Past Winners
|2017||She Will Reign|
|2005||Virage De Fortune|
|2003||Our Egyptian Raine|
|1998||Show No Emotion|
|1989||Good Old Ted|