It’s not the oldest race run at the Moonee Valley racecourse, making its debut on the racing calendar in 1995, however the McEwan Stakes is one of the most popular with tens of thousands of fans attending to watch the sprint feature.
Run over 1000m, The Group 2 McEwen Stakes gives entrants the chance to win up to $200,000 in prize money. The McEwen Stakes is run under weight for age conditions and horses 3 years or older are able to enter the race.
History Of The McEwen Stakes
The McEwen Stakes are named in honour of former Chief Executive of The Moonee Valley Racing Club Ian McEwen who sadly passed away in 2007 after a long battle with Diabetes.
McEwen was credited with huge success during his tenure at the Victorian race track and considered a visionary in the world of horse racing and at Moonee Valley in particular after elevated the standard of racing to compete globally.
His biggest accredited success along with then Chairman Bill Stutt was raising the profile of the Cox Plate from a $30,000 race in honour of one McEwen’s predecessor Bill Cox to one of the most famous and recognised races in the whole of Australasia.
At the time of his appointment McEwen was Secretary at The Bay Of Plenty Racing Club and his hiring was considered a controversial move appointing a little known New Zealander to such a senior position.
When McEwen left his role in 1990 he was seen as one of the most successful Chief Executives in all of Australian Racing after being a focal figure in integrating women and men into the members enclosure, introducing the concept of twilight and Sunday race meets as well building the corporate eating facilities seen on course at Moonee Valley today.
In honour of his successes during his tenure The Ian McEwen Trophy was registered as a 1000m sprint feature. This would later be shortened to be named The McEwen Stakes run at Group 2 level.
The running of The McEwen Stakes has always been held at Moonee Valley except in 1995 and 2007 where the sprint feature was held at Caulfield Racecourse as a result of track development at Moonee Valley.
Where Is The McEwen Stakes Run?
As mentioned the McEwen Stakes is run at the Moonee Valley Racecourse over the distance of 1000m.
Moonee Valley is where Ian McEwen gained notoriety for developing the greatest weight for age race, the W.S Cox Plate as well as delivering huge development and success during his time as Chief Executive at the Racing Club.
The Moonee Valley Racecourse, now managed by the Melbourne Racing Club is famed for it’s Friday Night Under The Lights campaign which runs through the summer as well as the time honoured Cox Plate which is held in October of each year.
The race track is located in the Moonee Ponds suburb of Melbourne just a short trip from the Melbourne CBD. It makes up one of the three major metropolitan tracks in Victoria alongside Flemington Racecourse and Caulfield Racecourse.
Despite the McEwen Stakes having its inaugural running in 1995 the Moonee Valley Racecourse has been in operation for over 100 years with its first racing recorded in 1883 when William Samual Cox purchased a piece of farmland to host racing.
The Valley is famed for its tight turn and one of the shortest straights in Australia however there are plans to fully redevelop the course in the coming years and increase the current 38,000 capacity to that much nearer of it’s neighbours Flemington and Caulfield.
Past Winners Of The McEwen Stakes
Between 1997 and 2005 The McEwen was a listed race that didn’t draw in a high calibre of horse with the mighty Testa Rossa the only real notable winner up until this point.
When the race was upgraded to a Group 3 grade in 2006 a greater quality of horse began to be attracted to the Moonee Valley showpiece with the likes of sprint stars Nicconi and Buffering winning the race in 2009 and 2011 respectively.
As we know Queenslander Buffering would go on to be one of the biggest sprinting talents in Australia and would go on to race and win in the Dubai World Cup during his famed career.
In 2013 The Ian McEwen Trophy would be made into a Group 2 grade where it sits to this day and many great sprinting talents would follow the great Buffering in winning the 1000m sprint at The Valley.
One of those winners would be the great Chautauqua who won the McEwen Stakes in 2015.
Going through a golden period the Grey Flash won the McEwen Trophy with ease sitting 3 wide on the home bend before flying over the top of them at a canter for the training team of Michael, Wayne and John Hawkes.
Chautauqua would use this win as a springboard to go through and win another sprint feature at Moonee Valley The Manikato Stakes in 2015. He also went on to win the Gilgai, TJ Smith and Rubiton Stakes in the same year giving him 5 black type titles in a year.
In more recent times the likes of Nature Strip and Russian Revolution have won the McEwen Stakes on the way to gaining further Group 1 glory.
How To Bet On The McEwen Stakes
Given the time of year of the McEwen Stakes there are plenty of bookmakers offering odds on the McEwen Stakes Markets.
Bookmakers like TAB, Ladbrokes and Sportsbet all offer All In betting markets that can be accessed well in advance of the jump in order to back your horse for the race.
If you don’t have an account to bet on the McEwen Stakes, Pro Group Racing recommends these great bookmakers to join and place a bet on the McEwen Stakes. TAB SportsBet Ladbrokes Neds PlayUp
Thoughts On The McEwen Stakes
The work that Ian McEwen put into developing racing in Victoria and particularly Moonee Valley has been unparalleled in recent years and the Ian McEwen Trophy now named the McEwen Stakes is a great way to salute a great career.
For trainers and competitors the race is excellently located in the racing calendar to give them a strong lead into the thick and fast schedule of Spring Carnival as well as offering competitive tune up racing on the way to hitting bigger targets. Most importantly for the punters the McEwen Stakes offers a great chance to watch some of Australia’s best sprinters compete at one of the greatest racecourses in the country.
|Year||Ian McEwen Stakes Winners|
|2007||Here De Angels|