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What horse races are held in Moonee Valley Racecourse Melbourne?

Moonee Valley AUD

Moonee Valley horse races

Moonee Valley Racecourse came into being in 1883 by William Samuel Cox, who purchased a farm belonging to John F. Feehan for the purpose of establishing a racetrack. Being entirely freehold land owned by a private club, this separates Moonee Valley from other Melbourne racecourse such as Caulfield and Flemington. This racecourse was expanded in 1960 and in the 1970s harness racing moved to the Valley, when night trotting relocated from the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds. Located just 6km north of Melbourne CBD, the track offers both horse and harness racing and is home to the Moonee Valley Racing Club.

The horse races at Moonee Valley

Moonee Valley horse races

Moonee Valley features the Group 1 Cox Plate. Other major races held include the William Reid Stakes, Manikato Stakes and Australia Stakes.

It is the only Melbourne track to offer night racing which is held on most Friday nights. Often misspelt as Mooney Valley and Moonie Valley, the racetrack hosts three of Australia’s greatest races, the Manikato Stakes, the Australia Stakes and the coveted WS Cox Plate.

The Manikato Stakes is a Group 1 weight-for-age race held in September. Worth half a million dollars, the 1200m race attracts the best sprinters from around the country. It was named after the legendary horse Manikato, which won many of its 29 wins on this track. Manikato was buried at Moonee Valley Racecourse. The second major race is the Group 1 Australia Stakes held in February. Similar to the Manikato Stakes, this is a 1200m weight-for-age race worth $500,000.

The last major race held at Moonee Valley is the “Race of Legends”, the WS Cox Plate. This Group 1 race is worth $3 million in prize money and $50,000 in trophies. As a 2040m weight-for-age race held during the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, the race attracts the greatest horses both nationally and internationally as it is the most highly regarded race in the carnival.

Cox Plate

The Sew-Eurodrive Victoria Cup Carnival is one of the biggest harness races at Moonee Valley. Held on two consecutive Saturdays in December, the race is one of 52 Moonee Valley meetings each year. Worth $375,000 in prize money, the country’s best horses compete on this 2575m Grand Circuit event. The other major harness racing event held at the track is the 3050m Hunter Cup worth $500,000.

Moonee Valley racetrack is quite a small anticlockwise track with a circumference of only 1805m and a straight of just 173m. It suits horses which can lead up the front and it can be difficult for horses in the back to advance forward due to the extremely short straights.

How to reach Moonee Valley racetrack?

Moonee Valley

Moonee Valley racetrack is located at 1 McPherson St, Moonee Ponds Victoria 3039, Australia The nearest train station is Moonee Ponds Station on the Craigieburn Line, and it will take you about 10 minute to walk from the station to the racecourse via Puckle Street. Visit the Metlink website to plan your journey to Moonee Valley Racecourse via train.

Catch the Tram number 59 from Elizabeth Street to Moonee Ponds Junction. Visit Metlink to plan your journey via tram.

Reaching Moonee Valley Racecourse by cab will take about 20 minutes along Flemington and Mt Alexander Roads. Click here to know about the latest racing events at Moonee Valley.

Moonee Valley AUD

The Moonee Valley Racing Club in 2017 unveiled an audacious plan to transform the Valley into a ‘world-class thoroughbred racing centre’. mThe $2 billion redevelopment project will include the construction of a new grandstand, a redeveloped infield suitable for community and major event use, plus a re-oriented racetrack. A contemporary lifestyle and residential precinct is also part of the proposal with the release of 9ha on the site of the present grandstand to joint venture partners Hostplus and Hamton.

The track, currently 1805m in circumference, will be shortened to 1702m, but the iconic home straight will be extended from 173m to 317m. Widening the track to 30m will enable an increased number of starters (currenty limited at 12). All key starting positions, including the famous Cox Plate 2040m start at the top of the home straight, are retained in the new design.

It is anticipated that the Grandstand development and reconfiguration of the racecourse will commence after the running of the 100th Cox Plate in 2020.The project could take up to 15 years to complete.

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