The popular Moonee Valley racecourse is located in Melbourne, Victoria about 6 kilometres north of the Melbourne city centre. The Moonee Valley circuit has hosted both thoroughbred and harness racing over the years and is the only metropolitan race track in Melbourne to hold night racing.
The Moonee Valley track is colosseum like, which allows racing fans get up close and personal as the horses run down the straight, and it adds to the excitement of racing at the Valley.
Moonee Valley is home to the Moonee Valley Racing Club (MVRC)), and hosts one of the biggest race days in Victoria each year, Cox Plate Day, in October.
Racing first began at Moonee Valley racecourse in 1883 due to the vision of founder William Sam Cox, who transformed a barren piece of land into what is now known as Moonee Valley, and the Moonee Valley Racing Club was born. The MVRC Committee decided to run a weight-for-age race in Sam Cox's honour, the W.S. Cox Plate, and it was strategically placed on the racing calendar between the Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup. The race immediately became an event of great importance and prestige, and even more so today.
The Group 1 W.S. Cox Plate (2040m) has grown to become the premier weight-for-age race in Australia and is recognised around the world as a quality race in international horse racing. Some outstanding horses have won the race over the years including Phar Lap, Kingston Town, Dulcify, Gunsynd, Super Impose, Octagonal, Might and Power, and great mares Sunline and Winx. The W.S. Cox Plate is a race where legends are made and one of Australia's greatest races.
Moonee Valley's main race day, Cox Plate Day, is held in late October, one week before the four-day Melbourne Cup Carnival at Flemington. In March, the Group 1 William Reid Stakes is the MVRC's premier race of the autumn.
Feature race days at Moonee Valley in the autumn are highlighted by the Group 2 Australia Stakes in late January, and the Group 2 Alister Clark Stakes and Group 1 William Reid Stakes in March.
Below are the main races of the Moonee Valley autumn racing carnival.
Cox Plate Day in October is the premier race day each year for the Moonee Valley Racing Club, and follows the big Group 1 Manikato Stakes night meeting the previous evening.
The MVRC also has two feature race meetings in September which add plenty of excitement to the spring carnival. The Group 2 Feehan Stakes, held early in the month, often provides a springboard to greater heights for our middle distance types, while the Group 1 Moir Stakes on AFL grand Final eve attracts quality sprinters.
Below are the major races of the Moonee Valley spring racing carnival.
Moonee Valley is a tight track with a circumference of only 1,805 metres and has a very short straight of only 173 metres. The track suits horses who can either lead or take a handy position in a race because if you're too far back turning for home, then it will take a herculean effort to be able to win.
The exciting Moonee Valley cauldron has produced many track specialists over the years, including one who has a race named after him and is buried at the track, the mighty Manikato.
Circumference: 1,805 metres
Straight: 173 metres
Moonee Valley Racing Club
PO Box 245
Vic 3039, Australia
Ph: +61 3 9373 2242
Fax: +61 3 9370 0017
Website: Moonee Valley Racing Club Website
How to get to Moonee Valley racecourse?
Moonee Valley is located a few minutes drive from Melbourne's city centre. Simply follow Elizabeth Street to Flemington Road, and then branch left onto Mt Alexander Road. Follow that road to Moonee Ponds junction; turn right into Kellaway Avenue, left into Pascoe Vale Road and right into Wilson Street. Turn right into access road indicated by a sign.
Another route can be found from from Melbourne city, by following Citylink north and exit at Moreland Road. At the end of Moreland Road, turn left into Pascoe Vale Road. Follow Pascoe Vale Road and turn left into Wilson Street.
Craigieburn line from Flinders Street Station stops at Moonee Ponds Station. Moonee Valley Racecourse is then a 10 minute walk down Puckle Street.
No. 59 tram from Elizabeth Street arrives directly at Moonee Ponds junction. Moonee Valley Racecourse main entrance is a 200-metre walk.
Buses depart regularly from Flemington Racecourse and Visy Park to Moonee Valley from 10.30am – 2pm, and from Moonee Valley Racecourse to Crown Casino, Flemington Racecourse and Visy Park from 4.30pm – 7.30pm.
Melbourne has three other metropolitan race tracks which can be found below;