The AJ Moir Stakes is an annual racing event held at Moonee Valley racecourse in September. The race is run over 1200 metres for horses aged three years and older and is run under weight for age conditions. In 2013 the race was moved to the eve of Australia's biggest event on the winter sporting calendar, the AFL Grand Final, with connections competing for $450,000 in prize money.
Punters doing the form for the AJ Moir are well advised to consider the peculiarities of the Moonee Valley track with respect to each horse's early speed and barrier position. Key racecourse factors over the 1200 metre course that punters need to consider include:
The AJ Moir Stkaes, named after a former Chairman of the Moonee Valley Race Club Alan John Moir, was run in 1976 for the first time over a distance of 1000 metres. In 1979 the race achieved Group status when is was reclassified as a Group 2 race. In 1982 it was the first race to help a horse, Manikato, clock up over $1 million in prize money. In 2007 the race distance increased a furlong to 1200 metres and in 2013 the race was again elevated, this time to a Group 1 race.
Past winners of the race include some of Australia's greatest sprinters of all time. Manikato 1982, Schillaci 1992, Miss Andretti 2007 and the great Black Caviar in 2011 and 2012.
2013 marked the first year when the race was moved to the eve of the AFL Grand Final. Winner Samaready had less than an ideal race after racing worse than midfield for the majority of the course. She moved up five wide at about the 600 metre mark. In the straight the mare seemed to spring off the camber and powered through the final 100 metres beating Buffering $3.50 easily in the end to win the race by 4 lengths at odds of $7. Le Bonsir $26 finished third two and a quarter lengths behind Buffering.