AJ Moir Stakes 2014
Fri, 26 September 2014
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:
- Circular nature of the course - offering small straights
around the entire circumference of the course including the final straight
which is only 173 metres long, Moonee Valley makes it difficult for horses
to improve their position after settling as horse's run the risk of taking
a much wider course for a longer period of the race.
- Camber in the straight - punters underestimate the influence
of the camber in the Moonee Valley straight at their peril. We have seen it
assist horses like Kingston Town in the 1982 Cox
Plate, when it was believed that he couldn't win coming into
the straight. Punters have described it like a catapult effect or that of
a bike coming down the bank of a velodrome to pick up pace to overtake their
- Barrier and early speed - this is one course where these
two factors become very important. The 1200 metres is about 160 metres to
the first turn which straightens for about the same distance before turning
into the final straight. Horses with an inside barrier and good early speed
are likely to get a good position which is going to set them up for the race.
AJ Moir Stakes history
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
2013 AJ Moir Stakes
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.