Melbourne's Moonee Valley Racecourse, home of the Cox Plate. Moonee Valley Racecourse map, barrier positions, track bias indicators.
The Valley: Circumference is 1805m, length of the home straight is 173m. The only track in Victoria to be made with Strathayr which a turf surface on a sand base. The Valley is consistently rated Good or Slow, even after consistent rain the base compacts to become firm and drainage is very good so it is rare to have a Heavy rating here. The track is a tight turning cambered circuit which some horses do not handle very well (particularly those who are trained at larger tracks or used to running in the opposite direction.) Horses trained at Mornington (one of the smaller provincial Victorian tracks) often go well here as the tracks have some similar characteristics.
Track Bias: Barriers are of little consequence when the rail is True, as fields are limited to a maximum of 15 and often there are only 8 - 10 runners in a race. When the rail goes out 5m or more we see a distinct advantage to those who are drawn in and can race on the pace. They can dictate the speed of the race and get a winning break from the turn into the home straight. One thing to look out for is a top weight drawn in barrier 1. They often get trapped too far back and are unable to make up sufficient ground in the straight.
Moonee Valley Racecourse - Victoria, Australia.
Home of the Manikato Stakes and the Cox Plate.
Administration: Moonee Valley Racing Club. |
Moonee Valley Night Racing: Horse racing is held at night from late September to April, launching with the Manikato Stakes race meeting.
Feature Racing at The Valley: There are around 25 meetings at The Valley each year with including Australia's premiere Weight for Age event, the Cox Plate, held over 2040m in late October in the week between the Caulfield Cup & Melbourne Cup. Other feature races at The Valley include The Manikato Stakes, William Reid & Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes.
The Cox Plate: champion winners include Phar Lap, Dulcify, Kingston Town, Rising Fast, Might & Power & Makybe Diva. Many duel winners including Fields Of Omagh, Northerly & Sunline, Kingston Town won 3 in a row (1980 - 1982). Traditionally a race for quality stayers, in recent years 3yo horses who carry a very light weight under this scale have been prominent amongst the place-getters. Barriers are of little importance, although racing on the pace is an advantage. Every day during the Spring Carnival has an official flower, for the Cox Plate it is the pale pink Cecile Brunner Rose.
The Cox Plate is known as the race where 'Legends Are Made.' In honour of the founder of Moonee Valley, William Samuel Cox, the Moonee Valley Racing Club Committee introduced a weight for age race over 2040m. The W.S. Cox Plate was first run in 1922 with a purse of 1000 pounds, won by an imported English seven-year-old stallion Violencello, who won the Caulfield Cup in the previous year at only his fifth start in Australia.
Placed on the racing calendar between the Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup, the Cox Plate is one of best weight for age races in Australasia carrying total prize money of over $3million.
Past winners include an impressive list of champions such as Phar Lap, Kingston Town, Rising Fast, Dulcify, Gunsynd, Super Impose, Octagonal, Might and Power, Sunline, Northerly, Fields of Omagh and the champion triple Melbourne Cup winning mare Makybe Diva. So You Think won his first Cox Plate as a 3 year old in 2009, winning again in 2010 before going on to run third in the Melbourne Cup the following week.
About Moonee Valley & The Cox Plate:
How to get to Moonee Valley Racecourse:
By Car: Located about 7kms from the Melbourne CBD via Mt Alexander Rd, parking is available on course. Melways reference 29 A7.
By Train: The Craigieburn line train departs from Flinders Street station. Disembark at Moonee Ponds station. The course is a 10-minute walk down Puckle Street, across Moonee Ponds junction to Dean Street, and turn left into McPherson Street for main entrance.
By Tram: Terminals are located at the Moonee Ponds Junction (off Puckle St and Pascoe Vale, Mt Alexander and Ascot Vale Roads). Tram No. 59 from Elizabeth St arrives directly at the Junction terminal. From there it is a 200m walk to the Stand Turnstile entrance on McPherson St.
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Moonee Valley Barriers Starting Positions Guide:
1000m, 1100m or 1200m barriers are of little consequence when the rail is True, an inside draw is an advantage when the rail is out 3m or more. There is always an advantage to racing on or near the lead at the sprint distances at this track.
1500m & 1600m: Located just after the winning post, runners have the opportunity to improve their position around the back of the course, making it a reasonably fair start for all. Inside draw will be an advantage when the rail is out 3m or more.
2040m: The Cox Plate start begins in the home straight in front of the grandstand, about 200m ahead of the winning post. There is a short run before the first turn, an inside barrier assists in gaining a good position early. Runners must make their bid for the lead before the home turn or wait for a lucky run wide or on the inside fence in the home straight.
2500m: With a straight run of 400m before the first turn, barriers are of little importance due to the distance involved.
3000m: The same start as for 1200m. Runners complete more than one and a half full circuits of the course, barriers are of little importance due to the distance involved.