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AJ Moir Stakes

AJ Moir Stakes takes place at the Moonee Valley racecourse in Melbourne.  It is a weight for age race of Group 1 for thoroughbreds of three years old or more. The race was inaugurated in 1976 when it was won by Scamanda. It was named after Alan John Moir, a former chairman of the Moonee Valley Racing Club.  He was a long serving committee member, and well-known Melbourne solicitor of the firm Gillot, Moir and Winneke.

The race is a sprint over 1,200 metres and carries prize money of $450,000 together with a $5,000 trophy. In 1979 the race was upgraded and became of Group 2 status, and has been won by many famous sprinters, including Manikato in 1982 who, when he won, became only the second horse to exceed $1,000,000 in prize money.

Race Details

The 2016 race is held on Friday September 30th, which is the eve of the AFL Grand Final. It was previously held on Cox Plate day but was moved for 2013/2014. This permitted the Manikato Stakes to move to the Cox Plate eve.

In 1996, the name of the race was changed to the Schweppes Stakes. In 2003 was changed to the Scheppervescence Stakes, but has now reverted back to its original name. In 2013 the race was again upgraded to Group 1.

Recent Winners

Recent winners have included Miss Andretti (2007), Apache Cat (2009), Black Caviar (2010 and 2011), Buffering, (2012) and Samaready (2013). Buffering was also runner up in 2013. Black Caviar (2010 and 2011) also went on to win the VRC Sprint Classic, which is part of the Melbourne Cup Festival.

Other top rated winners have been The Judge (1978 and 1979), his sister Victoria Peak (1980), Placid Ark (1987), and Spartacus (1996).

AJ Moir Stakes does not have the same status as some of the other sprints, such as the Manikato Stakes, or the VRC Sprint Classic.  This is held at Flemington on the same day as the Emirates, but nonetheless always manages to attract some top class horses.


The race is especially suited to horses who seem to enjoy Moonee Valley, which is very tight, and good weight for age horses. In the past, the best race to give an idea of likely winners in the AJ Moir stakes has been the Schillaci Stakes. However, the AJ Moir Stakes now take place in September instead of October, so it may be that in future years the race will prove to be a guide for the Schillaci Stakes.

The McEwen Stakes, which is also run at Moonee Valley two weeks or so earlier, may now provide a better clue to the AJ Moir Stakes in the years to come.

AJ Moir Stakes / Schillaci Stakes Double

In recent years, several horses have managed an AJ Moir Stakes/Schillaci Stakes double. These include; Show No Emotion (1998), Magic Music (1999), Falvelon (2000), Mistegic (2001), Spinning Hill (2002), Black Caviar (2010 and 2011), and Buffering (2012). Thus, a double placed on the winner of AJ Moir Stakes and the Schillaci Stakes could be a very good investment indeed.

Since the year 2000, fillies and mares have won AJ Moir Stakes seven times. The other seven have been won by entires and geldings. Under the weight for age conditions, it has been the case in recent years that the race has usually been won by genuine Group 1 sprinters.