The A.J. Moir Stakes is one of only a few group 1 races to be run at night in Australia. The Group 1 $500,000 sprint is run at Moonee Valley in Melbourne and after years of it running on Cox Plate day, it was changed to the Friday night in 2013.
The last running of the race was taken out by Extreme Choice, ridden by Craig Newitt, on October 3, 2016.
Moonee Valley has run a two-meeting carnival since then which has been a success and one of the best betting races on the card is the A.J. Moir Stakes. Formally known as the Schweppes Stakes, the 1000m weight-for-age race has been won by Australia’s very best superstars and punters always mark it down as a must-bet race.
Held every September, the A.J. Moir Stakes unofficially opens up the Melbourne spring carnival on one of the best amphitheatre tracks in the world and considering the race only started in 1976, it has already forged a rich history in Australian racing.
2016 A.J. Moir Stakes result
1st: Extreme Choice – $5
2nd: Heatherly – $16
3rd: Wild Rain – $26
Best A.J. Moir Stakes bookmakers
Markets won’t open for the Moir Stakes until late August or early September. With the Melbourne spring carnival on the heels of the group 1 Moonee Valley feature, bookmakers aren’t entirely sure what the field will shape up like.
Bookmakers will likely offer an ‘all-in’ market for the Moir Stakes which means punters can back horses early, but if their runner doesn’t start there are no refunds. The good thing about all-in markets is the odds are generally much better than final field markets.
Check with our bookmakers listed below for updated A.J. Moir Stakes markets.
Bet365 is one of the best bookmakers in the world for offering up early markets for group 1 races. Head to its horse racing section and down the bottom of the page are markets for most of the big races run around the world.
Betting on the A.J. Moir Stakes
The A.J. Moir Stakes is a good horses race. By this we mean the past winners of the race have been very good thoroughbreds, especially in recent history, and a big upset isn’t a common occurrence.
The Robert Heathcote-trained Buffering has won three times (2015, 2014, 2012) making it the horse successful horse in this race’s history. Buffering won as the odds-on favourite in 2012, but paid a much better price of $4.50 when winning in 2014.
Along with its three wins, Buffering also finished second in 2013 behind Samaready when it was the $3.50 favourite. It was the first time in five years a favourite had been beaten in the A.J Moir Stakes and if you look at the horses which won during those five years you’ll understand why.
Champion and unbeaten mare Black Caviar won back-to-back A.J. Moir Stakes in 2010/2011 and although the odds were too short for some punters, it was considered money in the bank. It won as the $1.40 in 2010, but the price wasn’t going to last in the following year.
Black Caviar won as the shortest-priced favourite in modern racing history when it paid $1.05 in 2011. It had won the Schillaci Stakes in its start prior as the $1.07 favourite and those prices were about the norm for Black Caviar in the height of its career.
Schillaci was also a winner of the A.J Moir Stakes in 1992*.
There have been many other high-profile favourites win over the years, including Apache Cat ($3.50), Miss Andretti ($1.85), Falvelon ($1.40) and Schillaci which paid $1.95.
There is the odd long-shot which causes the upset. Former New Zealand runner Our Egyptian Raine caused the upset at odds of $13 in 2003 and Quality Gold ($17) held off the $2.05 favourite Moss Rocket in 1995.
The biggest-priced winner was Aquilone in 1985. With Pay Hyland in the saddle, the four-year-old upset the field to score at odds of $40.
Recent A.J Moir Stakes winners
2016: Craig Newitt rode Extreme Choice to a famous victory over more well-known rivals Chautauqua and Buffering. There was no doubt over Extreme Choice’s ability, but the Mick Price-trained three year old’s age had raised doubts, with other horses in the race having more experience. A wide barrier draw meant Newitt settled his mount back in the race, but a blistering run home to defeat Heatherly ($16) and Wild Rain ($26). Read full report.
2015, 2014, 2012: Buffering has yet to have a race named in its honour, but after securing three Moir Stakes victories, we nod in favour of the Queensland gelding.
2013: Samaready was a stylish winner in 2013 as a four-year-old which would be the highlight of its shortened career. The Mick Price-trained sprinter held race-rival Buffering at bay otherwise Buffering could have made it four consecutive victories.
2011, 2012: Black Caviar was the most impressive winner in recent history when it won in 2010 and 2011. The mare was part of the furniture at Moonee Valley and the captivated crowd was in awe of such a fine thoroughbred.
The A.J Moir Stakes has quickly transformed from being a kick-starter for young horses on the rise, to becoming a must-win race for sprinters of all ages. The last three-year-old to win came in 2005 with Virage De Fortune and both Buffering and Apache Cat won as seven-year-olds.
Best Moir Stakes jockeys to bet on
Damien Oliver has a stellar record in most group 1 races in Australia and the Moir Stakes is no different. His first win came about Schillaci in 1992 as a young jockey and he has since won it three more times (Magic Music, Mistegic, Apache Cat).
There have been two international winners since 2000, with the globetrotting Frankie Dettori winning aboard Spinning Hill in 2002 and Keiren Fallon winning with California Dane in 2006.
The race will continue to become more popular with international jockeys now the race is scheduled a day before the Cox Plate. Many international horses are heading to Moonee Valley for the Cox Plate and jockeys are getting more opportunities to ride in the Moir Stakes.
Of the jockeys still riding, Craig Newitt, Stephen King, Nash Rawiller and Luke Nolen have all won the Moir Stakes twice. Glen Boss has an unlucky record of six starts for one win and four third placings.
Moir Stakes past winners list
2016 – Extreme Choice
2015 – Buffering
2014 – Buffering
2013 – Samaready
2012 – Buffering
2011 – Black Caviar
2010 – Black Caviar
2009 – Apache Cat
2008 – Lucky Secret
2007 – Miss Andretti
2006 – California Dane
2005 – Virage De Fortune
2004 – Bomber Bill
2003 – Our Egyptian Raine
2002 – Spinning Hill
2001 – Mistegic
2000 – Falvelon
1999 – Magic Music
1998 – Show No Emotion
1997 – Al Mansour
1996 – Spartacus
1995 – Quality Gold
1994 – Sequalo
1993 – Sports Works
1992 – Schillaci
1991 – With Me
1990 – With Me
1989 – Good Old Ted / Clay Hero
1988 – Scarlet Bisque
1987 – Placid Ark
1986 – Special
1985 – Aquilone
1984 – Foystaan
1983 – Bold Jet
1982 – Manikato
1981 – Bold Prospect
1980 – Victoria Peak
1979 – The Judge / Grey Sapphire
1978 – The Judge
1977 – Tetranate
1976 – Scamanda