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The AJ Moir Stakes is a Group 1 weight-for-age race that takes place in September each year at Moonee Valley during the Melbourne spring racing carnival. The race is run over a distance of 1000 metres and worth $450,000 in prizemoney. The 2016 AJ Moir Stakes was won by Extreme Choice from Heatherly with Wild Rain third.
More recently known as the 'Schweppes Stakes' and run on Gr1 WS Cox Plate day in October, the AJ Moir Stakes has been run on AFL Grand Final eve in late September since the 2013/2014 racing season. It was upgraded to Group 1 status in 2013 after previously being a Group 2 race. In 2015, the AJ Moir Stakes was reduced from 1200m to 1000m providing the ideal lead-up to the Gr1 Manikato Stakes on Cox Plate eve.
The AJ Moir Stakes is one of the MVRC's major weight-for-age sprint events during the spring and while it does not quite have the status of races like the Manikato Stakes on Grand Final eve at the same track or the Gr1 VRC Sprint Classic at Flemington on Emirates Day, the race often attracts quality sprinters as history shows.
Over the years, top class gallopers such as Buffering (2012, 2014-15), Black Caviar (2010-2011), Apache Cat (2009), Miss Andretti (2007), Falvelon (2002), Schillaci (1992) and With Me (1990-91) have all won this race.
The AJ Moir Stakes is a race that suits good weight-for-age horses, especially those with an affinity for the tight Moonee Valley race track. The Gr2 Schillaci Stakes at Caulfield has generally been the best guide, although with the AJ Moir Stakes now taking place in September before the Schillaci Stakes in October, the AJ Moir Stakes may now prove to be the best guide to the Schillaci Stakes in years to come.
In the past three years Buffering (2012) & Black Caviar (2011-2010) have both taken out the AJ Moir Stakes & Schillaci Stakes double in the same year.
A race such as the Gr2 McEwen Stakes, run over 1000m at the same track a couple of weeks earlier, is likely to provide the best lead up to the AJ Moir Stakes, as it is raced under the same weight-for-age conditons and offers a natural progession in distance.
Extreme Choice (2016) was resuming from a spell before upsetting his older rivals to win this event and recent AJ Moir Stakes winners include Buffering (2014-15) and Samaready (2013).
Spring Carnival Guide
Buffering (2012), Black Caviar (2010-11), Spinning Hill (2002), Mistegic (2001), Falvelon (2000), Magic Music (1999) and Show No Emotion (1998) have all taken out the AJ Moir Stakes & Schillaci Stakes double in recent times. Placegetters from the AJ Moir Stakes are ikely to go on and run well in the Schillaci Stakes.
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