Moonee Valley Racecourse has been a significant part of Victoria’s racing history for more than 100 years. Our signature race, the Cox Plate, is celebrated as Australia’s most sought after prize, with past winners including Phar Lap, Kingston Town, Might and Power and Sunline. The race was named after racing pioneer William Samuel Cox, who in 1882 leased and transformed farmland known today as Moonee Valley Racecourse.

Moonee Valley’s first meeting on 15 September 1883 featured nine horses that faced Mr Doherty, the starter for the Maiden Plate. The first race resulted in a dead heat between Eveline and Pyrette. From that day on, racing at Moonee Valley was conducted strictly ‘en regle’, with excellent accommodation for the public and healthy prize money for the competitors.


Cox passed on a racing dynasty after his death in 1895. Cox’s son Archie was employed as Moonee Valley’s secretary and stipendiary steward in 1905. His brother-in-law, Arthur Vaughan Hiskens took the reigns to become one of Victoria’s greatest racing administrators. Another of Sam’s sons, W.S. Junior was a leading amateur jumps jockey. His association with Redleap, on whom he won the VRC Grand National Hurdle and Steeplechase double in 1892, is legendary.

W.S. Junior’s son, William ‘Bill’ Stanley Cox became a MVRC Committeeman in 1927, and succeeded his uncle, AV Hiskens, as secretary of the Club when Hiskens died in 1935. Bill Cox remained secretary of Moonee Valley until his death in 1966. His son, William Murray Cox took the position of secretary until 1970, when he left to become secretary of the Victoria Racing Club. A racing dynasty at Moonee Valley had ended.


In honour of Moonee Valley Racecourse’s founder William Samuel Cox, the Committee established the Cox Plate, a weight for age race run over 2040 metres on turf. Placed on the racing calendar between the Caulfield Cup, Derby Day and Melbourne Cup, the Cox Plate immediately became a race of great importance and prestige. Today, it’s regarded as the best weight for age race in Australasia and one of the most exciting race days in the world.

Since its inauguration in 1922, the Cox Plate has been acknowledged as one of the classic events in international horse racing. Almost every winner has been an outstanding horse – Phar Lap, Kingston Town, Rising Fast, Dulcify, Gunsynd, Super Impose, Octagonal, Might And Power, and Sunline’s double-header in 1999 and 2000. Since 1999, the Cox Plate is the only race in the southern hemisphere to be included in the Emirates World Series, a prestigious series akin to the Grand Prix, spanning both hemispheres and four continents.
Today, the Cox Plate carries total prize money of $3,050,000, and is Australia’s second richest race after the Melbourne Cup.
scroll up scroll down


  • Weir’s Treble Includes May’s Dream and Signoff

    The state’s leading trainer, Darren Weir, prepared a winning treble at the Valley on Saturday, including Thousand Guineas runner-up May’s Dream, and another possible star, Signoff.

  • Peter Blunden Joins MVRC Committee

    The Moonee Valley Racing Club welcomes Peter Blunden to the MVRC Committee.

  • Signing Off After Valley Start

    Moonee Valley assignment the best pre-spell option for promising stayer

  • MVRC Race Dates 2014 - 2015

    Race dates for the 2014/2015 racing season have now been finalised. MVRC has been allocated 28 race meetings in total – 16 night race meetings and 12 day race meetings.

  • Spirit Of Boom Wins Thrilling William Reid

    Spirit Of Boom finally shook the monkey from his back to claim a well deserved Group 1 win in the William Reid Stakes tonight at Moonee Valley.

  • William Reid Headlined by Samaready, Shamexpress and Fawkner

    A strong field of ten runners has been assembled for this Friday night’s final Group 1 of the Victorian racing season, the Hacer Group William Reid Stakes which boasts a past winners list of Black Caviar, Apache Cat and Miss Andretti.

  • Cozamanis chases second car

    Byron Cozamanis will give Vatican the chance to provide him with a second $55,000 Mazda in twelve months when he lines up in the final heat of this season’s Essendon Mazda 55 Second Challenge (955m) at Moonee Valley on Friday.

  • Quality Field for Final Group 1

    A quality line up has been assembled for the final Group 1 race in Victoria this season, the $400,000 Group 1 Hacer Group William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on Friday.

  • Samaready For William Reid Stakes

    Trainer Mick Price is confident that dual Group One winner Samaready (More Than Ready) can bounce back on Friday night in the weight-for-age William Reid Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m) at Moonee Valley. Samaready was a dominant winner of the Moir Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m) at Moonee Valley last spring.

  • Oliver and Waterhouse combine with Pheidon to win Alister Clark

    Pheidon continued the phenomenal partnership between Damien Oliver and Gai Waterhouse this season with a victory in tonight’s $220,000 Group 2 Sportingbet Alister Clark Stakes (2040m).

  • Maid Racing For Roy

    The eyes of the racing industry will be on two-year-old filly Bring Me The Maid when she lines up in Friday night’s $120,000 Chandler Macleod St Albans Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley.

  • Moonee Valley to host Victorian leg of National Apprentice Series

    Australia's brightest young riding talent will descend on Moonee Valley on Friday night for the Victorian leg of the National Apprentice Series.

  • Melksham Makes Valley Return

    She was almost headed to the breeding barn but Lady Melksham returns to the racetrack this Friday night in the $55,000 Essendon Mazda 55 Second Challenge Heat 16 (955m) at Moonee Valley.

  • Roy Higgins Farewelled

    Roy Higgins was a legend of Australian racing. That’s not for debate. But the former jockey was an even better man. That was the theme of Higgins’ funeral, which was today held at Flemington.

  • May’s Got Weir Dreaming Big

    Darren Weir is understandably looking forward to the return of May’s Dream in Friday’s $80,000 Kerry Gillespie Premium Handicap (1200m) at Moonee Valley.

  • Lehmann's Princess Tough Enough

    South Australian sprinter Tuffen Up Princess can provide hobby trainer Heather Lehmann with a career-highlight in Friday’s $55,000 Essendon Mazda 55 Second Challenge Heat 15 (955m) at Moonee Valley.

  • Double Endorsment For Shamus

    Shamus Award didn’t race last weekend, but his Australian Guineas claims received two separate endorsements.

  • Jazz on Song in Typhoon Tracy

    Craig Newitt ensured a spot in the good books of both Mick Price and Coolmore Stud when he partnered Jazz Song to an upset win in the Simpson Construction Typhoon Tracy Stakes at Moonee Valley.

  • Moodys Miss Takes On Typhoon

    Peter Moody could be easily forgiven for placing extra significance on Friday night’s $120,000 Typhoon Tracy Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley.

  • Moody Chases Typhoon Trophy

    While a trio of Group 1 races will guarantee Saturday’s Caulfield meeting takes top billing around Australia this weekend, some quality nominations will ensure Friday night’s Moonee Valley program is one for punters to follow.