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.
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  • Gai's rising three-year-old set for Cox Plate

    Trainer Gai Waterhouse has revealed that she has set rising three-year-old Almalad for the 2014 Sportingbet Cox Plate that will be held at Moonee Valley on October 25 during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.

  • Happy Trails Back On Track

    Trainer Paul Beshara said the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes winner Happy Trails was progressing well ahead of his racetrack return and would follow a similar path to last year which culminated in a narrow miss in the $3 million Cox Plate behind Shamus Award at Moonee Valley last October.

  • OTI Not Chopping Cox Plate Plans

    A Sportingbet Cox Plate appearance is still part of the plans for Simon O’Donnell and Terry Henderson’s Melbourne-based bloodstock company OTI after their recent French purchase Gailo Chop finished fourth in the Belmont Derby Invitational Stakes at New York.

  • Mukhadram Considers Cox Plate Invite After Group 1 Victory

    Connections of Mukhadram will give thought to the Sportingbet Cox Plate later in the campaign after the Hamdan Al Maktoum-owned galloper broke through at Group One level in the Coral-Eclipse Stakes at Sandown.

  • First International Runner Arrives For Sportingbet Cox Plate

    Singapore Airlines International Cup winner Dan Excel has arrived in Sydney ahead of his preparation for the Sportingbet Cox Plate.

  • Cox Plate still on agenda for Galio Chop

    FRENCH stayer Gailo Chop, who now competes in the OTI Racing colours of Simon O’Donnell and Terry Henderson, will loom into Cox Plate calculations if he performs well in Saturday’s Belmont Derby in New York.

  • Cauthen follows Ocean Park Route

    One-time boom New Zealand colt Cauthen is back in work and out to follow a compatriot’s well-worn path to Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) success.

  • Rising towards Cox Plate

    Trainer Donna Logan is yet to decide on a 2014 Spring Racing Carnival target for Australian Oaks winner Rising Romance, but revealed that the rising four-year-old will be nominated for the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) and Group 1 Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m).

  • Moody's Group 1 Dissident to tackle Cox Plate

    Rising four year old Dissident will be aimed towards the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 25 during the Melbourne Spring Carnival.

  • Queen's Horse to target Cox Plate

    Trainer Gai Waterhouse has revealed that the 2014 Sportingbet Cox Plate is the most likely Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival target for imported galloper Carlton House.

  • John Moore Trio Among The List Of Sportingbet Cox Plate Invites

    The Moonee Valley Racing Club has today issued first round invitations to ten of the leading Weight-For-Age middle distance thoroughbreds from all areas of the globe to contest the Group 1 $3M 2014 Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040 metres) on Saturday 25th October.

  • Super Cool Rested and Ready For Cox Plate

    Flemington trainer Mark Kavanagh is confident that a rejuvenated Super Cool can make his mark on the upcoming Spring Racing Carnival.

  • Lucky Nine Wins Second International Sprint

    Lucky Nine made it back-to-back International Sprint (Gr 1, 1200m) victories at Kranji last night, kicking off what was to be another big-race double for Hong Kong.

  • Singapore Victory Puts Cox Plate On Dan Excel’s Agenda

    Owner David Boeham will turn his attention to the Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley in October after Hong Kong galloper Dan Excel’s track-record-breaking victory in last night’s Group 1 Singapore Airlines International Cup (2000m) at Kranji in Singapore.

  • Shamus Award Off To Stud

    Shamus Award will not be defending his Sportingbet Cox Plate crown at Moonee Valley on the final Saturday in October. It was this week announced that the son of Snitzel, who was prepared by Danny O’Brien at Flemington, would be retired immediately, to stand at Widden Stud.

  • 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.

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  • Signing Off After Valley Start

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

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  • 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.