Moonee Valley racecourse is famous in racing circles as the first venue in Australia to conduct night time racing. ‘The Valley’ hosts 33 meetings every year and is a favourite for punters as a night racing venue.
Moonee Valley’s first race meet was held on 15 September 1883 at John F. Feehan’s farm. The property was bought with the intention of creating a racetrack by William Samuel Cox, who the famous Cox Plate is now named after. Cox served as the inaugural Secretary of the Moonee Valley Racing Club.
The Cox plate is now Australia’s weight-for-age horse-racing championship and has seen famous winners such as Phar Lap, Better Loosen Up, Northerly and Makybe Diva.
The actual track itself is known to be a more rectangular shape. That is said to favour the front runners while making rail position extremely important, which makes for great viewing for the punters.
Stats You Need to Know
Stephanie Thornton is the jockey with the highest winning percentage over the past 12 months, coming in at 19.5% from 99 starts. Damian Lane sits second with 17.5%.
On the trainers side of things it’s Darren Weir leading the pack at 15.7% from 178 starts in the last 12 months. He is closely followed by Chris Waller with 14.8%, from only 27 starts.
Finding An Edge
We sat down with our Melbourne Racing Analyst Trevor Lawson to find out how we can go about trying to sniff out an edge at the Valley.
Are there any nuances to Moonee Valley that you notice in your analysis?
Rail position plays a big part. Normally the further out the rail is, the more on pace the bias can be.
Moonee Valley is the home of night racing in Melbourne. How do conditions at night change the way the track plays?
Sometimes it appears those that get well back in the field can lose touch.
How does the Moonee Valley surface differ to other VIC tracks and does it benefit certain runners?
The track is a StrathAyr surface, made up of sand and grass. This gives the track a little more give than a normal grass track.
I know some professional punters avoid MV at all cost. What are your thoughts on betting there?
I’m not sure why, I personally think it is a great track to bet at. The bias is generally easy to predict prior to the meeting.
What sort of runner (pace wise) is most suited and why?
As a general rule those up on the pace. If the track is rain affected and the rail is true, wide runners can be favoured.
Are there any jockeys or trainers that you really like at Moonee Valley and why?
There tends to be minor variances up or down, so I don’t really use it as a factor unless it’s obvious.
What sort of an impact does the weather have on Moonee Valley?
Significant rain when the rail is true can affect those that race close to the rail.
Caulfield and Flemington handle most of the big races in Victoria. Is there a time of year when Moonee Valley offers some good betting opportunities?
They generally race over at night over the summer. These meetings tend to provide plenty of betting opportunities.
What tips would you give for your average punter betting at Moonee Valley?
Once the rail is 2m+ focus on horses that race up on the pace. If the rail is true and the track is rain affected try and avoid horses drawn to inside barriers.