The Schweppes Stakes as the race is known is officially registered as the A J Moir Stakes and is held at Moonee Valley where the club has held the race on the Friday night before the AFL Grand Final since 2013. Run over 1000m at standard weight-for-age, the race is named in honour of Alan John Moir, a former committeeman of the Moonee Valley Racing Club.
First held in 1976 as a principal race and run over 1000m, the race was given Group 2 status in 1979 and promoted to the elite level in 2013 to coincide with the date shift away from Cox Plate day. From 2007 to 2014 the race was held over 1200m and then in 2015 reverted back to the 1000m.
Offering total prizemoney of $500,000, the winner will receive $300,000. Buffering was successful in 2015, when taking the race for the 3rd time adding to his victories in 2012 and 2014. Other past winners include the dual winner Black Caviar, Miss Andretti, Apache Cat, Schillaci and the inaugural winner Scamanda in 1976.
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|Date:||Friday 30 September 2016|
|Race Time:||21:30 AEST|
|Location:||Moonee Valley Racecourse|
|Race Type:||Weight for Age|
|2016 Winner:||Extreme Choice|
|2016 A J Moir Stakes Results|
|9||EXTREME CHOICE||1ST||$3.90 (win)|
|6||WILD RAIN||3RD||$3.70 (pl)|
The Team Hawkes trained superstar resumes for his 6YO season after a four start Autumn campaign that netted three Group 1 victories and over $3m in stakemoney. After a first-up victory over 1000m in the Lightning at Flemington he felt the pinch of the handicap conditions when finishing under one length from The Quarterback in the Newmarket. Returning to Sydney for The Championships the striking gelding was able to complete back-to-back victories in the T J Smith Stakes. That booked his ticket to Hong Kong for the Chairmans Sprint and The Thunder Down Under as he was christened in the run was responsible for a spine-tingling finish to land the prize. Still last as they entered the Sha Tin home straight, he was out of camera shot until after the 200m and then came storming home to take the win. He is a five time winner first up and has... read more The Team Hawkes trained superstar resumes for his 6YO season after a four start Autumn campaign that netted three Group 1 victories and over $3m in stakemoney. After a first-up victory over 1000m in the Lightning at Flemington he felt the pinch of the handicap conditions when finishing under one length from The Quarterback in the Newmarket. Returning to Sydney for The Championships the striking gelding was able to complete back-to-back victories in the T J Smith Stakes. That booked his ticket to Hong Kong for the Chairmans Sprint and The Thunder Down Under as he was christened in the run was responsible for a spine-tingling finish to land the prize. Still last as they entered the Sha Tin home straight, he was out of camera shot until after the 200m and then came storming home to take the win. He is a five time winner first up and has won his only two here at The Valley. read less
‘The Buff’ makes his race return, having finished last in the Chairmans Sprint in Hong Kong. Subsequently found to be carrying an injury the career of Rob Heathcote’s champion galloper appeared to be in-limbo. After a winter break, the now 9YO gelding appears to be back near his best following some solid jump-out sessions. After winning the G1 Winterbotom Stakes in Perth at the end of 2015, he returned to Gold Coast to score victory in a Magic Millions event when carrying 61kg. Heathcote then hatched a bold plan to take the gelding to Dubai for the Al Quoz Sprint and the move was a masterstroke with the ‘old boy’ taking victory down the Meydan 1000m straight. This will be the 5th successive year that Buffering has been first-up into the Moir Stakes, the previous four appearances returning three wins and a second.
Trainer Mick Price has set the 3YO chestnut colt for a tough target first-up and his decision should be respected as he would not simply throw such a talented colt to the wolves. Beginning his career in an Inglis restricted event at Randwick, he secured a dominant two length victory. Opting to avoid a Blue Diamond preview or prelude, his next start was in the G3 Chairman’s Stakes over 1000m at Caulfield where he raced on the speed and romped home to a powerful 4.5 length victory. Tackling the Blue Diamond Stakes as the favourite, he was well supported to start the well tried favourite and was able to overcome a wide gate for a great victory. His next start was to be the last time he has been seen in the Golden Slipper where he started favourite but was never in the hunt in finishing 8th.
A weight-for-age race, the AJ Moir Stakes was traditionally a great starting point for sprinters chasing Carnival glory. However, the race which began in 1976, and was elevated to Group 2 status three years later, is now a feature in its own right during the Melbourne Spring Carnival, the AJ Moir Stakes Night. Originally contested over 1000m, the Moir distance was extended to 1200m in 2006 and gained Group 1 status in 2013. There have been many star sprinters that have won the AJ Moir Stakes over the years. Australia’s first million dollar horse Manikato, Perth flyer Placid Ark, Queenslanders Falvelon and Buffering, much-loved local Apache Cat, and super-mares Spinning Hill, Miss Andretti and the unbeaten Black Caviar (twice).
The AJ Moir Stakes was named after former Chairman of the Moonee Valley Racing Club and well-known Melbourne solicitor Alan John Moir (of the firm Gillott, Moir and Winneke – now Minter Ellison). While it still hasn’t gained the prestige of the Group 1 Manikato Stakes or the Group 1 VRC Sprint, this race attracts stars in its own right, especially those who can handle the tight Moonee Valley track. In 2012, Buffering took out both the AJ Moir and the Schillaci Stakes, a double done twelve months earlier by wonder-mare Black Caviar.
|2016||EXTREME CHOICE||CRAIG NEWITT||MICK PRICE||00:58.7|
|2015||BUFFERING||DAMIEN BROWNE||ROBERT HEATHCOTE||00:57.2|
|2014||BUFFERING||DAMIEN BROWNE||ROBERT HEATHCOTE||01.10.9|
|2013||SAMAREADY||CRAIG NEWITT||MICK PRICE||01.11.2|
|2012||BUFFERING||HUGH BOWMAN||ROBERT HEATHCOTE||01.10.9|
|2011||BLACK CAVIAR||LUKE NOLAN||PETER MOODY||01.10.1|
|2010||BLACK CAVIAR||LUKE NOLAN||PETER MOODY||01.11.0|
|2009||APACHE CAT||DAMIEN OLIVER||GREG EURELL||01.10.0|
|2008||LUCKY SECRET||DANNY BRERETON||TONY VASIL||01.09.9|
|2007||MISS ANDRETTI||CRAIG NEWITT||LEE FREEDMAN||01.10.6|
|2006||CALIFORNIA DANE||KIEREN FALLON||LEE FREEDMAN||00.58.4|