The Moir Stakes truly is a dash for cash. The 1,000 metre-race is the first Group One sprint race of the Melbourne spring carnival, providing an early indication of the sprinters to look out for in the more lucrative Manikato Stakes and Darley Classic, not to mention the Everest.
Held at Moonee Valley on a Friday night, the Moir has the excitement factor of being one of only three Australian Group One races (along with the William Reid and Manikato) to be run under lights. The atmosphere down at the Valley is electrifying, with the noise in the amphitheatre-like setting only enhancing the experience.
With a race time of less than a minute, the Moir is run and won in the blink of an eye. And over such a short distance, the winning margin is often the smallest of margins, further contributing the excitement generated by the race.
Sometimes referred to as the A.J. Moir Stakes, the race was named after Alan John Moir, erstwhile chairman of the Moonee Valley Racing club. Since 2013, it has been a Group One race, and held on the eve of the AFL Grand Final. This is arguably the greatest sporting weekend in Australia, with the NRL Grand Final also taking place on the Sunday.
With half a million dollars up for grabs, only the best sprinters in the land have a chance of out-sprinting their rivals and taking home the biggest chunk of prize money. But on the tight-turning and often unpredictable Moonee Valley track, anything is possible.
Australia's greatest ever sprinter Black Caviar won the race twice in 2010 and 2011. Since then, the race has been a favourite of gallant sprinter and track-specialist Buffering, who was first past the post on three occasions: 2012, 2014, and 2015.
In 2017, She Will Reign, the former Golden Slipper winner, won by the narrowest of margins.