Moir Stakes 2022 Preview: Field, Betting, Contenders & Tips

Some of the finest sprinters in the country will descend upon Moonee Valley to contest the Group 1 A J Moir Stakes on Friday.

Paulele is the well-supported favourite after delivering a string of impressive performances during the autumn campaign. However, he faces competition from Queensland superstar Rothfire – dubbed “The Thriller from Chinchilla” – along with the hardy Zoustyle, Bella Nipotina and Extremely Lucky.

Read on to learn more about the Moir Stakes, its history, notable winners from over the years, the leading contenders this time around and our top tips.


Moir Stakes Background and History

This race was named after Alan John Moir, a prominent Melbourne solicitor who served as chairman of the Moonee Valley Racing Club from 1960 to 1975. The A J Moir Stakes was first run in 1976, when Scamanda saluted. It was assigned Group 2 status in 1979.

Soft drinks company Schweppes became the headline sponsor of the race from 2006 to 2011, but it reverted to being named the A J Moir Stakes from 2012 onwards. In 2013, the race was elevated to Group 1 status. It was also moved from its traditional position on the Cox Plate card to being run under lights on the Friday before the AFL Grand Final.

The Moir Stakes continues to be held the day before the Grand Final. It was held over 1000m from 1976 to 2006, 1200m from 2007 to 2014, and then 1000m again from 2015 onwards. The leading jockey is Damien Oliver, who won the race on Schillaci, Magic Music, Falvelon and Apache Cat. Trainers Angus Armanasco and Bruce McLachlan share the record with four wins apiece.


Moir Stakes Notable Winners

There have been many famous winners of the Moir Stakes since it was inaugurated in 1976. These are the leading lights that triumphed here:

  • Manikato | The second Australian horse to pass $1 million in career earnings. Manikato won 20 races which currently hold Group 1 status, with victories including the Golden Slipper, the Moir Stakes and five straight wins in the William Reid Stakes. He was named Australian Horse of the Year in 11979 and inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame in 2002.
  • Placid Ark | the Australian Co-Champion Racehorse of the Year in 1987, who won the Lightning Stakes, Oakleigh Plate, Newmarket Handicap, Canterbury Stakes, Moir Stakes, Linlithgow Stakes and Winterbottom Stakes that year.
  • Schillaci | An eight-time Group 1 winner, who landed back-to-back Lightning Stakes, along with the Oakleigh Plate, the Newmarket Handicap, The Galaxy, the George Ryder Stakes and two Futurity Stakes.
  • Miss Andretti | The Australian Champion Racehorse of the Year in 2007, who became the only thoroughbred to simultaneously hold five track records in Australia and England. She won a host of Group 1 events in Australia before heading to Royal Ascot and shattering the course record in the King’s Stand Stakes.
  • Apache Cat | The 2008 Australian Champion Sprinter, who notched eight Group 1 victories and 11 other triumphs during his superb career. Apache Cat also placed on 11 occasions and racked up career prize money of more than $4.5 million.
  • Black Caviar | The World Champion Sprinter in 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2013. Black Caviar embarked on a record-breaking 25-race winning streak, which included 15 Group 1 victories. She was named Australian Racehorse of the Year in 2011, 2012 and 2013, and she also earned the European Champion Sprinter award in 2012 after heading to Royal Ascot and winning the Diamond Jubilee Stakes. She was the first horse trained outside Europe to win the honour.
  • Buffering | One of the highest earning Australian racehorses of all-time. Buffering won the Al Quoz Spring during the 2016 Dubai World Cup meeting, which pushed him past $7 million in career prize money. He won the Moir Stakes a record three times – in 2012, 2014 and 2015 – along with many other Group 1 triumphs.
  • She Will Reign | This talented sprinter burned bright for a short period of time, winning the Silver Slipper, the Golden Slipper and the Moir Stakes in 2017 and being named Australian Champion Two Year Old. She was retired from racing early due to an inflammation in the lower airway.
  • Nature Strip | This nine-time Group 1 winner clinched The Everest in 2021. He has also won the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot in England. Nature Strip’s career prize money is more than $19 million, leaving him second only to Winx in the all-time stakes. He was named Australian Sprinter of the Year for the past three seasons, and he is also a two-time Australian Racehorse of the Year winner.


Moir Stakes 2021 Winner

Wild Ruler delivered a dazzling display to clinch his first Group 1 victory in the Moir Stakes last year. He went into the race after impressing in a first-up second to the brilliant Nature Strip in the Group 3 Concorde Stakes, and he delivered on his promise.

The Inferno put up a spirited fight, but Wild Ruler ultimately won by a short head, with Trekking back in third. All three went on to contest The Everest, so there will be a great deal of interest in this year’s Moir Stakes.


Moir Stakes Date

The Moir Stakes will be run on Friday 23rd September at Moonee Valley. It is a 1000m sprint, held on the left-handed turf track at The Valley and run under weight for age conditions.


Moir Stakes Field & Contenders



The Godolphin colt is the favourite for this race after finishing second by a head to the talented Apache Chase in the Group 1 Kingsford-Smith Cup on his last appearance. He was also second in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000, so trainer James Cummings will hope to see the speedster regain that momentum this spring.

The four-year-old has six wins from 16 career starts, but none at the highest level. He is widely regarded as Godolphin’s top seed for The Everest after an impressive barrier trial win, and it will be interesting to see if he can live up to his potential.



The Thriller from Chinchilla finished three-quarters of a length clear of Zoustyle to win the Group 2 McEwen Stakes over 1000m at Moonee Valley a couple of weeks ago. That bodes well for his chances in this race, as the likes of Miss Andretti, Buffering and Nature Strip have all done the McEwen-Moir Stakes double.

Trainer Rob Heathcote has already won this race three times courtesy of Buffering, and he is bullish about his star sprinter’s chances. He warns that Zoustyle will be dangerous, but Rothfire has all the ingredients to prevail.


Bella Nipotina

Bella Nipotina finished second in two big races at Moonee Valley last spring – the Group 1 Manikato Stakes and the Group 2 Chautauqua Stakes. He also placed in the Group 1 Darley Sprint Classic.

She won the Group 2 Sapphire Stakes at Randwick in the autumn, and she will now bid for a first major triumph. Bella Nipotina is a very consistent mare, and she will have the talented Craig Williams in the saddle, while co-trainer Ciaron Maher said she will love the conditions.


Extremely Lucky

Extremely Lucky was last seen winning the Listed Lightning Stakes at Morphettville in July, beating Calla Dream. The Will Clarken-trained gelding has three wins and two placings from six career starts, but this will be a significant step up in class. He finished third to Bella Nipotina and Mileva on heavy ground in a barrier trial at The Valley last month.



Zoustyle put in a terrific performance to finish second to Rothfire in the McEwen at the start of September. The seven-year-old Queensland sprinter is a large, powerful horse with a huge stride and a frontrunning style. He prefers firm ground, so trainer Tony Gollan will hope to see conditions dry up a little at The Valley ahead of this race. Damien Oliver, the most successful jockey in Moir Stakes history, will pilot Zoustyle as he bids for victory.


Moir Stakes Odds

Horse Fixed Win Fixed Place
Paulele $3.8 $1.65
Rothfire $4 $1.65
Bella Nipotina $7.5 $2.35
Extremely Lucky $7.5 $2.35
Zoustyle $8 $2.45
Coolangatta $9 $2.7
September Run $11 $3
The Inferno $11 $3
Generation $13 $3.4
Isotope $16 $3.8
Malkovich $26 $5.5
Mileva $26 $5.5


Moir Stakes Prize Money 

The prize money for the Moir Stakes is $1 million. The winner will earn $600,000, while $180,000 will go to the runner-up. A prize of $90,000 is earmarked for the third-placed horse, while fourth gets $45,000, fifth receives $25,000 and the horses that finish sixth, seventh and eighth will each earn $20,000.


Moir Stakes Tips

Odds of $2.45 on a fixed place for Zoustyle look very appealing. He delivered a powerful performance in the McEwen, and he should be even stronger this time around, especially if the ground is reasonably dry. The race has attracted a talented field, so it will not be easy, but he has enough quality to be in the mix.


**Odds quoted are accurate at the time of writing but are subject to change.