Moonee Valley Racing Club announce changes to 2024 Spring Racing Carnival

A Group 1 meeting on the first Saturday in September and a bumper Ladbrokes Friday Night Lights Season Launch on AFL Grand Final Eve headline Moonee Valley Racing Club’s exciting revamp of its 2024 Spring Racing Carnival.

The opening night of Ladbrokes Friday Night Lights on 27th September will feature the Group 1 Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes and the Group 2 Feehan Stakes.

Previously held early in September, the new date under lights for the Feehan Stakes solidifies its position as the key prelude to the Ladbrokes Cox Plate.

With a Golden Ticket into the Ladbrokes Cox Plate on the line, the Feehan Stakes will be held four weeks prior to Australia’s Best Race.

The Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes meanwhile returns to its position on AFL Grand Final Eve for the first time since 2011.

Building upon the success of AFL Grand Final Eve, with over 7000 in attendance for the launch of night racing season in 2023, this year’s meeting will provide he perfect platform for three big Spring Carnival Friday nights, including 4th October and Ladbrokes Cox Plate Eve on 25th October.

The popularity of Friday nights at The Valley continues to grow, with the mix of quality racing, entertainment, and the intimate nature of the track creating an unbelievable atmosphere.

Spring at The Valley will commence with Group 1 racing on Saturday, 7th September, with the running of the Charter Keck Cramer Moir Stakes.

Buoyed by star mare Imperatriz's success in securing the Group 1 sprint double in 2023, the placement of the Charter Keck Cramer Moir Stakes and Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes earlier in the spring provides an enhanced Group 1 pathway for Australia’s best sprinters, integrating with the national program.

Other amendments to the Carnival include the Group 2 McEwen Stakes moving to Ladbrokes Cox Plate Day (Saturday, 26th October), while the Group 2 Stocks Stakes on 27th September will be run over 1500m under Set Weights and Penalties, having previously been Weight-For-Age over 1600m.

Moonee Valley Racing Club Chief Executive Officer Michael Browell said The Valley was set for an exhilarating spring, having collaborated effectively with Racing Victoria to implement the changes that not only bolstered the Club’s spring offerings but also underscored its commitment to optimising the Victorian Spring Racing Carnival.

“The MVRC is delighted with the new programming for some of our key races on the Spring calendar.”

“The move of our two feature sprint races, the Charter Keck Cramer Moir Stakes and Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes, earlier in the spring, offers the optimal chance for Australia’s best sprinters to chase Group 1 success at The Valley.”

Racing Victoria Executive General Manager – Racing, Matt Welsh said: “It’s exciting to work with the Moonee Valley Racing Club to enhance key feature races of their Spring Racing Carnival.”

“We want to ensure that the Charter Keck Cramer Moir Stakes and Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes draw the best fields they possibly can as elite Group 1 races. This restructure is a benefit for owners and trainers wishing to campaign horses here and abroad as part of a cohesive national pattern.

“We see enormous growth potential in the AFL Grand Final eve meeting at The Valley as the Club kicks starts its Friday night racing season. It’s a public holiday, there’s thousands of visitors converging on Melbourne and there is clean air to present an amazing night of racing and entertainment.

“As part of our annual planning and budgeting process, we’re working with each of our Clubs and Country Racing Victoria on our race dates and feature race programs for next season and we’ll have further announcements to make on that in the months ahead.”


  • G1 Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes on Friday, 27th September 2024 (Ladbrokes Friday Night Lights Season Launch).
  • G2 Feehan Stakes on Friday, 27th September 2024 (Ladbrokes Friday Night Lights Season Launch).
  • G1 Charter Keck Cramer Moir Stakes on Saturday, 7th September 2024
  • G2 McEwen Stakes on Saturday, 26th October 2024 (Ladbrokes Cox Plate Day).
  • G2 Stocks Stakes on Friday, 27th September with distance change from 1600m to 1500m and SWP from WFA conditions.