Cox Plate start 2021

Where will Valley features be run?

Moonee Valley will decide within the next six months where its famous feature races will be run, but remains open to their final destination.

CEO Michael Browell said there had been interest from clubs outside of Victoria to host the race, but said “it was likely” they would remain local.

He said the lack of shared Ladbrokes sponsored courses in Victoria “is one complicating factor in the decision”, with Caulfield’s deal set to expire in December.

Industry speculation even had Cranbourne as one option for the Cox Plate given the club is also sponsored by Ladbrokes, to which Browell said the race could “go anywhere”.

“That's a process that we'll work through in this next six months,” Browell said.

“We're keen to work with Racing Victoria to lock down what a future club funding model will look like. And with that, what's the future racing program look like for the Valley's meetings through that closure period. 

“The 2026 Cox Plate meetings, the key to that, obviously we'll have a chat to all of the obvious parties on that to see how we go running our meeting or meetings in and around their carnivals.

“I would think it would be staying in Victoria, but that's not to say that we wouldn't look at all possible options.”

Browell said the transferring of meetings from The Valley would be worked through with RV and “sister clubs” in Melbourne. The creation of Caulfield’s inner-track, with the likely installation of lights before 2026, could provide the Valley one option to run its non-group races.

“The new inside track at Caulfield, it’s new to the mix if you like and it wasn't part of our thinking a year or two ago,” he said.

“There's many moving parts to this negotiation. But we want to hit the 1st of August 2024 and have the club funding deal locked away with Racing Victoria and then have the arrangements in place for our race meetings to be hosted at another club or other clubs through the closure period.”