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Turf Deli Spring Racing Carnival - Moonee Valley Track Guide

Turf Deli Track Guide


Moonee Valley Track Guide

If racecourses are elegant, rambling estates with roses and sweeping lawns, then Moonee Valley is the concrete backyard at your inner city grandmother's place, which struggled for room for a game of hopscotch. The cosiness means that on big race days the atmosphere is definitely there, as are about 35,000 sweaty people crammed into a confined place. Guess that is no different really than the train ride to work.

The big attraction of Moonee Valley is that itís small size means that if you are out on the lawn then you are really close to the equine action. Watch out for flying discarded horseshoes and being accidentally whipped by the jockey if they come wide in the feature race. Even in the grandstand you have the amphitheatre sensation, you can really free the crowd roar, and you can get a clear and close up view of the racing action which is lacking at many of the other courses.


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Dress Code

Cox Plate Day - The WFA championship of Australia is definitely not as dressy as Caulfield Cup Day or Derby Day. There is still plenty of denim in the Betting Ring, and the lawn is more a cosy day out with friends feel rather than a dress to impress fashion parade.

Night Racing - Again you can be more casual, especially on a hot, streamy summers night. In fact, cause itís late at night you can just wear your pyjamas so when you get home you can grab a cup of milk and milo and head straight to bed.


Where to Meet
Meet at the grass horses just inside the main gate to the left as you walk into the course.


What to Eat
Not as big a variety of food as the other major race days, but there is usually a Nandoís, pizza or baked potato stall somewhere. At the night meetings itís just the standard chips / dim sims / hot dogs / dim sims / chips / pie / chips / hot dog / chips roulette wheel of which looks the least likely to cause gastrointestinal distress.


Secret Spot
The lawns do get very crowded on Cox Plate Day. The quieter spots, are around the back of the main tote house, and around the stable areas, but both are a fair distance from the action. Inside the public area in the main grandstand can be quite quiet if the weather is nice outside.


Additional Notes

StrathAyr - Moonee Valley set the pace in 1995 entirely replacing its track with StrathAyr artificial turf meaning that the track is 'all weather' and they can race even if someone accidentally left the sprinklers on all night. If you go to the races mainly to check out different breeds of grass sure this is utterly fascinating to you.


Shuttle Bus- Moonee Ponds station is only literally 500M walk from the course, but if you are a bit uncertain about crossing the junction intersection by yourself you can queue for the next shuttle bus, board, wait for everyone else to get on, wait for the lights to change, wait for the bus driver to grab a snack, wait for the bus to park next to the station and for the doors to open and its easier to walk you goose.


Quality Conveniences- Make sure you know where the fixed toilet blocks are. None of this slumming it in temporary cubicles. They are out of the back of the main tote house, so to your left if you come in through the main gates.


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Things To Watch Out For

Hedge Horses- These are really impressive. Inside the main gates are five expertly sculptured hedges in the form of horse and jockey. Apparently these have taken years to grow in a precisely controlled environment. Fairly sure they are not native to Australia, normally only see footy speccy marks growing naturally in the bush. Either that or they have managed to get Edward Scissorhands on contract. How long will they last when some drunken hoon decides to ride them after Cox Plate Day ? We will see.


Night Meetings- The best part of going to a night meeting is driving up the ramp into the centre car park into the full bank of grandstand lights. It is a truly mystical experience and something that every punter should experience. Many punters have said they received their calling to a lifetime dedicated to the punt at this very moment.


Grandstand seating- The grandstand seats are colour coded, red seats for members only, green seats for the public on Cox Plate Day. You need to climb pretty high to find the public grandstand seating, but it is worth it Ė you are much closer to the action than any other course. Either that or claim to be colour blind.


Train Station- Moonee Ponds station is on the Broadmeadows line, so make sure if you are heading there from the other side of town you check which way trains are running through the City Loop Ė else you are a train spotter type and doing multiple laps of the city constitutes a good day out.


Redevelopment Plans- Like most of the major race tracks Moonee Valley has grand development plans. Moonee Valleyís are bigger than most, they actually involve demolishing the entire race course and building it again in slightly different shade of beige and facing in a different direction so they can get the afternoon sun. Master trainer Bart Cummings has gone on record as saying itís a utter waste of money, personally we reckon they should think outside the square a little and make the first racecourse / theme park Ė Bart World.





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