The William Reid Stakes in Moonee Valley
William Reid was a Victorian Banker, originally from Scotland, and a dedicated committee member of the Moonee Valley Racing Club who died in 1923. In the early 1900s he owned several prominent racehorses, most notably Uncle Sam who took the Caulfield Cup in 1912 and 1914 and also won the Melbourne Cup in 1912, The Stakes named after him have been run since 1925, and continue to be a prestigious and exciting event on the Australian horseracing calendar.
History and Background
The William Reid Stakes is an open event and is run at weight for age on a left-handed turf track. It has always been a Thoroughbred event but its grade has changed over the years. It was a Principal Race 1979 and a Group Two Race between 1980 and 1986, before attaining Group One status in 1987. The sprint has been run at the Moonee Valley Racecourse in Melbourne, Australia, every year since its inauguration with the exception of 1995 when it was held at the Flemington Racecourse. As the final Group One event in the Melbourne Autumn Carnival, the race usually takes place in late March.
Until 1972 it was run over 6 furlongs, which is 1,207 metres, and was then changed to an even 1,200 metres. From 1996 to 2001 the race was held over the Australia Day holiday weekend, and was even renamed the Australia Stakes until 2009. The name of William Reid Stakes was restored in 2010. Its current total prize purse sits at 500,000 Australian Dollars which ensures the participation of top riders and runners, with cape of Good Hope being the first foreign winner in 2005. The standout performer in the race’s history is legendary sprinter Manikota, who took the title a successive 5 times between the years of 1979 and 1983. Other great names who have won include Black Caviar, Vo Rogue and Apache Cat.
Betting on the William Reid Stakes
As with every horse race, there is a lot to consider when putting money down on the William Reid Stakes when punting online, at a local bookmaker or at the event itself. The Moonee Valley Racecourse is tight-turning and quite unique, and potential success on this track must be carefully evaluated or imagined based on previous performances on similar courses. Barriers are less of a concern than usual because the field rarely has more than 10 starters. It should also be noted that only 6 William Reid champions have won at double figures since 1983, and that the favourite has won 12 times and been placed 12 times since that year. Punters should consider all of this, as well as track and weather conditions, performance histories and how the horse and jockey pairings work as a team when deciding who to back at the Moonee Valley Course. Betting on this event is tricky and requires a lot of insight, and the more punters place bets the more understanding and appreciation for the races they’ll gain – which should translate into more successful punts and bigger takings.