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Racing Victoria has approved a Cox Plate eve race meeting for the Moonee Valley Racing Club featuring its premier sprint, the Group One Manikato Stakes.

The Manikato moves from the club’s AFL grand final eve meeting in late September to headline the program on the Friday night before the Cox Plate.

The two-day racing festival, positioned at the heart of the spring racing carnival, is designed to attract the world’s best middle distance and sprinting thoroughbreds.

A total of 17 races, including nine stakes events, will be programmed across the Cox Plate Carnival with prizemoney in excess of $6 million making it one of the richest two-day carnivals in the world.

Moonee Valley believes the relocation of the Manikato ideally places it 15 days before the Group One Patinack Farm Classic at Flemington, allowing the club to attract leading international sprinters from Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, the US and Europe.

Prizemoney for the Manikato Stakes will be boosted from $500,000 to $750,000 while all races will carry minimum prizemoney of $100,000.

The Cox Plate eve meeting will comprise eight races including the Group Two weight-for-age Crystal Mile (1600m) and the Listed Crockett Stakes (1200m) for three-year-old fillies.

Australia’s most prestigious weight-for-age race, the Cox Plate (2040m), will be run at Moonee Valley on October 27.

RV will submit the required programming changes to the Australian and Asian Pattern Committees for final ratification.

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