The Might And Power Stakes is a Group 1 race of 2000 metres held annually at Caulfield Racecourse in Melbourne by the Melbourne Racing Club (MRC) in October.
It is run under weight-for-age conditions by Thoroughbreds that have won previously and are three years of age or older.
Might And Power Stakes Race Details
Race Distance: 2000m
Prize Money: $1,000,000
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When Is The Might And Power Stakes: 8/10/22
What Time Is The Might And Power Stakes: TBA
Where Is The Might And Power Stakes: Caulfield Racecourse
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More Details About The Might And Power Stakes
The winner of the race receives a ballot exemption to the Caulfield Cup.
Prizemoney for the race is $1 million. That came into effect for the 2017 edition of the race, so when Winxie won in 2016, the first place money was just $360,000, as opposed to the $600,000 Gailo Chop received for winning in 2017.
We would say that Winx is owed money but for the fact that only Black Heart Bart and He Or She bothered to show up for the race, which at that time was known as the Caulfield Stakes.
The most recent winner of the 2021 edition of the race, which we will call the Might and Power for simplicity, was won by Probabeel from Noncomformist with Zakki placing third.
There were only four horses willing to take on Probabeel, or perhaps they were afraid, with good reason, of Zakki.
History of the Might and Power Stakes
The Might and Power Stakes is one of those Australian legacy races that was first run during the latter years of the 19th century. It was first run in 1886 and it has always held the sort of prestige that has attracted the best gallopers. There have been winners that won the race multiple times – some of the best racers the country has ever produced.
Conversely, there have been great champions that never won the race, or won once, never to repeat, whether through being beaten or not lining up for another try for some reason.
For the first 101 times the race jumped, it was called the Caulfield Stakes. The MRC started calling it the Yalumba Stakes in 1997, and then changed the name back to Caulfield Stakes in 2011. From 2016 through 2019, it was being called the Ladbrokes Stakes. It was the Neds Stakes in 2020 and the race became the Neds Might and Power Stakes in 2021.
It was a good change in our view. There are times when we are covering races at Caulfield when it seems like every race is the Caulfield Something or Other Stakes. A quick check of the Group races confirmed that there were, before the latest name change, seven Group races called the Caulfield Something. There are no races called Flemington Anything. Randwick has one race with Randwick in the name and Rosehill has one. Along with that, if any horse deserves a race named for it, it is Might And Power.
The trip for the first two years of the race was 1800 metres. It was run in 1888 over 2000 metres and then returned to 1800 metres from 1889 through 1967. Since 1968, it has been 2000 metres, allowing for the slight variance between the metric system and the old way of notating distance. The trip for the first two years of the race was 1800 metres. It was run in 1888 over 2000 metres and then returned to 1800 metres from 1889 through 1967. Since 1968, it has been 2000 metres, allowing for the slight variance between the metric system and the old way of notating distance.
The race was Principal level until the Group classification system came along in 1979, when the race went immediately to Group 1 status.
Venue for the Might and Power Stakes
The Might and Power Stakes has always been run at Caulfield except for the years encompassing World War II, when the military decided that stalls made good barracks and used the facility to train soldiers.
Caulfield Racecourse in Melbourne currently stages 12 Group 1, 8 Group 2 and 19 Group 3 races over the course of a year.
The big race, of course, is the Caulfield Cup and several of the winners of the Might and Power have won that race. The race is also used as preparation for the Cox Plate because the distance and conditions are nearly identical except for the extra 40 metres of the Cox Plate.
Caulfield has an interesting asymmetrical triangle shape.
For a 2000-metre race, the horses jump from a small chute at the northwest end of the track. They make just under one complete trip around the course to the finish line at the north side. The Might and Power gives spectators good chances to view the start and the finish.
Racing History of the Might and Power Stakes
First, these are the horses that have won the race and filled the Caulfield Cup double. Eurhythmic – 1920 High Syce – 1929 Amounis – 1930 Tranquil Star – 1942 (also 1942 Cox Plate) Rising Fast – 1954 (also won 1954 Melbourne Cup) Redcraze – 1956 Sometime – 1963 How Now – 1976 Sydeston – 1990
Next are the horses that won the Might and Power followed by a win in the Cox Plate.
Tranquil Star – 1942 Rising Fast – 1954 (only galloper to win Caulfield, Melbourne Cups and Cox Plate in the same year. Amounis – 1930 Kingston Town – 1981 and 1982 Bonecrusher – 1986 Might And Power – 1998 (1997 Melbourne Cup winner) Northerly – 2001 So You Think – 2010 Ocean Park Winx 2016
Thirdly, these are the horses that won the Caulfield/Might and Power Stakes on more than one occasion.
Wakeful – 1901/1902 Artillerie – 1909/1910 Eurythmic – 1920/1921/1922 High Caste – 1939/1940 Lawrence – 1944/1945 Lord – 1958/1959 Sky High – 1961/1962 Winfreux – 1965/1966/1967 Kingston Town – 1981/1982 Lonhro – 2002/2003
We can and have in many instances, devoted entire articles to most of the above winners. We have devoted entire articles to other great champions that only won the Might and Power Stakes one time, such as 2016 winner Winx that obviously could not be bothered to run the race in 2017 or she would have won it in the middle of her streak of Group 1 wins.
With so many great winners and such little space to detail all of those winners, we are going to take the liberty of cherry picking and focusing on the multiple winners and the great gallopers that for one reason or another did not win the race more than once.
We begin with Wakeful, the race winner from 1901 and 1902.
Wakeful was a mare by Trenton, a New Zealand stallion, with the unforgettable Pom horse Musket for her grandsire.
She was inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame in 2002 and it would be easiest for us to say that the only big races she did not win were the Melbourne Cup and the Cox Plate. She won the Melbourne Stakes three times – 1901-1903. Some other wins were the Doncaster and Newmarket Handicaps, Sydney Cup and the All Aged Stakes.
Her stud record included 10 foals, one of which was the 1918 Melbourne Cup winner Night Watch by St Alwyne.
The next notable winner of the Might and Power was the slightly lesser known Artillerie from 1909 and 1910. She too was a mare by Royal Artillery out of Nantes, both New Zealanders, with a connection to Musket as grandsire, just like Wakeful.
We do not have a racing record for her, but obviously, she was that good that she could win a big race twice. We found four foals, two by Comedy King, one by Positano and one by All Black (not one of the rugby playing All Blacks).
Let’s have a look at three-time winner Eurythmic (1920 – 1922), shall we?
He was so good that he could summon an exhilarating burst at the end of staying races, but he also won important sprint races. He started racing in his country of origin, and then won some races in Western Australia. His first major win where it matters was the 1920 Caulfield Cup. Other races he won on multiple occasions were the Melbourne Stakes (1920/1921) and Memsie Stakes (1920/1921/1922).
He made 47 jumps for 31 wins and 10 placings. He remained entire, but he was never the sire his racing might have suggested.
We have to mention the one-time winner from 1924, The Hawk.
He won plenty, he did, but the thing that literally leapt off the page at us is that he made 136 jumps. He won 32 times with 38 placings.
Manfred from 1926 won the Cox Plate in 1925 and the Caulfield Cup in 1926.
He was a prodigious sire, including 1937 Melbourne and Caulfield Cups winner The Trump. Other good racers he sired were Manrico, Manolive and Red Manfred.
In the two decades between Eurythmic and our next multiple winner, High Caste, some of the notable winners we have to pass over were Heroic (1925), High Syce (1929), Amounis (1930), Chatham (1933), Hall Mark (1934), Young Idea (1936, Cox Plate 1936/1937) and Ajax (1938).
Now, on to Caulfield Stakes/Might and Power Stakes dual winner High Caste.
High Caste was one of those types we appreciate for racing 72 times. He won 35 times with the unusual distinction of three of his wins being dead heats. He did himself one better than the two wins in the Might and Power by winning the C. B. Fisher Plate and the LInlithgow Stakes three times each. Other races he won twice were the Challenge Stakes (1940/1942) and St. George Stakes (1940/1942). If we had to pick one of his major wins as his most significant, we would take the 1940 Epsom Handicap.
High Caste was a good enough sire to 30 named foals. Some winners of major races were High Jip, High Nymph, Highlea, Miss High Caste and Prince Kerdeil.
Tranquil Star, winner of the race in 1942, was the only mare to win the race along with the Cox Plate. She should have been an automatic inductee into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame, simply for the fact that she made 111 jumps. She won 23 and placed in 32, including a second Cox Plate in 1944. She won the St. George Stakes and the MacKinnon Stakes three times each over a span of the years 1941 – 1945. She won the 1942 Caulfield Cup after winning the Might and Power.
A dual winner for 1944 and 1945 was Lawrence.
He was a star-crossed racer, often unable to race due to injury. He started as the favourite in three Melbourne Cups and was hurt and unable to jump in a fourth.
Again, we have to gloss over great gallopers by just a quick mention of Bernborough (1946), Comic Court (1950, Melbourne Cup same year), Prince Cortuald (1955) to find the next multiple winner.
That winner was Lord in 1958 and 1959. He is credited with a third win in 1960 when he dead heated with Dhaulagiri.
The next two years went to Sky High.
He was a versatile stallion that also won the Lightning Stakes, Canterbury Stakes, Warwick Stakes and Rawson Stakes two time each. Once again, we have a notable galloper with lines to Star Kingdom, in this case, the sire of Sky High.
He sired two stakes winners in Australia and then carried on in Kentucky.
Three-time winner Winfreux took the race in 1965, 1966 and 1967. He was within a few strides of true glory when he ran second two times in the Cox Plate to Tobin Bronze, although he did win the Cox Plate in 1965.
We must again resort to skipping winners. There are simply too many of them and so many great racers, but skip we must.
We are skipping Gunsynd (1972), Family Of Man (1977) and Hyperno (1979 Melbourne Cup) to arrive at the years of 1981 and 1982.
There is little we have not said about Kingston Town, so here we will just point out that his record three wins in the Cox Plate stood until Winx came along to win four Cox Plates 2015 – 2018, a span of 36 years.
In order to get to the final dual winner of the Might and Power Stakes, we are only mentioning Mr. McGinity (1983), Bonecrusher (1986), Almaarad (1989) Sydeston (1990), Shaftesbury (1991), Castletown (1992), Naturalism (1993), Rough Habit (1994), Might And Power (1998) and Northerly (2001).
The final dual winner was Lonhro from 2002 and 2003.
He was by Octagonal with Zabeel as his grandsire, so it is hard to imagine any other outcome that the true one.
Lonhro won over $5.7 million from 35 jumps for 26 wins and 5 placings.
After racing, he sired multiple Group 1 winners, but none better than Pierro that won five Group 1 races.
Subsequent to Lonhro, the list of winners includes Mummify (2004), So You Think (2010), Ocean Park (2012), Atlantic Jewel (2013) and Winx (2016).
Gailo Chop from 2017 was a top galloper.
This gelding out of France won almost $4.5 million. He came over to try the Cox Plate in 2015 and stuck around. He beat top horses Johannes Vermeer and Jon Snow to win in 2017. He was second to Winx by two lengths in the 2018 Cox Plate. The eight-year-old is still listed as active, but he has not raced since August of 2021.
Cape Of Good Hope won the Might and Power Stakes in 2019.
He had a poor showing in the Cox Plate and did not use the ballot exemption for winning the race to try the Caulfield Cup and it is possible the 2400 metres was considered beyond his range.
Finally, the good race mare Arcadia Queen was the 2020 winner.
She won almost $4 million from just 16 jumps for eight wins and four placings. She won early and often, including a nice progression in Western Australia, where she one the Group 3 Champion Fillies Stakes, followed by the Group 2 Western Australia Guineas and the Group 1 Kingston Town.
After taking the Might and Power easily from Russian Camelot with Humidor third, she could do no better than fifth in the 2020 Cox Plate. Her final race was a close second to Probabeel in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes. Her sire was Pierro by Lonrho. One generation further back is Octagonal, another further finds Zabeel. The ancestors on the side of Arcadia Queen dam Arcadia are equally impressive and if we were to spend an entire day looking at the lines of Arcadia Queen, we could not justly cover them all.
The Might and Power Stakes, thankfully no longer, at least for now, adding to the confusion engendered by so many race names beginning with Caulfield, is one of the great races of Australia.
Whether it is multiple winners, winners of the Melbourne Cup, Caulfield Cup or the Cox Plate, great horses have won the race.
We were not able to examine each winner, but it is safe to say, given the ones we did mention, that any horse that won this race was well above average and in some instances great.
|2019||Cape Of Good Hope|
|2010||So You Think|
|1998||Might And Power|
|1977||Family Of Man|
|1948||De La Salle|
|1923||Maid Of The Mist|