The Aspiration Quality Handicap is a Group 3 race of 1600 metres for fillies and mares aged three years and above run at Randwick Racecourse in March.
The name is typically given as simply Aspiration Quality, since quality indicates handicap running conditions.
Aspiration Quality Handicap Race Details
Race Distance: 1600m
Prize Money: $200,000
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When Is The Aspiration Quality Handicap: 2/3/24
What Time Is The Aspiration Quality Handicap: TBA
Where Is The Aspiration Quality Handicap: Randwick Racecourse
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More Details About The Aspiration Quality Handicap
Prizemoney for the race is given as $160,000 for 2022. It received prizemoney boost to $200,000 for the 2023 jump.
That jump was won by Thalassophile, a now four-year-old mare by Not A Single Doubt that has won five and place in eight from 19 jumps.
She races for Chris Waller and she earned $110,000 for the win
Since its inception in 2006, the race has jumped at the Randwick Guineas race card.
History of the Aspiration Quality Handicap
The Aspiration Quality is a newer race that made its debut in 2006.
There have been quite a few racers, of all genders named Aspiration, but none seem race-name worthy so we can only guess that the race is run in honour of breathing.
The 1600-metre trip has never changed, but the race did shift from Randwick to Warwick Farm Racecourse in 2011 and 2013.
It jumped as a Listed Grade race from inception through 2013 and was lifted to Group 3 grade in 2014.
Venue for the Aspiration Quality
The race has apparently found a home at Royal Randwick Racecourse in Sydney.
Randwick is possibly the premier metro racecourse in Australia, although Flemington fans might argue otherwise.
Randwick has been staging races for almost 200 years and as of 2023, holds more Group grade races than any other venue in Australia.
One major attraction is The Everest, the world’s richest turf race, with $15 million in prizemoney. The race is contested by horses representing one of 12 slot holders, who pay a princely sum to field the best sprinter they can engage.
Randwick’s legacy races at Group 1 grade include the All Aged Stakes, Queen Elizabeth Stakes and Doncaster Handicap in the autumn, with the Epsom Handicap, The Metropolitan and the Flight Stakes being a few of the better spring races.
For 1600-metre races, the horses jump from barriers set up near the top of the back straight, made a sweeping turn onto a short straight, and then one more sweeping turn before heading for the finish line at the end of the home straight in front of the stands.
Racing History of the Aspiration Quality
For us, the Aspiration Quality is a mixed bag with regard to racing history.
On the one hand, a Group 3 race restricted to fillies and mares aged three years and above is not going to attract the best class of racers. Connections with the better types are aiming at Group 1 races, with the best going to the prestigious weight-for-age races. A race such as the Aspiration is easily dismissed as a consolation race.
On the other hand, since the race history is entirely in the 21st century, we have good records of pedigrees, racing resumes and in the case of fillies and mares, accurate, in-depth breeding records.
The race has jumped just 17 times as of 2023 and supplied 16 winners. The lone exception is Nettoyer that won the race in 2019 and 2020.
The first winner of the Aspiration Quality was named, rather interestingly, Lord Of The Land.
You would think it would have been Lady Of The Land, would you not?
We found six gallopers by the name Lord Of The Land and not a single one was a female horse, yet it seems that no one has caught this apparent contradiction.
The Lord Of The Land with an Australian connection was a horse foaled in 2000 by a U.S. sire named Timber Country out of an Australian mare named Lady Capel. There are some notable ancestors in the lines of Lord Of The Land, including Mr. Prospector from the U.S. and Last Tycoon on the dam’s side. Other than dam Lady Capel though, Lord Of The Land’s lines are entirely northern hemisphere.
He is credited with winning the Aspiration Quality though, so we can think of only two possible conclusion how a northern hemisphere galloper that sired one offspring could have been in a fillies and mares race.
One is that he had gender-affirming therapy of one sort or the other. Or, he could have been rung-in disguised as a filly, which would have made the Fine Cotton Affair look like amateur hour.
The other is that the gender restrictions reported for the race – fillies and mares aged three and above – were not in place during 2006.
As intriguing as the first theory might be, looking at the race from2006 shows that the third place runner was Daniel’s The Man. Our reliable source shows that in 2006 at least, the eligibility was Four-Years-Old and Upwards.
Of the seven that jumped in that first edition of the Aspiration Quality, three were mares, while the other four were geldings or stallions.
Seems like only a few paragraphs ago that we were crowing about 21st century races supplying good records.
Lord Of The Land was the winner of seven races with four placings from 31 jumps and $310,000 in prizemoney.
The 2007 winner was Banc De Fortune, a name that gives no true indication of gender.
Banc De Fortune was a mare that made 14 jumps for three wins and three placings for under $200,000 in earnings. The Aspiration was far and away her best win. By this time, it appears that the gender requirement for the race had been changed to fillies and mares and age eligibility was switched from four to three years.
Banc De Fortune was served by better stallions, including four foals by Fastnet Rock and one each by Redoute’s Choice and Sebring. There were some stakes winners, but nothing we would deem significant.
Next came 2008 winner Pravana.
The Aspiration Quality was her only good win.
Pravana supplied three named foals, with one by notable sire More Than Ready and one by Snitzel – Ragazze – that won three minor races.
Illuminates won in 2009.
She made 57 jumps for 10 wins and 17 placings for $890,000. That sound like the form line of a better gelding. Illuminates managed to win three Listed Grade races and her win in the Aspiration came when the race was Listed grade.
She supplied three foals, none of which made a major impact.
We found a better one in the 2010 winner Sacred Choice.
Given the earlier winners, we were not expecting a form line of 39 jumps for 9 wins and 11 placings for above $2.1 million in stakes. She was by Choisir and her lines extend to the likes of Danehill, Danzig, Biscay and Northern Dancer on the sire side of the pedigree table, while the lines on dam Sacred Habit’s side present Sire Tristam and others.
Sacred Choice won the Group 2 Emancipation Stakes in 2010, but one of her crowing achievements was beating THE Typhoon Tracy in the Group 1 Myer Classic at Flemington, while another was a two-length win in the Group 1 Doncaster Handicap. More Joyous was in the field, but was apparently not herself that day.
After racing, she supplied three by All Too Hard and two by More Than Ready and one by Star Turn, but it does not appear as though any of her offspring was noteworthy.
The 2011 winner, Warpath, was just average, although she did win seven of her 13 jumps with one additional placing. She won the race in one of the two years the Aspiration Quality jumped at Warwick Farm in her second-last jump. The connections must have been hoping to capture lightning in a bottle, as her final race was the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes at Rosehill. She finished ninth of 15, but she was not too far back.
Like many of the mares from that era, she was served by Not A Single Doubt for three foals, All Too Hard and Redoute’s Choice. It would appear that her best though, was a 2015 filly by Stratum named Positive Peace that won nine races and above $500,000.
Fibrillation was the 2012 winner.
She won four races. The Aspiration was still a Listed grade race when she won, but next up, she won the Group 3 Epona Stakes at Rosehill. Her winnings amounted to a bit above $493,000.
She supplied one named foal aby All Too Hard that did not bother to leave a form line, although some digging by us revealed a gelding named Matakauri that never made it onto a metro course.
The name of the 2013 winner, the second and last time the Aspiration Quality was shifted to Warwick Farm was Thy.
Her form line was about average for the race – 16 jumps, four wins and three placings for just under $300,000. She was served for all three of her foals by Savabeel, but we feel confident that our overlooking the three will not miss anything of note.
Diamond Drille from 2014 was one of the better ones to win the Aspiration Quality.
She won almost $1 million from 18 jumps for five wins and two placings. She shocked the racing world with her fifth and final win when she jumped $41 and won the Group 1 Queen of the Turf Stakes a nose from Gypsy Diamond, where only Bonaria was priced longer. She beat three good racers in Red Tracer, Streama and Catkins, which would supply ample justification for putting handy types into major races.
She supplied one foal by Pierro that left little impact.
We thought we were onto something when we saw the name of the 2015 winner, Adorabeel.
She was by Savabeel with Zabeel as grandsire, so when we saw her mediocre form line, it was something of a letdown. The Aspiration Quality was her best win and none of her offspring was particularly noteworthy.
The 2016 winner, Heavens Above, was a million dollar winner by Street Cry. Her form line was 30 jumps for 5 wins and 10 placings. Her best win by far was the 2017 Coolmore Classic, where she started $26 to beat favourite Omei Sword and 10 other shorter-priced racers, including Global Glamour and Dixie Blossoms.
She is aged 11 years as of 2023, but she does not show a progeny record.
The 2017 winner was Elle Lou by Snitzel.
Now deceased, she made 37 jumps for seven wins and eight placings for a bit above $500,000 in winnings.
The Aspiration was her best win.
Karavali was the 2017 winner.
She won five races, the best of which was the Aspiration, where she beat the good racer Nettoyer that would go on to win the race in 2019 and 2020.
Nettoyer is the only multiple winner of the race. She made 45 jumps for seven wins and eight placings to earn over $2.5 million.
She was by the good sire Sebring, so her grandsire was More Than Ready. She jumped $41 in the 2020 Doncaster Mile, beating three priced in single figures. Kolding was in the field, as was Super Seth, Melody Belle and Brandenburg.
Her other good win was in the Group 1 Queen of the Turf Stakes, where she beat the heavy favourite Probabeel when she jumped $26 to Probabeel’s $2.15.
Missybeel won in 2021.
She was by Savabeel with Zabeel for grandsire. Her form line of 45 jumps for seven wins and nine placings was about average for winners of the Aspiration Quality. Her winnings were a bit over $447,000. The Aspiration was her best and final win. Like other winners, she jumped for long money, in this case $61 as the longest priced in the field.
Nettoyer also jumped, seeking to add a third Aspiration Quality to her resume.
Missybeel nosed favourite She’s Ideel for the win and both claim connections to Zabeel, thus the similarity in names.
The winner for 2022 was Le Lude.
She made 34 jumps for five wins and eight placings, with the Aspiration being her only major win, where she jumped favourite and won by more than four lengths.
We honestly did not think we would find as many good winners as we did for the Aspiration Quality. We found several that won at least one Group 1 race and some that had some good form lines and prizemoney totals.
As for a male horse winning the first jump in 2006, we never suspected that a male had snuck into the field. That would be a tough one to pull off, especially since Lord Of The Land was an entire. It would be far easier to sneak a filly into a males’ only race and with the number of racers now competing as geldings, it would not be hard to find spare parts to complete the ruse.
Aspiration Quality Handicap Past Winners
|2007||Banc De Fortune|
|2006||Lord Of The Land|