The Group 3 Breeders Plate is a race for two-year-old colts and geldings covers 1000 metres of Randwick Racecourse turf. This race, along with the Group 3 Gimcrack Stakes, is the first two-year-old race of the NSW spring racing season.
It is run under set weight conditions and is worth $200,000 with a $1,000 bonus to the winner.
Breeders Plate Race Details
Race Distance: 1000m
Prize Money: $200,000
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When Is The Breeders Plate: 5/10/2024
What Time Is The Breeders Plate: TBC
Where Is The Breeders Plate: Randwick Racecourse
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More Details About The Breeders Plate
The most recent winner, as of mid-2022, was Sejardan, a bay colt by Sebring from Miss Amajardan.
Sejardan won his first start when he took the Breeders’ Plate from Zambezi River by over a length.
History of the Breeders’ Plate
Juvenile colts can be fractious when the mood strikes them, which is basically anytime they are awake. In order to participate in the Breeders’ Plate, nominated starters must participate in trials in the weeks leading up to the race in order to prove they are acceptable both as to racing ability and ability to line up in a barrier and race without incident.
The Breeders’ Plate is an important lead up to the Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes at Rosehill. The Breeders’ Plate predates the Golden Slipper by many years, but in the years since 1957, when the Golden Slipper debuted, eight horses have captured the Breeders’/Golden Slipper double.
The first was Sky High (1960), followed by Eskimo Prince (1964), Baguette (1970), Luskin Star (1977), Sebring (2008), Pierro (2012), Vancouver (2015) and Capitalist (2016).
Winning the Golden Slipper brings instant fame and high expectations, but as racers in the Breeders’ Plate, outside of racing circles, they are anonymous and unproven.
The Breeders’ Plate was run for the first time in 1906.
It has always been 1000 metres – a true sprint – except for the minor variances between five furlongs, the measuring system prior to metrication. There was one exception in 2008 when the race was stretched to 1100 metres.
It was considered a Principal race from the inauguration through 1978. From 1979 through 1991, it was a Group 3 race before being demoted to Listed quality in 1992, where it remained through 2018. It was reinstated to Group 3 for the 2019 edition.
It has always been held at Randwick except for the years of 1983, 2001 and 2004 when it was necessary to shift the race to Warwick Farm.
Venue for the Breeders’ Plate
Royal Randwick Racecourse in Sydney is the largest racetrack in NSW.
There was some racing in the 1830s, but this ceased in 1840 and the site was used for training only. When the Australian Jockey Club moved its headquarters to Randwick in 1860, racing resumed.
Randwick is run by the Australian Turf Club (ATC). Forty-five meetings are staged annually. Signature races include The Australian Derby, Doncaster Handicap and the Queen Elizabeth Stakes. The Sydney Cup is run there, but despite being very similar, the Sydney Cup does not get anything near the love lavished on the Melbourne Cup. The Everest, a specials conditions race, is billed as the world’s richest turf race.
Racing History of the Breeders’ Plate
The Breeders’ Plate has a long history that dates back to 1906. Like many races in NSW, it was affected by the 2007 Equine Influenza outbreak, but unlike the races that were simply abandoned for the year, the Breeders’ Plate was postponed and run in March of 2008.
The long list of winners contains some names that would become famous for racing exploits as older horses. The race was popular to the point of requiring it to be run in divisions four consecutive years beginning in 1975. There was a dead heat between Royal Sceptre and Beaucaire in 1938.
Obviously, with the 2YO age restriction, there have been no repeat winners.
Every place in the world that fancies racing will have races named Breeders’ Something. There is one of the bigger meetings of the year held in California, around Melbourne Cup time, where every race is Breeders’ Something or Other. Getting a search engine to return results for a Group 3 race in Australia with Breeders’ in the name proved to be quite challenging.
We accepted and rose to the challenge, however, so we can report that the first winner of the race in 1906 was Boniform. His racing record eluded us, but we did learn that Boniform was a successful stud with 74 named foals, although we could learn nothing about any of those Boniform progeny.
The winner from 1908 was Zilka.
She was the first clue we found that the Breeders’ Plate changed more than the trip and the grade of the race, with the operative part of the clue being “She,” as in mare, as in winning a race that is now restricted to colts and geldings.
Several mares later, we encounter Ventura, an obscure mare that tells us that the Breeders’ Plate was not gender restricted to colts and geldings in the year of 1911, when she won.
The 1912 winner, Beragoon, left a record that includes 1913 wins in the AJC Derby and the Victoria Derby. Beragoon left a breeding record of six named foals. We found no racing statistics for any of those six, but while we were recently berating the connections for naming a horse Elephant, we would like to praise those who named one of Beragoon’s progeny Golden Goon.
The 1913 winner was Eugeny, another mare. So was the 1914 winner, Del Monte.
The winner for 1915, Wolaroi was good enough as a racer to win the Rosehill Guineas and the VRC Derby. He was okay as a sire, with his best being a mare named Stardust that foaled in 1927 and managed to win $76,000, which was a handsome sum back in 1915.
King Carnival, the winner of the Breeders’ Plate in 1922 sounded like a familiar name to us and the familiarity was confirmed when we saw that King Carnival’s sire was the great Comedy King. King Carnival was a major winner of the Debutante Stakes, the Sires’ Produce Stakes and the Caulfield Guineas. Other ancestors in the lines include Wallace, Carbine, Musket, Grand Flaneur, Goldsbrough and The Barb.
With DNA such as that, we were dismayed to discover that we did not find a progeny record for King Carnival, as we know he was kept entire.
He was a herald of sorts, for the next year of 1923 supplied us with a true notable galloper in Heroic. Heroic is detailed on our pages devoted to the great Australian champion racehorses. Here we will say that he won most of the major races in the east. His big wins were the 1926 Cox Plate and the 1926 Newmarket Handicap. He was the leading sire in Australia from 1933 – 1939. He is, of course, an inductee of the Australian Racing Hall of Fame.
As a sire, he supplied the racing world with true greats, such as Ajax, Hall Mark and Hua, along with many others that won at the highest level.
Beyond Heroic, we did not find much in the way of good winners until we arrived at 1935 and encountered Gold Rod.
Gold Rod was the winner of 16 races. In 1936, he won the Sires’ Produce Stakes, the Hobartville and Chelmsford Stakes. His major wins in 1937 were the Futurity Stakes, the St. Leger, the Epsom Handicap and the Essendon Stakes. He won the Canterbury Stakes and Hill Stakes in 1938. He won a second Hill Stakes in 1939 and he also won the Doncaster Handicap.
The 1938 Breeders’ Plate supplied the only dead heat in a race that is over 100 years old. The tie was between Royal Sceptre and Beaucaire.
Neither was the sort to leave much of an impact on racing from a historical perspective.
The race went to Yaralla in 1940.
He won many of the same races that Gold Rod won, with two All Aged Stakes (1942/43) and a Warwick Stakes thrown into the bargain. Five of his wins were races that would become Group 1 races in the modern era.
We skipped ahead to 1959, the year Sky High won the Breeders’ Plate.
He was a generational type by Star Kingdom out of Flight’s Daughter, so the pedigree alone suggests that Sky High would be far above average. He was good to the extent that the Breeders’ Plate is not given in his list of major wins. He was the first to win the Breeders’/Golden Slipper double. Big wins for Sky High were the Victoria Derby, two Lightning Stakes, two Canterbury Stakes, the Epsom Handicap, two Warwick Stakes, two Caulfield Stakes and two Rawson Stakes.
Sky High was a productive sire, although he produced nothing like his lines would suggest. The best in terms of earnings appears to be Autobiography, a U.S. horse that won almost $400,000. A couple others won well above $100,000.
Eskimo Prince from 1963 was another top horse to win the Breeders’ Plate. He made just 18 jumps for 9 wins and 5 placings. He was by Todman and Todman was by Star Kingdom.
He was the next after Sky High to win the Breeders’/Golden Slipper double. Other wins include the Hill Stakes, Sires’ Produce Stakes, Rosehill Guineas and the Canterbury Stakes. He eventually stood in the U.S., but the figures we have suggest that none of his progeny came anywhere close to him in racing results.
The next notable we encounter was the 1969 winner Baguette.
He was another of the gallopers to win the Breeders’/Golden Slipper double. Like many of the winners from prior years, Baguette won the Sires’ Produce Stakes, the Champagne Stakes and the Newmarket Handicap. He had 15 wins and 11 placings from 31 jumps. Baguette went on to be a good stallion, with stakes earners and major race winners.
At this point, we are looking ahead to the years of 1975 – 1978, four years when the Breeders’ Plate was run in divisions.
Blue And Gold and Count Rajan were the winners in 1975.
Blue And Gold was by Biscay that was by Star Kingdom. He made 22 jumps, won 8 and placed in 3. He was a prolific sire.
Count Rajan did not leave any notable history, either racing or breeding.
For 1976, the two winners were Luskin Star and Star System.
Luskin Star was a good one, especially as a two-year-old. He was one of the small, select group to win the Breeders’ and then the Golden Slipper. He made 17 jumps for 13 wins and 3 placings.
He is an Australian Racing Hall of Fame member, if there were a Hall of Fame for stallion service, he would make it hooves down. Well, we suppose that there is a Breeding Hall of Fame, at least so far as the Leading Sire and Leading Broodmare awards would suffice.
One of Luskin Star’s best was Bold Promise, a mare out of Game Dame that won over $1.7 million from just 17 jumps.
The winner of the other division in 1976, Star System, had Star Kingdom as a grandsire, but his record as a racer is at best vague.
In the third year the race was run in divisions, 1977, the winners were Smokey Jack and Karion.
Smokey Jack nearly added his name to the list of Breeders’ Plate winners to add the Golden Slipper Stakes when he was second to Luskin Star.
The other winner, Karion, did not amount to anything significant.
The final year the race was run in divisions, 1978, the winners were Big Convoy and Starmunda.
Neither did much as racers, but Starmunda was a good sire with a number of stakes winners.
Moving on, we find a notable in 2001 winner Choisir.
He won over $2.2 million, with big wins in England and the VRC Lightning Stakes in Victoria. He is an Australian Racing Hall of Fame member and he needed only 23 jumps to earn his stakes. He was the first horse from below the equator to win the prestigious King’s Stand Stakes and Golden Jubilee Stakes at Ascot in Great Britain.
He was so good as a sire that our finger almost gave out while scrolling down the list of Choisir progeny. Alphabetically, we were only down to the “E-s” when we found a million dollar winner named Eloping. Another million-dollar winner was Japonisme. A winner of more than $2 million, was Sacred Choice out of Sacred Habit. Star Spangled Banner out of Gold Anthem was the winner of over $2 million. Twelve of Choisir’s progeny would win Group 1 races.
We have seen the name of the 2004 Breeders’ Plate winner many times.
It was Snitzel.
He won over $1 million from just 15 jumps for 7 wins and four placings. He has sired multiple Group 1 winners. One of the best was Trapeze Artist and he was also sire to two-time The Everest winner Redzel.
Sebring, the 2008 winner of the Breeders’ Cup that was delayed in 2007 due to equine influenza. He was the next following Luskin Star to win the Breeders’/Golden Slipper double. He won over $2.4 million from only six jumps for five wins and one place. He sired eight gallopers that won at Group 1 level.
Pierro was the notable winner of the race in 2011.
He also filled the double and was the winner of over $4.5 million as the son of Lonhro. He was a good sire, producing the likes of Australian Derby winner Levendi, Pierata, Arcadia Queen and Shadow Hero to mention some.
Another top horse to win the race was Capitalist in 2015.
He is the last galloper to win the double of the Breeders’ Plate and the Golden Slipper Stakes. He also won the Magic Million Classic in 2016.
It is early to judge him as a stallion, but he has already given us a Group 1 winner in Captivant, winner of the Champagne Stakes.
The rest of the list is Khan (2016), Performer (2017), Dubious (2018), Global Quest (2019) and Shaquero (2020).
The Breeders’ Plate has a lot of male horses for winners because it is less common for them to be gelded as two-year-olds. Also affecting the winners’ list for the race is the fact that at some point, the race was closed to fillies.
Plenty of good racers have won the race, with winners that have made the Australian Racing Hall of Fame and/or have enjoyed great careers as stallions serving mares for profit.
Breeders Plate Past Winners
|2022||Empire Of Japan|
|2009||Run For Wilson|
|1984||Take Your Partner|
|1983||My Mate Zero|
|1975||Blue And Gold|