The Chipping Norton Stakes is a Group 1 race of 1600 metres held at Randwick Racecourse in Sydney in late February or early March, depending on how the calendar falls.
The running conditions are weight-for-age the total prizemoney for the race is $600,000.
Chipping Norton Stakes Race Details
Race Distance: 1600m
Prize Money: $600,000
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When Is The Chipping Norton Stakes: 24/2/24
What Time Is The Chipping Norton Stakes: TBA
Where Is The Chipping Norton Stakes: Randwick Racecourse
How To Live Stream The Chipping Norton Stakes
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More Details About The Chipping Norton Stakes
When she is not busy winning the Melbourne Cup, as she did in 2021, the champion mare Verry Elleegant has enjoyed winning the Chipping Norton Stakes in 2021 and 2022.
Winning the 2022 jump of the race brought Verry Elleegant another $349,000 to add to her almost $15 million haul to date.
She has been exported and she raced in France a couple of times, finishing stone motherless in her first try and placing third of six in her other European jump.
We suspect foul play, because there has never been a French horse born that could beat Verry Elleegant. She won 11 Group 1 races as a New Zealand galloper, with much of her success due to the prowess of her trainer, Chris Waller.
A replay of the Australian Racehorse of the Year (2020/21), Australian Champion Stayer (2021/22) and Australian Middle Distance Racehorse (2020/21) winning the 2022 Chipping Norton Stakes can be viewed at the following link.
As great a trainer as Waller might be asked why Verry Elleegant missed out on Australian Champion Sprinter, but just in a tongue-in-cheek fashion, because she did win at 1400 metres.
The race is much anticipated, as it is one of the first Group 1 races on the calendar year in New South Wales.
Some of the best gallopers to grace Australian turf have won the race, but two stand out head and withers above the rest – Winx and Tie The Knot, both four-time winners of the race.
One of the main attractions for trainers and connections is the fact that the winner of the Chipping Norton Stakes receives not one, but two ballot exemptions for the Group 1 Doncaster Handicap and the Group 1 Sydney Cup.
History of the Chipping Norton Stakes
The namesake of the race is the Sydney suburb of Chipping Norton and is part of the City of Liverpool. No, not the town from whence The Beatles sprung forth. Some in NSW cannot seem to abandon the idea that they are really living in England, so they use British names for anything.
There are two Thoroughbreds named Chipping Norton, a gelding from New Zealand and a filly from France. Neither was deserving of the name, in our opinion. The New Zealand galloper won one Group 3 race and as for the French Chipping Norton, it appears that the only running she did was from her stall to the trough.
We are not aware of any persons named Chipping Norton, but it would be a great name for a professional golfer with an excellent short game.
The Chipping Norton Stakes made its debut in 1925 as a 1-1/4 mile race before metrication made the race 2000 metres. In 1972, the race was given a 2100-metre trip until 1980, when the current distance of 1600 metres was established.
The race was graded as Principal from the beginning through 1979, after which the Group classification system took over and declared the Chipping Norton Stakes a Group 2 grade race. The winners from 1980 through 1985 would thus be credited with a Group 2 win, as the final lift to Group 1 did not come along until 1986.
The venue for the Chipping Norton Stakes appears at time to be some sort of home and away arrangement between Warwick Farms and Randwick racecourses.
The race began at Warwick Farm, but shifted to Randwick from 1939 due to World War II, where it remained until 1953. The best information available then lists the race at being back at Warwick Farm from 1979 through 1991. It was over to Randwick for 1992 before returning to Warwick for the races from 1993 – 2000.
It was back to Randwick for 2001 before returning to Warwick from 2002 – 2007. Randwick had it back for two jumps in 2008 and 2009.
Warwick was again the venue from 2010 – 2015, with Randwick coming along again and since in 2016.
It seemingly has been everywhere in NSW except Rosehill and the actual Liverpool City suburb of Chipping Norton.
Venue for the Chipping Norton Stakes
Since it has been at Randwick from 2016, we will claim that as the venue for the race.
Officially, Royal Randwick Racecourse after some bowing and scraping to QE II in 1992, the track lists its opening date as 1833.
Prestigious races include the Group 1s Australian Derby, Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Sydney Cup and All Aged Stakes. The marquee race at the moment is The Everest, a special conditions race that carries no Group designation, but at least for now, it is billed as the world’s richest turf race.
For 1600-metre races, the horses jump from the south side and almost immediately hit the back straight. They run two turns before hitting the home straight to finish in front of the spectator stands on the east side of the course.
Racing History of the Chipping Norton Stakes
We were recently tasked with writing about Tasmanian races, where all we hoped for was a recognisable name that had won a Group 1 race.
The Chipping Norton Stakes, by contrast, supplies such an embarrassment of riches that it is harder to determine which to leave out as opposed to which to include.
The list of notable winners begins with Windbag in 1926 and continues without pause through the likes of Amounis, Bernborough, Comic Court, Tulloch, Rain Lover, Super Impose, Octagonal, Tie The Knot, Lonhro, Winx and Verry Elleegant.
The List of winners of the Chipping Norton Stakes includes six horses that won the Melbourne Cup.
Verry Elleegant was the most recent. She won the Chipping Norton in 2021 and 2022, with her Melbourne Cup win in 2021.
It requires going all the way back to 1969 to find Rain Lover. Unlike Verry Elleegant, he won the Chipping Norton just once, but the Melbourne Cup twice, in 1968 and 1969.
Delta was the winner in 1952 following his 1951 Melbourne Cup win.
The year prior, Comic Court won the 1951 Chipping Norton following his 1950 Melbourne Cup win.
Phar Lap won both races in 1930 and the winner of the second jump of the Chipping Norton Stakes, Windbag, won the Melbourne Cup in 1925.
There are winners of the Cox Plate and the Caulfield Cup sprinkled throughout the list of Chipping Norton Stakes winners, but we thought to develop a list of horses that won the Chipping Norton that took advantage of the ballot exemptions and won the Doncaster Handicap and/or the Sydney Cup. The earlier bit about winning the Melbourne Cup was mostly to convince ourselves that a 1600-metre winner could go double the trip and win over 3200 metres.
We found several that won the Chipping Norton and the Sydney Cup.
Most recent was four-time Chipping Norton winner Tie The Knot (1999 – 2002) that won the Sydney Cup in 1998 and 1999.
A galloper named Apollo Eleven won the Chipping Norton in 1973 and 1975, with the Sydney Cup victory coming in 1973.
Carbon Copy, you knew this was coming, won the Chipping Norton twice, in 1950 and 1951, but only won the Sydney Cup once in 1949.
Rogilla won the Chipping Norton in 1935 and the Sydney Cup in 1933.
In almost every instance, the winner of the Chipping Norton had won the doubly long Sydney Cup prior to winning the shorter race. That irritates our concept of stayers starting with shorter races and training up in trip.
As for winners of the Chipping Norton to win the other ballot exemption, the Group 1 Doncaster Handicap, the only one we found was Super Impose, winner of the Chipping Norton in 1991 and 1992 that won the Doncaster in 1990 and 1991.
It seemed a bit odd to find more Chipping Norton winners succeeding in the Sydney Cup, but not the equidistant Doncaster.
We believe no galloper has won the Chipping Norton, the Doncaster Handicap and the Sydney Cup in the same year, in fact, only Apollo Eleven and Carbon Copy won both races in the year the ballot exemption would have applied.
Super Impose won both races in 1991, just to give an idea about the value of the ballot exemption supplied to Chipping Norton Stakes winners.
There may be others that might be revealed as we dive deeper into the list of Chipping Norton winners, but that remains to be seen.
Switching to multiple winners of the Chipping Norton Stakes, the list expands.
The most recent was Verry Elleegant in 2021 and 2022.
Winx won the race four times from 2016 – 2019.
A galloper named Shoot Out won in 2012 and 2013.
The next further back was Tie The Knot from 1999 – 2002, entitling the connections to claim their horse had won the race in two different centuries.
Super Impose had Chipping Norton victories in 1991 and 1992.
Apollo Eleven had wins in 1973 and 1975.
Tulloch, similarly, had two wins with an intervening year, winning in 1960 and 1958.
Carbon Copy had dual wins in 1949 and 1950.
There was a racer named Katanga that won the race in 1944 and 1945.
Lord Neagh had dual wins in 1936 and 1937 and was the only galloper to win the race three times, following the first win in 1933.
Most of the names we have encountered to this point are for horses that are known well beyond racing and many of the winners have been chronicled with entire articles, so great was their ability.
So, first off, we want to have closer looks at dual winners of the Chipping Norton Stakes that were not quite as famous as some of the truly notable gallopers.
We will begin with the 2012 and 2013 Chipping Norton Stakes winner, Shoot Out.
Shoot Out was a colt by Ireland’s High Chaparral from the New Zealand dam Pentamerous.
Foaled in 2006, all of his lines on his sire’s side were northern hemisphere types. Southern hemisphere lines were on the dam’s side and included Kiwi mare Johnny Loves Jazz and Jazz Concert.
Shoot Out won four Group 1 races. In addition to the Chipping Norton, he won the Randwick Guineas, the Derby and the George Main Stakes.
He made 37 jumps for 10 wins and 11 placing in better races such that his career earnings were above $3.2 million. He won two Group 2 races and a Group 3. If ever you were to want to buy a racehorse, Shoot Out would have made a good choice, because he sold at auction as a yearling for just $16,000.
Next, we will look for the 1944 and 1945 winner, Katanga.
Katanga foaled in 1936 to a Brit sire named The Buzzard. The lines connect back to Carbine, one of the true legends of racing.
Like Shoot Out, Katanga was primarily of northern hemisphere extraction, but he did have some Australian ancestors further back.
Unlike Shoot Out, though, Katanga raced in an era when records were not quite as precise as they are nowadays, so we could locate no reliable racing record for him.
The name of Apollo Eleven is probably not as familiar as are some of the others, so here is some history for him. We mentioned earlier that he was one of two racers to win the Sydney Cup after gaining the ballot exemption for winning the Chipping Norton Stakes.
He was a Kiwi racer. In addition to his two Chipping Norton wins and the Sydney Cup win, he won the Auckland Cup in 1973, along with the Group 1 Tancred Stakes and the Queen Elizabeth Stakes, making 1973 a memorable year.
Apollo Eleven was an entire, which we found surprising as he made 87 jumps during his racing career for 12 wins and 16 placings. His progeny record shows just one foal, and 1979 filly out of Sky Kate named Pay To Play.
The Chipping Norton Stakes is one of the elite Group 1 races held each year. The race dates back to around the time the W.S. Cox Plate got started, so there is the tradition.
So many notables won the race that had we decided to look at some of them, they would have deserved an entire article, even a book or a movie, as was the case with Phar Lap.
Chipping Norton Stakes Past Winners
|2020||Te Akau Shark|
|2007||He's No Pie Eater|
|2002||Tie The Knot|
|2001||Tie The Knot|
|2000||Tie The Knot|
|1999||Tie The Knot|
|1987||Our Waverley Star|
|1986||Heat Of The Moment|