The Concorde Stakes is a Group 3 sprint for horses aged three years and above. It is run at Randwick Racecourse in Sydney under set weight plus penalty conditions in late August or early September.
The race offers $200,000 in prizemoney.
Concorde Stakes Race Details
Race Distance: 1000m
Prize Money: $200,000
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When Is The Concorde Stakes: 7/9/24
What Time Is The Concorde Stakes: TBA
Where Is The Concorde Stakes: Randwick Racecourse
How To Live Stream The Concorde Stakes
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More Details About The Concorde Stakes
The winner’s share for 2021 went to Nature Strip. We would wonder why a horse of Nature Strip’s ability would be in a race such as the Concorde Stakes, given the number of major Group 1 races he has won.
Nature Strip was using the race, which he won easily by 2.5 lengths from Wild Ruler, as a tune up for a month later, when he won The Everest to earn $6.749 million, approximately 80 times what he made from winning the Concorde Stakes.
History of the Concorde Stakes
The Concorde Stakes was first run in 1990. In the early days, it was run by the Sydney Turf Club. After the merger that produced the Australian Turf Club, the race became part of the City Tattersalls Club Meeting beginning in 2011.
Tattersalls, for any who do not know, is a social club for bookies that started in 1895 over dissatisfaction by a group of bookies who took exception to a judge’s decision regarding a race at Kensington Racecourse.
A horse race run by bookies certainly presents an interesting proposition.
From the debut in 1990 through 1996, the Concorde Stakes was a Listed event. The days of Principal races were long behind, from 1979, when the current classification system went into effect.
The race was lifted to Group 3 in 1997 and so far has failed to be promoted to a higher grade.
There have been two years when the race was abandoned. The equine influenza outbreak of 2007 and in 1996, for reasons unknown.
It was held at Rosehill Racecourse from inception through 2010, shifted to Warwick Farm for the races of 2011 and 2012, and moved to Randwick in 2013, where it has remained. It has been run at all of Sydney’s major metro tracks, then, and it might one day make it to the harbour for a jump at the Opera House.
It has always been a 1000-metre sprint, where many races have had adjustments to the trip for various reasons. It is doubtful it could be made shorter, but it could easily have been stretched to 1100 or 1200-metres. Perhaps in the future.
Race Venue for the Concorde Stakes
Royal Randwick Racecourse opened in 1833 and for people living in Sydney at that time, it must have felt like a major excursion to get out to the races. Now, the course is minutes away by motorised transportation and it is possible to imagine ambitious sorts walking to Randwick for some exercise, as we ourselves can stroll there from the central business district in under two hours.
Randwick is now used for about 45 races meetings per year. At last tally, there were 20 Group 1, 18 Group 2 and 11 Group 3 races staged there annually.
For many years, Randwick, despite staging a slew of major races, did not have that signature race that has achieved the iconic stature of a couple of the Victorian courses, such as Flemington, home of the Melbourne Cup, or Caulfield, home of the Caulfield Cup. Sydney did not have anything close to the Cox Plate. The Sydney Cup might have fit the bill, as it is similar to the Melbourne Cup, but the Sydney Cup has never received the attention of the Melbourne Cup.
That all changed in 2017 with the first installment of The Everest.
Touted as the world’s richest turf race, The Everest is the iconic race Randwick needed. It is new and lacks the cultural significance of the Melbourne Cup, but Thoroughbred connections with deep pockets all want to have a galloper in The Everest, for about $15 million good reasons. If asked, none of them would object that The Everest is not 100 years old.
For a short sprint like the Concorde Stakes, horses jump from a straight chute located on the west side of the track, run the sweeping turn that marks the north end of the course, and then finishes in from of the stands on the eastern side. Randwick is pear-shaped and the two turns on the southern side of the course are really one long, continuous turn that only comes into play for races of 2000 metres or more.
Racing History of the Concorde Stakes
There is not a lot of history associated with the Concorde Stakes. Having started in 1990, with races abandoned in 1996 and 2007 means that the race has jumped just 30 times. Throw Redzel’s three wins from 2017 – 2019 and the number of jumps is reduced to 27. The first six editions of the race were run at Listed level, further reducing the chances of finding historically significant winners.
That, however, will not prevent us from trying and our good fortune is that by the time the Concorde Stakes was inaugurated in 1990, record keeping had become the thrall of the internet and electronic records are abundant.
Here is what we discovered.
The first winner in 1990 was a New Zealand horse named West Dancer.
The Dancer part of the name immediately caught our attention and led to the discovery that West Dancer’s grandsire was none other than Canada’s immortal Northern Dancer. On the distaff side of the pedigree, West Dancer has lines connecting him to Todman and Star Kingdom.
The year of 1990 was a good one for a horse of West Dancer’s ability. Other races he won that same year were the June Stakes, the Civic Handicap and the Tatt’s City Lightning Handicap.
The 1991 winner was Joanne.
She was a bit above average and won twice at Group 2 seven times at Group 3, including two Missile Stakes and two Premier Stakes. She ran a couple of seconds in Group 2 races and was tried in four races that were already Group 1 and other races that eventually became Group 1.
Her best finish in a Group 1 was a third placing in the 1991 Oakleigh Plate. She won 16 times and placed in three races from 25 jumps, producing an enviable strike rate. Mick Dittman took the most rides on her and he was steering when Joanne closed out her career with wins in the Group 3 Missile Stakes and the Premiere Stakes.
Her results were very good.
She earned well over $700,000. She was a good racer that rewarded the investment of her connections – she just wasn’t a Group 1 horse.
Her sire was Marscay and grandsire Biscay, meaning that Star Kingdom contributed DNA, so it is no wonder that Joanne was good.
Joanne produced four named foals. Two of them were stakes winners.
Next comes Final Card from 1992.
He was a promising foal by New Zealand’s Elounda Bay from Coup De Chance. That line also had Biscay and Star Kingdom.
Final Card won the Group 1 Gadsen Stakes in 1991 and had a Group 2 win right after his win in the Concorde Stakes when he won the Theo Marks Stakes at Rosehill. He ran dead last in his last race, a Group 3 called The Shorts, which he had place third in the previous year.
He was a prodigious sire with a slew of stakes winners. One of his best was 1996 foal Card Queen that won over $300,000 and Tarot Star from 1995 that won over $650,000.
Like the other winners, Deposition from 1993 was a solid stakes earner, bringing in over $650,000 from 48 jumps for 15 wins and 8 placings. He lined up in multiple Group 1 races, but he simply was not a Group 1 horse. After winning the Concorde Stakes, though, he almost won the Group 1 George Main Stakes, losing to March Hare by a neck. He supplied another second place in the 1994 Group 1 Futurity Stakes at Caulfield, behind the winner Primacy by half a length. The horse Deposition beat into third was the formidable Schillaci.
Just Awesome from 1994 was just average, if that. He won three races from 30 jumps and his $163,000 in earnings could well have been below his selling price.
Victoria Park by Bletchingly from Victoria Peak won the Concorde Stakes in 1995. He earned over $350,000, but he needed 70 jumps to do it. The seventy jumps do qualify him for the fictional Pro Group Racing Hall of Fame.
After skipping 1996, the race returned in 1997 and was won by Armidale. Armidale only raced 29 times and he won five times and earned just under $300,000. The Concorde Stakes was his best win. Like Final Card, he produced a slew of stakes winners. His best was 2002’s Tesbury Jack, winner of well over $500,000.
New Zealand galloper Confiscate was the 1998 winner. He won 12 races from 52 jumps and won nearly $600,000. It does not appear as though Confiscate ever won beyond Group 3. He lined up in six Group 1 races without placing.
The first million dollar horse to win the Concorde Stakes was 1999’s Guineas. He won over $1.8 million. He won his first seven races while racing in Queensland. Guineas won a couple Group 2 races, but was ducked in all his Group 1 tries.
The winner from 2000 was Condetti. He was mediocre. The Concorde was his best win and his only Group win.
Phoenix Park from 2001 managed to earn almost $700,000 from 42 jumps. His best win was the 2002 T J Smith Stakes at Randwick, a comfortable win over Fair Embrace. He had a couple solid runs in Group 1 races, but no wins.
The 2002 Concorde Stakes winner was Fouardee. He won eight times from 55 jumps to earn a little over $500,000. He never won above Group 3. He stood beginning in 2006, but he passed away in 2008 after serving 11 mares, but it does not appear that any amounted to much.
Private Steer from 2003 was a good one. She won over $3.4 million from just 20 jumps. She won the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap in 2003, after finishing second in the Doomben 10,000. She beat Diamond Dane so handily in the Stradbroke Handicap that jockey Glen Boss had time to visit the loo during the race. She ran strong races in losing efforts to Shamekha and Lonrho. She beat Grand Armee to win the 2004 Doncaster Handicap. Next up, she won the Group 1 All Aged Stakes.
Private Steer dropped Second Bullet by Encosta De Lago in 2010. Second Bullet returned over $614,000. Another by the same sire was named Major Major that won $160,000.
The 2004 winner was Taikun, a modest racer that lasted for just 14 jumps. He won seven of those 14, though, and he produced a second in the Group 1 Galaxy in 2004. A fall while racing in the autumn of 2007 forced his retirement.
The 2005 winner was Red Oog. He won over $1.1 million. He notched two Group 1 wins in the 2005 Doomben 10,000 from Egyptian Prince and Takeover Target and the T J Smith Stakes in 2006, where he beat Glamour Puss and Snitzel.
Mustard was the 2006 winner. This bloke would be one of our Legends for the PGR Hall of Fame. He made 131 jumps and won over $800,000.
Mustard was foaled in 1997 and retired in 2012. He never won above Group 3. Mustard jumped in four Group 1 races without placing. We suppose he was into those races because there was nothing else left.
After skipping the race in 2007 due to horse flu, the return in 2008 saw the winner as Typhoon Zed. He won almost $1 million from 28 jumps. He won at Group 1 level in the 2008 The Galaxy and he won the Group 1 Manikato Stakes in his next start after winning the Concorde Stakes.
Friday Creek was the 2009 winner.
The Concorde Stakes was Friday Creek’s last win.
The 2010 winner was Reward For Effort by Exceed And Excel from Miss Prospect. Reward For Effort won $937,000 from just 10 jumps for four wins and two placings. He had a Group 1 win in the 2009 Blue Diamond Stakes after a second in the Group 2 Blue Diamond Prelude for colts and geldings. Reward For Effort has been prolific at passing along Exceed And Excel’s genes. His best to date would seem to be the 2014 filly out of Hold The Lion. That filly was $670,000 winner No Effort.
Decision Time was the winner from 2011. He won over $1.7 million without winning above Group 2. Decision Time won the race again in 2013.
In between the two wins by Decision Time came the 2012 winner Tiger Tees.
Tiger Tees won over $1.2 million. He had a Group 1 win in The Galaxy at Rosehill in 2014. Tiger Tees won the Group 2 Warwick Stakes in 2014, a couple years before Winx took over the race for three wins from 2016 – 2018.
Wouldn't It Be Nice from 2014 was a working horse, making 62 jumps, but he won only five times and earned around $560,000. His last win was in 2015, but he raced through 2017.
The 2015 winner, Shiraz, managed to win almost $840,000 from 41 jumps for 11 wins and 7 placings. He ran a strong second to Griante in the Group 1 The Galaxy in 2016 and he was well behind Chautauqua in the T J Smith Stakes, back when Chautauqua would still run when the barrier dropped.
The winner in 2016 was the mare Felines. She made almost $500,000 with no wins better than the Concorde Stakes.
The next three races belonged to Redzel that used the race to tune up for his wins in The Everest in 2017 and 2018. All we will say about Redzel at this point is that he won over $16 million courtesy of two wins in The Everest and that he was remarkably consistent in producing results.
Another good galloper was 2020 winner Gytrash.
He is still racing as of mid-2022 and has earned almost $4.5 million to date. He beat Redzel to win the Group 1 Lightning Stakes in 2020. He was third in The Everest in 2020 and he won the Yes Yes Yes Stakes, a $1 million special conditions race.
The following link will supply a replay of Gytrash winning the 2020 Concorde Stakes.
The list is completed with Nature Strip’s win in 2021.
The Concorde Stakes is mainly for the types that are competent at Group 3, Group 2 and Listed quality races, with an occasional Group 1 winner in the mix.
Pro Group Racing is of the opinion that this race attracts good gallopers, with many going on to win other sprint races during the spring carnival.
Concorde Stakes Past Winners
|2014||Wouldnt It Be Nice|
|2010||Reward For Effort|