The Coolmore Classic is a 1500-metre quality handicap for fillies and mares aged three years and above run at Rosehill Gardens Racecourse in Sydney during the month of March.
Prizemoney for the race is $600,000 as of 2023.
Coolmore Classic Race Details
Race Distance: 1500m
Prize Money: $600,000
How To Bet On The Coolmore Classic
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Coolmore Classic Betting Tips
When Is The Coolmore Classic: 9/3/24
What Time Is The Coolmore Classic: TBA
Where Is The Coolmore Classic: Rosehill Racecourse
How To Live Stream The Coolmore Classic
To live stream the Coolmore Classic, TAB Account Holders can watch the race live.
More Details About The Coolmore Classic
The winner’s share of $343,000 was claimed in 2023 by Espiona, a member of the Chris Waller stables. The Coolmore win came on the heels of a win in the Group 3 Mannerism Stakes at Sandown.
She is a 2018 offspring of Extreme Choice from a line that includes Not A Single Doubt and Redoute’s Choice and other top gallopers on her sire’s side. Her dam was Dahooil and that side of the table includes some top stars, such as Last Tycoon, Pins and Snippets.
Espiona has made 12 jumps for five wins and two placings for earnings above $811,000 following the win in the Coolmore.
Mr. Waller likes to keep his horses fit, so Espiona has quite a few barrier trials under her belt, although not as many as some other Waller gallopers we have seen.
The Coolmore is the feature race on a card that also offers the Group 2 races – the Ajax Stakes and the Phar Lap Stakes. Rosehill continues the galloper theme with Group 3s – the Sky High Stakes, Magic Night Stakes and the Pago Pago Stakes. The other Group 3 race on the meeting is the Maurice McCarten Stakes, which sort of breaks the theme, because Maurice McCarten was not a horse at all, but a trainer of Thoroughbreds.
The winner of the Coolmore Classic receives a ballot exemption for the Doncaster Mile and the Queen of the Turf Stakes.
History of the Coolmore Classic
The race made its debut in 1973.
The registered name is the TAD Kennedy Stakes, after trainer and former committeeman of the Sydney Turf Club Thomas Arthur Kennedy.
The current name, since 1996, is Coolmore Classic, but the race has changed names numerous times over the course of its existence.
It began as the Fillies and Mares Classic, but that name lasted for just the first two jumps. The next two jumps were called the NSW Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes, followed by two jumps as the Marlboro Classic.
The Rosemount Wines Classic persisted from 1979 through 1985 and was succeeded by the Orlando Classic, morphing into the Orlando Wines Classic for the years 1986 through 1991.
Four jumps from 1992 – 1995 saw the race being called the Winfield Classic.
The race grade was Principal from inception through 1978, moving to Group 2 when the current grading scheme came along in 1979.
The promotion to Group 1 grade came in 1986.
The trip for the race has been constant at 1500 metres and the race has always jumped at Rosehill, which to us seems more the exception rather than the rule, as racing committees seem ardent about changing things up.
Venue for the Coolmore Classic
Rosehill Gardens Racecourse in Sydney opened in 1885.
The top race held there, in terms of prestige, is the Golden Slipper Stakes for two-year-olds. The big prizemoney will be found in the Golden Eagle that jumped for the first time in 2019 and is currently offering a $10 million purse, although it does not have a Group grade associated with it.
Over the course of a season, Rosehill serves up nine Group 1 races, 13 Group 2 and 14 Group 3 races.
Sixteen of Rosehill’s 36 Group grade races jump in March.
The dimensions are fairly typical for Australian racecourses and the layout is similar to Flemington, if Flemington had slightly milder turns.
For a 1500-metre race, the horses jump from a chute on the northeast side of the track. They run a long straight followed by the tighter turn on the south, and then run the entire home straight to finish in front of the grandstands on the west side of the course.
Racing History of the Coolmore Classic
With decent prizemoney for a gender-restricted race and the lucrative ballot exemption for the Doncaster Mile and the Queen of the Turf Stakes, the Coolmore Classic is where all the better fillies and mares will be found during their autumn racing campaigns.
Further proof of the quality the Coolmore attracts is that the only multiple winner of the race was the formidable Sunline that won the race in 2000 and 2002. For reasons unknown to us, she skipped the 2001 jump; otherwise, we suspect that she would have won, as her racing in 2001 was quite impressive.
The winners’ list for the Coolmore is filthy with the better types, so we expect we will have to skip many winners, although we will look at each in the course of our examination of the list for less-heralded mares and fillies that won extensively and/or contributed productive racing offspring.
The first winner was Miss Personality in 1973.
As best we could determine, a second in the Flight Stakes was her other top result. She was a productive breeder, supplying seven colts and seven fillies, but nothing notable.
The 1974 winner was Favoured.
A form line of 23 jumps supplied an impressive strike rate, with 13 wins and 3 placings, but those results brought just $53,000 in stakes winnings, less than the amount awarded to the third place galloper in the 2023 Coolmore, Sheeza Belter that won $57,000 from the Coolmore.
The 1978 winner of the Coolmore, Princess Talaria, had good wins, the best possibly the Thousand Guineas. She was sister to the great galloper Haulpak.
She was an above average broodmare, with two colts and seven fillies, four of which won prizemoney, but the likes of sires such as Biscay, Maizcay and Vain did not make much of an impression on racing.
The 1980 winner, Stage Hit was a multiple winner of races, such as the Canterbury Stakes, and the Edward Manifold Stakes. A second in the Blue Diamond Stakes and other good results resulted in her being a Co-Champion 2YO Filly.
After racing, she supplied seven colts and six fillies. Her best was Encores by Marscay that won over $530,000.
The better racer Sheraco won the race in 1982 at Group 2 grade. That same year, she scored a Group 1 win in the AJC Oaks, along with three other Group 2 grade races.
All four of her named foals were colts, but nothing impressive came out of her.
Hooplahannah was the 1983 winner.
We would have mentioned her just for the name Hooplahannah, but she also won the VATC Victoria Handicap. Her four named foals were one colt and three fillies, but none was noteworthy.
The legend Emancipation was the winner in 1984.
With a form line of 19 wins and 1 placing from29 jumps, she deserves more space than we can give her here. She was Australian Champion Racehorse of the Year in 1984. Between 1982 and 1984, she won 15 major races, including the 1983 Doncaster Handicap. Seven of her wins were Group 1 grade and many of the other wins were Group 2 level.
She was sired by Bletchingly, so there is the Biscay and Star Kingdom connection. Her dam was Ammo Girl, with Gunsynd as grand dam sire, which also contains a connection to Star Kingdom.
She beat the best they could throw at her, including a 183 win in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes at the expense of none other than Manikato.
Her progeny, not unexpectedly, did not measure up to her, but 1985’s Royal Pardon by Vice Regal was a multiple winner, with stakes winnings in excess of $425,000.
The 1985 winner was Avon Angel, another good galloper and an obvious indicator that we will run out of space before we run out of good racers, so we will simply give her form line of 10 wins from 16 jumps and mention that she was third top filly for the 1984 – 85 season.
She supplied five fillies, four of which earned money from racing.
Bounding Away was the winner in 1987 that won above $1.4 million by winning the Golden Slipper Stakes, the Champagne Stakes, Flight Stakes and Blue Diamond Stakes for five Group 1 wins, including the Coolmore.
She was the Australian Horse of the Year for the 1985 – 86 season.
The 1989 winner, Red Express, was better than handy as a racer, but she is better known for a 1993 filly by Danehill by the name of Dane Ripper that won above $3.1 million.
Skating was the winner of more than $1.1 million and used the ballot exemption from winning the Coolmore in 1993 to notch her final win in the 1993 Doncaster Mile.
She was fabulous at stud, with seven colts and four fillies, 10 of which won races, including Murtajill and Bradbury’s Luck, both of which won well in excess of $600,000 each.
Australian Mare of the Year, Flitter won the Coolmore in 1995. She had another Group 1 win when she won the Doomben 10,000. She supplied 13 foals, although nothing truly remarkable.
Shindig won the Coolmore in 1998. Served by just two stallions, Exceed And Excel and Danehill, she supplied eight named foals, every one of which won money by racing and accounted for 21 wins.
Camino Rose was the 1999 winner of above $1 million that used the ballot exemption to run to victory in the 1999 Queen of the Turf Stakes. Her win in the Coolmore was achieved by nosing Bonanova.
We mentioned Sunline for her wins in 2000 and 2002.
The 2004 winner was Shameka.
She won above $1.8 million, with one exceptional win in the Group 1 T. J. Smith Stakes where she beat none other than Fastnet Rock. Her next jump was a Group 1 win in the All Aged Stakes.
At stud, the likes of Encosta De Lago, Snitzel and even the stallion she defeated in the Coolmore, Fastnet Rock, could not get much out of her., although one of her fillies won above $500,000.
Eskimo Queen from 2008 was a Group 1 winner of the Queensland Oaks. She beat the great Hot Danish for the win in the Coolmore by well over a length.
She was served by Fastnet Rock and dropped Dreamforce in 2012 that would win above $2.5 million.
The 2009 winner was Typhoon Tracy.
Along with the Coolmore, she had Group 1 wins in the Myer Classic, C.F. Orr Stakes (2010, 2011) the Futurity Stakes and the Queen of the Turf Stakes. She won 11 of her 20 jumps with five additional placings and just under $2.5 million.
She died shortly after dropping her first foal.
Appearance from 2013 was the winner of above $1.7 million from 19 jumps for nine wins and three placings.
Other Group 1 wins by the daughter of Commands were the Myer Classic, Queen of the Turf Stakes and the Canterbury Stakes. Her wins in the Coolmore and the Queen of the Turf Stakes came against Red Tracer.
The 2014 winner, Steps In Time, won above $1 million from 27 jumps for nine wins and four placings.
Plucky Belle from 2015 won the Coolmore in her second-last jump. The ballot exemption for the Doncaster Mile found her near the back of the field.
She was not truly exceptional, at least not by Coolmore Classic standards, but she was beating better types such as Music Magnate and Azkadellia.
The 2017 winner, Heavens Above by Ireland’s Street Cry, won above $1 million from 30 jumps for 5 wins and 10 placings. She would have been seven years of age at the time. The Coolmore was her final win and her final placing was her final jump in the 2018 Queen of the Turf Stakes, where she was third to Alizee and Prompt Response.
Daysee Doom from 2018 won more than $1.2 million from 27 jumps for nine wins and six placings.
Dixie Blossoms won in 2019, following a nice progression that saw her winning the Group 3 Angst Stakes in 2016 and 2017, the Group 2 Guy Walter Stakes in 2017 and 2018 and the Coolmore Classic in 2019.
Her win in the Coolmore was her seventh attempt at Group 1 grade. She won by 2.5 lengths from El Dorado Dreaming. Both those racers jumped $21, beating seven shorter priced mares.
Her form line of seven wins and 14 placings earned her above $1.5 million and she was nosed to second in the Queen of the turf Stakes by Kenedna.
Con Te Partiro was an import from the U.S. that won the Coolmore in 2020 as a six-year-old after winning in the U.S. She took advantage of the ballot exemption to win the Group 1 Queen of the Turf Stakes from Funstar by nearly two lengths after managing just sixth in the Doncaster, where she was 2.4 lengths behind Nettoyer and four others.
She won over $1.2 million from 25 jumps for six wins and three placings. Her status is listed as Pending, but she has not run since August of 2020, when her fifth place in the Group 1 Winx Stakes found her out by 1.2 lengths.
Krone from 2021 made 26 jumps for six wins and 10 placings and earnings of more than $1.4 million.
A U.S. galloper named Lighthouse was the winner in 2022.
She beat Mira Vision by almost two lengths to win the race, but the ballot exemptions resulted in an eighth in the Doncaster and eighth in the Queen of the Turf.
Her status is given as spelling, but she has not raced since her April 2022 jump in the Group 1 Queen of the Turf Stakes.
Her impressive form line is 19 jumps for eight wins and six placings.
A replay of her win can be viewed at the below link, where she beat the 2023 winner of the Coolmore, Espiona.
The next time we are whinging about some minor Group 3 race that supplies nothing in the line of better types as winners, we will have to remind ourselves of the Coolmore Classic.
Fillies and mares of this quality across the entire history of a major race are not common, although many of the winners have resumes that list just the Coolmore Classic as Group 1 wins.
Races like the Coolmore Classic are why fillies and mares only races are so popular and all the winners were of such quality that we feel a sense of chagrin that we could not cover each and every one of them in more depth.
Coolmore Classic Past Winners
|2020||Con Te Partiro|
|2014||Steps In Time|