As a Group 3 race of 1800 metres, the Gloaming Stakes at Rosehill Racecourse in Sydney is an age-restricted race for three-year-old horses of any gender.
The Gloaming Stakes is run under set weight conditions, with colts and gelding drawing 56.5 kg and fillies being given 54.5 kg.
Gloaming Stakes Race Details
Racecourse: Warwick Farm
Race Distance: 1800m
Prize Money: $500,000
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When Is The Gloaming Stakes: 12/10/24
What Time Is The Gloaming Stakes: TBA
Where Is The Gloaming Stakes: Warwick Farm Racecourse
How To Live Stream The Gloaming Stakes
To live stream the Bletchingly Stakes, TAB Account Holders can watch the race live.
More Details About The Gloaming Stakes
Prizemoney for the race is $500,000, as of 2022. The winner of the race receives a ballot exemption for the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes at Randwick.
Head Of State was the winner of the most recent race in 2021. This is a Chris Waller horse, so Head Of State spends more time trialing than racing. After winning the Gloaming Stakes, he has not jumped since he ran stone motherless off his ballot exemption in the Spring Champion Stakes, other than to run four trials.
Head Of State is by the U.S. Triple Crown winner American Pharoah and he earned first place money of $109,350 plus a tidy $1,000 bonus.
History of the Gloaming Stakes
The race is named for a champion galloper that came into the world in 1915. He raced in New Zealand and Australia, winning 57 races with 9 placings from 67 jumps. He fell in the only race in which he did not win or place. Gloaming is an inductee to the Australian and New Zealand Racing Halls of Fame. Maybe the length of time, or the fact that he did quite a bit of racing in New Zealand, has caused historical amnesia, but in Victoria, a racer such as this might find the Melbourne Cup renamed the Gloaming Cup. In NSW, though, the best he deserves is a Group 3 race named for him.
The race was run for the first time in 1978.
It was a Principal race in the final year before the Group classification came into usage. It was promoted to Group 2 in 1979 and remained there until 2005, when it was demoted to Group 3.
The distance of the race has had minor variations. It was cut to 1750 metres for 2001 after having been 1900 metres from inception through 2000. One more race was run at 1900 metres in 2002 and the current trip of 1800 metres came along in 2003.
As is not rare with races in NSW, the Gloaming Stakes has shifted venues for various reasons at various times. After being staged at Rosehill from 1978 through 1990, it was held at Canterbury Park Racecourse in 1991. It returned to Rosehill in 1992 through 2011. Randwick was the venue for 2012 and Rosehill has been the site since 2013.
The ballot exemption for the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes has been successfully used by many, far more than we typically see for races offering ballot exemptions to major races.
The first to win the Spring Champion Stakes off the ballot exemption granted for winning the Gloaming Stakes was Kingston Town in 1979.
Next came Best Western (1981), Sir Dapper (1983), Magic Of Sydney (1996), Tie The Knot (1997), Fairway (1999), It’s A Dundeel (2012), Complacent (2013), Vanbrugh (2015) and Ace High (2017).
Venue for the Gloaming Stakes
Rosehill Racecourse is located in Sydney, NSW. The track is approximately 20 miles west of the Sydney Central Business District.
The proper name, full name, or official name of the course is Rosehill Gardens Racecourse, but no one goes there to see vegetables growing.
Rosehill opened in 1885 and has a rich and illustrious racing history that has found all the top horses, jockeys, trainers and owners competing in some of the top races on the Australian Thoroughbred Racing calendar.
As of mid-2022, there are nine Group 1, 13 Group 2 and 14 Group 3 races held annually. Of the nine Group 1 races, eight of them are staged during the autumn portion of the racing season, with the long exception being the Golden Rose Stakes, which is run in September during the spring racing season.
The Golden Slipper Stakes for two-year-olds is one of the most prestigious races held at Rosehill, but the Golden Eagle, a special conditions race that started in 2019 and currently offers $7.5 million in prizemoney.
Rosehill is an egg-shaped oval, if we are permitted to play a bit fast and loose with eggs and geometry. For an 1800-metre event, the horses start on a short straight into the first turn, then down the long back straight to the tight turn on the south extremity of the track. The home straight is on the west side of the track and the horses use almost the entire straight to finish in front of the stands.
Racing History of the Gloaming Stakes
Compared to some other Australian Group 3 races, where the winners have had the question “Who?” immediately following their names, the Gloaming Stakes has fielded some good winners.
The first winner in 1978 was Kapalaran.
Before anyone says “Who?” we will point out that Kapalaran, a mare by Great Britain’s Showdown out of New Zealand’s Better Gleam, won two Group 1 races (Peter Pan Stakes, VATC Thousand Guineas), the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes to go with her Gloaming Stakes win.
Kingston Town was the winner in 1979.
He was the first to win the race and then win the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes off the ballot exemption. He won some other races, too. Thirty-nine others. We have an entire page devoted to Kingston Town, so all we will include at this juncture is that Kingston Town won the Cox Plate three times and was the Australian Champion Racehorse of the Year for 1980.
For a study in extremes, the horse that won in 1980, Cosmic Planet, won only three races from 20 jumps, but he did receive the benefit of winning the Gloaming Stakes when it was a Group 2. Cosmic Planet was by Planet Kingdom out of Delightful Girl and it would be natural if his connections were disappointed in Cosmic Planet. That is because Planet Kingdom was a top racer and better stallion that sired five Group 1 winners, including two-time Caulfield Cup winner Ming Dynasty.
Cosmic Planet was better as a sire than as a racer. His first progeny dropped in 1983 and his last in 1994, with the best earner being Lightning Bend out of Irish Belle that won over $630,000.
Best Western from 1981 backed his Gloaming Stakes win with the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes. He made only eight jumps for seven wins with one unplaced.
The quality of the lines of the horses participating in the Gloaming Stakes is already obvious, more so when you look at Best Western’s lines and find Bletchingly as sire, Biscay as grandsire and wait for it, Star Kingdom as great grandsire. No one in his right mind would have snipped Best Western and as a sire, Best Western produced far more stakes earnings by more than we can count, with five earning over $100,000 from racing.
Grosvenor was the winner in 1982.
He was the winner of top races, including the Caulfield Guineas, Sires’ Produce Stakes and the Victoria Derby, with a second in the Cox Plate and the Spring Champion Stakes, and thirds in the Golden Slipper and Blue Diamond Stakes. We could not count as high as would have been necessary to report on his stud career. Best Western was a eunuch by comparison. Best Western progeny would win millions of dollars in stakes, although it looks as though the best came in around $500,000 in prizemoney.
Sir Dapper, the winner from 1983, was another of those that backed with a win in the Spring Champion Stakes.
He won 13 times with four placings from 18 jumps, with Group 1 wins in the Spring Champion Stakes and the Golden Slipper Stakes.
At this rate, we will run out of space long before we run out of winners of the Gloaming Stakes, so we are jumping forward to 1997 to look at that year’s winner, Tie The Knot.
Tie The Knot was a versatile gelding that won from 1200 to 3200 metres. He made over $6.2 million from 62 jumps for 21 wins and 17 placings. This Hall of Famer and Australian Champion Stayer won the Group 1 Sydney Cup twice, which makes us scratch our heads at his dismal showings in the Melbourne Cup. He ran second to Sunline in the 1999 Cox Plate. He owned the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes from 1999 – 2002, along with dual wins in the BMW and Ranvet Stakes.
Fairway from 1999 was another versatile gelding that earned over $2.6 million from 23 jumps for 10 wins and 4 placings. His win in the Gloaming Stakes came in the midst of a six-race win streak that culminated with the Spring Champion Stakes, where he beat Shogun Lodge by two lengths to win. He beat Shogun Lodge again to win the 2000 Group 1 AJC Derby.
Based on what we have learned so far, we are apprehensive that we are passing over some good gallopers, but we have to move to 2009, when one of the all-time greats, So You Think, won the Gloaming Stakes.
They had to make up new awards to bestow on this galloper, but he took most of the old awards, too, such as Australian Champion Three Year Old in 2010 and Australian Champion Middle Distance Horse in 2011. He won the Cox Plate in 2009 and 2010, with a stat line for his career of 23 jumps for 14 wins and 5 placings.
He sired hundreds, but some of the best were Sopressa, Nakeeta Jane, Think It Over and Quick Thinker.
We find another true notable in the 2012 winner, It’s A Dundeel. We mentioned him earlier as one of the group that won the Gloaming and the Spring Champion Stakes.
Winner of over $5.3 million, this New Zealand galloper won five Group 1 races, including the Australian Derby and the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
He was retired by his connections following the win in the QE Stakes, despite the objections of trainer Murray Baker, who expressed the belief that It’s A Dundeel was anything but done.
Mr. Baker may have had that one wrong, although it is impossible to say. What is possible to say is that It’s A Dundeel was sire to some great ones, including Castelvecchio ($2.9 million), Entente ($817,000), She’s Ideel ($1.3 million) and Super Seth ($1.6 million).
We have to mention the 2013 winner, Complacent, a good horse that won nearly $1 million from just 11 jumps for five wins and four placings, because he was another of the Group that used the Gloaming Stake ballot exemption to win the Spring Champion Stakes.
We also appreciate the irony or reverse psychology of naming a horse Complacent. This horse has not been complacent in the sheds, though. He entered stud in New Zealand in 2016 and has so far produced 36 foals, some of which have won stakes, but nothing major as of yet.
This brings us to 2015, when the race went to Vanbrugh.
Compared to many of the other winners, Vanbrugh was a plodder, but he won over $740,000 from 21 jumps for five wins and two placings. He was by Encosta De Lago, so he escaped the gelder’s snippers and he was capable enough to beat the likes of Tom Melbourne and It’s Somewhat. Vanbrugh is showing early promise as a stud.
Ace High from 2017 is the next-last of the group to date to have won the Gloaming Stakes and back in the Spring Champion Stakes.
Now seven years of age, Ace High has been exported. His racing career line was 28 jumps for five wins and four placings for over $2.2 million in earnings. He won the Gloaming, the Spring Champion and the Group 1 Victoria Derby consecutively in 2017. Records indicate that he has sired six named foals to date.
Thinkin' Big from 2018 has not lived up to his lines, with High Chaparral for sire and Nothin’ Leica Cat for dam. Some others featured names we would have picked if given the opportunity to pick a line that would result in a champion galloper, with names such as Nothin’ Leica Dane, Northern Dancer, Nearctic, Bold Reason , Bletchingly, Native Dancer and THE Secretariat. He made only seven jumps for four wins and two placings before heading for the sheds. Nothin’ to report as yet on that front.
Shadow Hero from 2019 won over $1.8 million from 16 jumps for four wins and four placings. He is the last galloper to win the Gloaming Stakes and then go on to win the Spring Champion Stakes. Another good win was the Group 1 Randwick Guineas from Microphone and Brandenburg. After two more jumps following the Randwick Guineas, Shadow Hero concluded his career racing at Sha Tin.
The 2020 winner was Love Tap. He is still racing and he has won five times and placed twice from 16 jumps. It appears that his connections are moving him back in race quality and venue, but he may be resurrected for a spring campaign. He won the Gloaming Stakes easily and he is a grey, so we had to mention him, even though.
There are Group 3 races and then there are Group 3 races.
The Gloaming Stakes is the best Group 1 race we have seen that is being smothered by a Group 3 designation.
The list of winners is impressive by any standards. Any time you see names such as Kingston Town, Tie The Knot, So You Think and It’s a Dundeel as winners, you can be sure that all the best middle distance horses were in close proximity.
Gloaming Stakes Past Winners
|2022||Sharp N Smart|
|2021||Head Of State|
|2012||It's A Dundeel|
|2011||Strike The Stars|
|2009||So You Think|
|2006||All Black Gold|
|1997||Tie The Knot|
|1996||Magic Of Sydney|
|1988||Run Straight Run|