The Golden Pendant is a Group 2 fillies and mares’ race of 1400 metres. It is held at Rosehill Racecourse in Sydney under set weight plus penalty conditions.
The fillies and mares must be at least three years of age.
Golden Pendant Race Details
Race Distance: 1400m
Prize Money: $400,000
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When Is The Golden Pendant: 21/9/2024
What Time Is The Golden Pendant: TBC
Where Is The Golden Pendant: Rosehill Racecourse
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More Details About The Golden Pendant
It is a newer race, having jumped for the first time in 1996. It has a nice spring racing slot on the calendar, jumping near the end of September.
The race is now called the Golden Pendant Stakes, but it was the Research Stakes when it started, in honour of the one-time Australian Horse of the Year, a mare named Research that was a four-time Group 1 winner.
Prizemoney for the race is $400,000.
The 2021 winner was Vangelic and she earned $227,000 for winning as the third favourite in the starting prices.
She controlled the race and led right out of the barriers, only briefly challenged at the end by Nimalee.
The replay of that race can be seen at the below link.
History of the Golden Pendant
When the Golden Pendant debuted in 1996, it had no level assigned. That was true of the following year, too. The race was classified as Listed from 1998 through 2000, rising to Group 3 in 2001 and remaining there until 2015 when Group 2 status was assigned.
The first 15 editions of the race were staged at the true sprint distance of 1200 metres. From 2012 onwards, the race has been 1400 metres, that trip that is a challenge to the true sprinters trying to move up and to milers that are accustomed to having an extra 200 metres for their final kicks.
The race was originally the Research Stakes after the 1988/89 Australian Horse of the Year.
She was a good one Research was.
She made 32 jumps for nine wins and seven placings, earning over $1.3 million. That amount of money from when she raced would be approximately a bit over $4 million in 2021 dollars.
That is a tidy sum, especially considering it came from just 32 races, which works out to about $42,000 every time she jumped.
Her big wins were the AJC Derby, the AJC Oaks, the Flight Stakes and the VRC Oaks. We were mildly surprised to discover that after all that winning, she was sent to the USA in early 1997.
She was definitely deserving of a race named in her honour in NSW, where it takes more than winning a couple races, the way it seems to happen in a certain southern state.
Race Venue for the Golden Pendant
The race has always been held at Rosehill.
The proper name is Rosehill Gardens Racecourse and it is located in the western suburbs of Sydney. It has been in operation since 1885.
The big race staged at Golden Slipper Stakes for two-year-olds. There are eight other Group 1 races, 14 Group 2 and 13 Group 2 races.
Racing History of the Golden Pendant
There is not a lot of history to the Golden Pendant.
It has only been around since 1996 and has jumped just 25 times. Like many other races in Sydney, it was not held in 2007 because the racing authorities in NSW were keen to stop the spread of the equine influenza epidemic that ran rampant through many NSW based stables.
Many, but not all, races were lost in 2007.
Better that than the alternatives that could be imagined.
If it had been the U.S., the horses would have been wearing equine surgical masks for protection, while at the same time vigorously protesting government Big Brotherism. Many of them would have died, shouting that their freedom was more important than their lives and refusing live-saving interventions.
It cost NSW some races and some horses did die, but just imagine that the illness had taken something like More Joyous, that was foaled in 2006, away from us.
At any rate, the race has been run 25 times since 1996 and no horse has ever won more than once.
When we look at the winners, we will be looking for two things.
One is any that have gone on to win at Group 1 level and the other is any who came back for another try and how they fared in the attempt.
Fiddlestick was the first winner in 1996.
Fiddlestick had Vain as her grandsire. Fiddlestick may have had his blood, but she did not have his ability. We expected and discovered that Fiddlestick had lines connecting to Ireland’s Star Kingdom on her dam’s side. It often feels, as we are exploring the history of Australian Thoroughbred racing in the 20th century, that every winner had some connection to Star Kingdom. He was Star King in Ireland and was the Champion Australian Sire five times, which we all know is based on quality and not quantity.
When Fiddlestick won the Golden Pendant, one of those she beat was Dane Ripper. It was Fiddlestick’s only win in a race that would elevate to Group level.
Next came Unison.
Her win in 1997 was one of six that she posted in her brief, 13-jump career. Four of her wins were at Rosehill, with one at Randwick and another at Warwick Farm. She was given a Group 1 jump in the Galaxy, be she was handily beaten by two longer-price horses.
Like Fiddlestick, she beat Dan Ripper in a race, this one another quality handicap at Rosehill.
Unison’s great grandsire was the champion Biscay and Biscay’s sire was…you guessed it, Star Kingdom.
For 1998, the first year the Golden Pendant was given Listed status, the winner was a New Zealand mare named Dantelah.
Her sire was Great Britain’s Volksraad and her dam was a U.S. mare named Frosting that never raced and was sent to New Zealand in 1990.
Dantelah’s line contained some impressive northern hemisphere horses, including Triple Crown winner Secretariat, Danzig, Bold Ruler and Canada’s Northern Dancer. There were multiple crosses to Canada’s Neartic, Italy’s Nearco and the U.S. champion Native Dancer.
Dantelah won the Golden Pendant in 1998. She came back for another try in 1999, but was beaten a neck by Brief Kiss. Dantelah capped her winning with a victory over paint in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate and then ran a good second to Isca in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap at Flemington.
By now, anyone who is paying any attention at all will know that the 1999 winner of the race as Brief Kiss.
Brief Kiss had a brief career, just 21 starts, for five wins and three placings. The Golden Pendant was her best win. She lined up to try the race again in 2000, but lost by a nose to Spinning Hill. She had her opportunity at Group 1 level in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes at Rosehill, but she had the misfortune to occupy a barrier that contained Sunline, so she was well back in the field, which would serve as a statement to describe much of her racing career.
Quick quiz: which horse won the Golden Pendant in 2000?
Easy one. It was Spinning Hill.
She was the best we have encountered to this point in the brief history of the Golden Pendant.
She won just under $2.3 million for 40 jumps for 14 wins and 14 placings. Spinning Hill won at Group 1 level three times, with two wins in the Manikato Stakes and another in the Lightning Stakes.
Spinning Hill had a good patch that included four consecutive wins beginning with the Golden Pendant that included three Listed wins. She had a close second to Falvelon in the 2001 Group 1 Doomben 10,000.
Spinning Hill would extract revenge from Falvelon when she beat him in the 2002 Group 2 Schillaci Stakes and her third consecutive win came at the expense of Bomber Bill in the Group 2 Schweppes at Moonee Valley.
Mica's Pride won in 2002.
Her larger contribution to the sport of Australian Thoroughbred racing was serving as dam to Criterion, with Australian Champion two-year-old colt Sebring doing the service.
Classy Dane, the winner from 2003, never won above Group 3, which is the rating the Golden Pendant carried at the time. She did manage a close second to Ambulance in the 2003 Group 2 Stan Fox Stakes and a third behind Unearthly and Santissima in the Group 1 Flight Stakes.
The next winner we examined was 2006’s Coolroom Candidate.
She took the race from Napa Sky and it would be her last win at Group level, although she had earlier won at Group 2 level when she took out the Sapphire Stakes at Randwick.
When the Golden Pendant returned in 2008, the winner was Judged.
Judged won the race from Illuminates, and then won the Group 3 Bill Ritchie Handicap from Rockwood before running a respectable fifth in the 2008 Epsom Handicap.
Hot Danish, from 2009 was one of the better Golden Pendant winners we found.
She made 31 jumps for 16 wins and nine placings, earning over $2.3 million. She took the Golden Pendant from Madame Pedrille, with bigger wins to follow in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes from Melito and the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 from Whobegotyou, both in 2010.
The winner from 2010 was named Trim.
She was a modest horse and the Golden Pendant was her best win.
She only raced 17 times for three wins. The most interesting aspect to her was her lines. She was by Lonhro out of Firm. Her grandsire was Octagonal and her great grandsire was Zabeel, but she did not inherit their abilities.
The next winner was 2011’s Screen. She was similar to Trim, with the same sire and grandsire. On her dam’s side, Screen had lines to Zedative. None of Screen’s seven wins was better than the Golden Pendant.
The year of 2012 serves us the best winner of the lot.
It was More Joyous, winner of over $4.4 million from 33 jumps for 21 wins and three placings. She won eight Group 1 wins, winning the Queen of the Turf Stakes twice. Her big win was the Doncaster Handicap that same year from Shoot Out.
She lined up second favourite in the 2010 Cox Plate and challenged So You Think for the lead at one point, but the 2040-metre trip proved too much for her and she faded to fifth.
Following that Cox Plate disappointment, she then reeled off four consecutive wins, including the Group 2 Breeders’ Classic, the Group 1 Futurity Stakes, the Group 2 Canterbury Stakes and the 2011 Group 1 Queen of the Turf Stakes with a comfortable three-length win over Melito.
Sharnee Rose from 2013 was similar to many of the others in that she was competent, but not great. Early in her career, she was a distant second to Atlantic Jewel in the 2011 Caulfield Guineas. Next up from her Golden Pendant win, she took the Group 3 Angst Stakes from Queenstown for her final win.
Arabian Gold from 2014 was better, but not by much. She did win over $998,000 from her career, but her best finish in a Group 1 race was a second in the 2014 Queensland Oaks to Tinto. Another good win for her was the earlier 2014 XXXX Gold The Roses at Doomben, where she easily beat Tinto.
Peeping, the winner in 2015, went on to win the 2016 ATC Coolmore Classic and she won six times from just 14 starts, with five placings.
The following year of 2016 produced a good winner by the name of Tycoon Tara. She would earn over $1.1 million, with a Group 1 victory in the Tatt’s Tiara at Doomben.
Shumookh, the 2018 winner, did okay by herself by earning over $500,000 from just 10 starts for three wins and four placings. The connections gave her seven barrier trials before they let her race for real. She ran third to Shoals and Torvill in in the Group 1 Surround Stakes and she won the Group 2 Tristarc Stakes from Invincibella in easy fashion.
Mizzy, from 2019, earned over $1.6 million from 26 jumps for just four wins and 10 placings. She beat Champagne Cuddles twice, once for a win in the Group 2 Sheraco Stakes, followed by her Golden Pendant win two weeks later. She ran third to Kolding and Sunlight in the 2019 Golden Eagle, where most of her prizemoney was earned.
Subpoenaed, the 2020 winner, lined up with Mizzy in the Golden Eagle, but she fared far worse, finishing 16th.
Pro Group Racing think some good mares have won the Group 2 Golden Pendant.
More Joyous was obviously the head of the class, but a few of the other have won at Group 1 level, so the Golden Pendant has been producing strong fields, even if many of the winners were retired to serve as breeders.
Golden Pendant Past Winners