The Golden Slipper Stakes is the world’s richest two-year-old turf race. It is run at Rosehill Racecourse in Sydney under set weight conditions by horses of any gender over 1200 metres.
Prize money for the race as of 2023 is $5 million.
Golden Slipper Stakes Race Details
Race Distance: 1200m
Prize Money: $5,000,000
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When Is The Golden Slipper Stakes: 23/3/24
What Time Is The Golden Slipper Stakes: TBA
Where Is The Golden Slipper Stakes: Rosehill Racecourse
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More Details About The Golden Slipper Stakes
Shinzo, a colt by Snitzel out of Samaready, was the winner in 2023.
His share of the Prize money was $2.8 million, where he jumped $16, higher than six others in the field, to win by over a length. He came into the race a week after winning the Group 3 Pago Pago Stakes in another comfortable win.
The Golden Slipper Stakes is run, as of 2023, at a Rosehill meeting that features a total of five Group 1 races. The others are the Ranvet Stakes, George Ryder Stakes, The Galaxy and the Rosehill Guineas. There are also three Group 3 races and one Listed grade race.
You might think that the Australian Turf Club could have scrounged up at least one Group 2 race, just for the sake of representation.
In days gone by, the Golden Slipper Stakes was run at a meeting with different Group 1 races, with the exception of the George Ryder Stakes, but the way the racing schedule is formed almost makes a mockery of the word calendar. That is their prerogative and sometimes we like what they do with the schedule, while at other times, we wish they would leave well enough alone.
The Golden Slipper Stakes gets all of the best two-year-olds, though, and it is one of the most popular races in Australia, for more than five million reasons.
Gai Waterhouse has prepared seven winners of the race, followed by T. J. Smith with six. Bart Cummings trained four winners, but Bart’s career somewhat predates the race by three or four years.
History of the Golden Slipper Stakes
The first Golden Slipper Stakes was held in 1957. It was won by the legendary Todman, sired by Star Kingdom. Star Kingdom also sired the next four winners of the race, so we think that perhaps the race could be called the Star Kingdom Sires’ Produce Golden Slipper Stakes Cup Handicap.
Thankfully, we write about the races and are not responsible for naming the races.
The Golden Slipper Stakes was the first race with $1 in prize money in the state of New South Wales.
From inception through the adoption of the metric system by Australia, the race trip was given as six furlongs. It has been given as 1200 metres since 1973. Six furlongs is greater than 1200 metres by seven metres.
The Golden Slipper Stakes was a Principal race from 1957 through 1978 and became Group 1 grade in 1979 when the group grading system was put into use.
Venue for the Golden Slipper Stakes
The race has always been at Rosehill Gardens Racecourse in Sydney.
That is something in and off itself, as many races are often moved for various reasons, but mainly when a track shuts down temporarily for improvements.
The facility opened in 1885 and the developer even built a private railway line to connect to the main line in the city of Clyde.
As of 2023, Rosehill annually offers nine Group 1, 13 Group 2 and 14 Group 3 races.
The Golden Slipper Stakes would have to be considered the premier race at the facility, but since 2019, Rosehill has its own mega-money race, the Golden Eagle, which offers $10 million in prizemoney for a field of horses aged four years.
For a 1200-metre race such as the Golden Slipper Stakes, the racers jump from barrier placed approximately at the head of the back straight. After the straight, they must navigate a tight turn on the east side of the track in order to hit the home straight and finish in front of the stands at the end of the home straight on the south side of the course.
Racing History of the Golden Slipper Stakes
We are going to examine the list of winners of the Golden Slipper Stakes from the earliest to the most recent jump in order to look at some great gallopers that have won a race that is without question the most significant two-year-old race in Australia.
The winner of the first Golden Slipper Stakes in 1957 was Todman.
We earlier mentioned that his sire was the Irish stallion Star Kingdom, but Todman was somewhat anomalous for a racer in the late 50s. He made just 12 starts in an era where even the entires with royal pedigrees were expected to race.
All we will say about Todman as a racer is that he beat Tulloch to win the 1957 Champagne Stakes. Tulloch beat Todman that same year in the AJC Sires’ Produce Stakes. Excuse us for calling it the AJC, but the ATC was not to appear for another 50 years.
Todman was certainly a prolific sire, but only two of his progeny, Imposing and Blazing Saddles, won above $100,000. Imposing won $227,000 with three Group 1 wins in 1979 and would stand to supply eight-time Group 1 winner Super Impose. Blazing Saddles won at Group 1 level, but made just 14 starts.
The 1958 winner, Skyline, was another Star Kingdom offspring. Skyline had a shortened career due to a severe injury. He recovered, but was never the same horse that won the Golden Slipper, the Hill Stakes and the AJC Derby. He was brother to Sky High, so these lines represent Australian Thoroughbred racing royalty.
The next winner was 1959’s Fine And Dandy.
Another of Star Kingdom’s offspring, Fine And Dandy was a gelding that made 45 jumps for 15 wins and 14 placings. He beat Wenona Girl in the 1961 STC Civic Handicap.
Skyline’s brother Sky High was the winner in 1960.
He is the fourth, from four Golden Slipper Stakes jumps, offspring of Star Kingdom to win the race.
Sky High won the Champagne Stakes and the Victoria Derby that same year of 1960. The year of 1961 brought wins in the Epsom Handicap, the MacKinnon Stakes, Rawson Stakes and the Caulfield Stakes.
He won the Caulfield Stakes again in 1962 along with a second Rawson Stakes win. He won 29 and placed in 19 races from his 55 jumps. All that racing earned him £77,000 – a considerable sum in those days.
The winner in 1961 was the fifth of Star Kingdom’s offspring to win the Golden Slipper.
She was Magic Night.
This mare made just two jumps in Australia. She beat Young Brolga to win the Golden Slipper. Young Brogla returned the favour by beating her in the ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes.
Magic Night went overseas and plied her trade in France, where she won multiple Group 1 races.
Pago Pago was the winner winner in 1963. There is our little pun for the day.
His win was delayed by track conditions and the race actually jumped four days after it was originally scheduled.
Pago Pago made just 10 jumps for nine wins and one placing. Those nine wins came when he raced as a two-year-old. His other good wins were the VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes, the SAJC Breeders Stakes and the VATC Merson Cooper Stakes.
We often see the name of Pago Pago in pedigree charts.
He stood in the U.S. for much of his stud career. His best there was the 1978 colt Island Whirl that won over $1.1 million USD. When he returned to stand in Australia in 1979, he supplied Pago Escort that won $287,000. So while his offspring were not wildly exceptional, his lines were passed to horses that did produce top racers and breeders.
If we were to arbitrarily assign eras to the Golden Slipper Stakes, we would have to say that the first era would find us skipping the likes of Eskimo Prince (1964), Reisling (1965) Storm Queen (1966), Sweet Embrace (1967), Vain (1969), Baugette (1970) and Luskin Star (1977).
We resume with the 1978 winner, Manikato.
He won the Blue Diamond Stakes that same year, supplying a rare double in those two prestigious races. Manikato, if he were Winx, would have the Futurity Stakes and the William Reid Stakes named after him, thanks to his four wins in the Futurity and five wins in the William Reid.
He made 47 jumps for 29 wins and 13 placings to earn above $1.1 million when the accomplishment required more than a Group 1 win and some good finishes in other races, as seems to be the case today.
Manikato was the Australian Horse of the Year for the 1978/79 season. He did not supply offspring because he was gelded, but all the same, it is a shame that he died in 1984 from a form of aluminum poisoning.
He was one of the original inductees into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame in 2002.
The next winner we want to examine is Marscay from 1982.
He was by Biscay, which makes Star Kingdom his grandsire. Marscay made 15 jumps for eight wins and three placings.
His larger contribution was as a stallion. Many of his offspring raced in Hong Kong and won big Hong Kong money. He sired five Oz racers that earned above $1 million, from Excellerator ($2.2 million) to March Hare ($1.1 million). His 1990 daughter Bint Marscay won over $1.5 million, including the 1993 jump of the Golden Slipper Stakes.
To get to Bint Marscay, we skipped some better types, including Sir Dapper (1983), Inspired (1984), Rory’s Jester (1985), Bounding Away (1986), Marauding (1987) and Canny Lad (1990).
Bint Marscay needed only 10 jumps for four wins and four placings to earn her $1.5 million. She won three of her first four jumps and finished second in the other. The third win of those four tries was the Golden Slipper.
She supplied two foals to Dehere, one to Danehill, one each to Scenic and Woodman. Three of those five won money racing, with the best being Bollinger, a 1999 filly by Dehere that won over $670,000.
The winner in 1995 was Flying Spur.
He was a colt from the second crop by Danehill, a name we see almost as often as we see that of Star Kingdom when we examine breeding tables.
He made 20 jumps for six wins and eight placings. In our view, after the Golden Slipper, his best wins were the Australian Guineas and the All Aged Stakes, both in 1996. His win in the Golden Slipper Stakes came at the expense of Octagonal, although the starting prices suggest that neither Flying Spur nor Octagonal was supposed to win.
Many of Flying Spur’s offspring race in Hong Kong. His top earner in Australia was the 2003 colt Mentality that won over $1.9 million.
Space considerations find us skipping the likes of Ha Ha (2001), Polar Success (2003) and Dance Hero (2004) to look at a true notable, 2006 winner Miss Finland.
Miss Finland came from a strong line. Her sire was Redoute’s Choice and her grandsire was Danehill. If anyone were to look back far enough, Star Kingdom in in there on the sire’s side. The dam’s side offers some of the best blood North America has to offer.
She beat the better galloper Haradasun in the 2007 Memsie Stakes and the 2006 H.D.F. McNeil Quality, with other good wins against the likes of Casino Prince and Anamato.
She retired from racing after 26 jumps for 11 wins and 6 placings and over $4.6 million in prize money.
At stud, she had her pick of the best, supplying foals to Dundeel, Street Cry, Animal Kingdom, Deep Impact and others. A 2013 colt by More Than Ready won big in Japan, while the 2012 filly Stay With Me by Street Cry won over $500,000.
We are skipping Sebring (2008), Phelan Ready (2009), and others to find the 2016 winner of the Golden Slipper Stakes, Capitalist.
Capitalist was by Written Tycoon.
Capitalist serves as a prime example of how prize money in racing has escalated. He won over $3.5 million from just seven jumps for four wins and two placings.
Most of his earnings came from winning the Magic Millions 2YO Classic and the Golden Slipper in the same year.
Sent to the sheds, Capitalist has proven more valuable. His best to date are Profiteer, a 2018 colt out of Athena Lass that has already won $1.4 million and Captivant from that same crop that has won over $1.1 million to date.
We are skipping 2017 winner She Will Reign, 2019 winner Kiamichi and 2020 winner Farnan to conclude with the 2021 winner, Stay Inside.
Stay Inside foaled in 2018 and is done with racing after six jumps for three wins and over $2.2 million in prize money. He beat Anamoe by almost two lengths to win the Golden Slipper.
His lines are essentially a Who’s Who of Australian bloodstock, with names such as Nothin Leica Dane, Danehill, Sir Tristam and Danzig on the side of his dam Nothin Leica Storm.
In the lines of Stay Inside sire Extreme Choice, we find the likes of Not A Single Doubt, Redoute’s Choice, Danehill, Danzig and 1990 Golden Slipper winner Canny Lad.
Stay Inside has yet to supply any offspring, as of 2023, but there is little doubt that a stallion with lines such as his will hopefully be standing for many years.
The list of winners of the Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes is filled with some of the best racers to be found, at any grade, at any distance.
The quality carried through to the breeding sheds as well, with many of the better winners going on to be better progeny producers.
He was declared Australia’s leading sire in 2006/07, due in no small part to
Golden Slipper Stakes Past Winners
|2017||She Will Reign|
|2000||Belle Du Jour|
|1981||Full On Aces|
|1959||Fine And Dandy|