The Kingston Town Stakes is a Group 3 race of 2000 metres that is run at Randwick Racecourse in Sydney during the spring racing season.
The race is for horses aged three years and above. The running conditions are set weights plus penalties.
Kingston Town Stakes Race Details
Race Distance: 2000m
Prize Money: $200,000
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Kingston Town Stakes Betting Tips
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When Is The Kingston Town Stakes: 14/9/2024
What Time Is The Kingston Town Stakes: TBC
Where Is The Kingston Town Stakes: Randwick Racecourse
How To Live Stream The Kingston Town Stakes
To live stream the Kingston Town Stakes, TAB Account Holders can watch the race live.
More Details About The Kingston Town Stakes
Prizemoney for the race is $200,000 and the winner is exempt from ballot for a big Group 1 race later in the autumn, The Metropolitan.
While someone may be tempted to opine that since Winx has a Group 1 race named for her, a horse of Kingston Town’s abilities and contributions should have the same or more and it turns out that there is the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic held at Perth’s Ascot Racecourse during December. That makes us think there should be another race named for Winx.
A good mare named She’s Ideel by Dundeel from Ana’s Mail won the Kingston Town Stakes in 2021. She earned $84,000 for the win and then ran ninth in The Metropolitan. She got into all the big races, including the Caulfield Cup (7th) and the Melbourne Cup (10th). The Kingston Town Stakes was the last win of her $1.4 million haul from 31 jumps for 6 wins and 12 placings. She had her last jump in April of 2022 and has been moved to the breeding sheds. She was a fast runner, but it may be a while before any foals come along.
She's Ideel jumped the favourite in the race and won easily.
History of the Kingston Town Stakes
The race was first run in 1948, some 30 years prior to Kingston Town exploding onto the racing scene.
No, it was not a case of premonition of the part of the ATC. The race was called the STC Cup in the early years. That is, Sydney Turf Club, the now extinct precursor to the ATC. The name was changed to honour Kingston Town in 1984.
It was classified as a Principal race through 1978. It was lifted to Group 2 status in 1979, so Kingston Town’s two wins in 1980 and 1981 credited him with Group 2 wins. It has always seemed to us as though Kingston Town came along at the right time in terms of winning Group races. He was innocent of any malfeasance, though, he was simply the best of the time when the Group classification system was inaugurated.
The Kingston Town Stakes was one of the rare instances of a race being downgraded. It was made a Group 3 race in 1990 and has remained so since.
The length of the race has been modified at various times. It was a stayer’s race of 2400 metres from 1948 through 1990. It was cropped by 500 metres in 1991 to a trip of 1900 metres – very odd – like something that might be expected in Queensland racing. The race was run at Canterbury Park in 1991, which is a likely reason for the odd trip.
The current trip of 2000 metres came about in 1992.
Venue for the Kingston Town Stakes
With the exception noted above, the race has always been held at Sydney’s premier racecourse, Royal Randwick Racecourse.
There was racing in the location as early as 1833.
As of mid-2022, Randwick holds meetings on about 45 days per year. There are 20 Group 1, 18 Group 2 and 11 Group 3 races, although the source we consulted did not list the Kingston Town Classic, so we will bump the number to 12 Group 3 races while acknowledging that there might be others that did not make the list.
The Everest is held at Randwick in October and is still billed as the World’s Richest Turf Race.
Randwick Racecourse has a fascinating layout.
It is a pear-shaped oval with numerous starting chutes. The west end of the oval has a short straight between the turns. On the east side, it is one long, sweeping turn that connects the front and back straights. For a trip of 2000 metres, the horses make almost one entire circuit of the 2213-metre circumference of the track.
Racing History of the Kingston Town Stakes
The Kingston Town Stakes is often the final preparation for gallopers interested in the Metropolitan. Since the winner of the Kingston Town receives a ballot exemption to The Metropolitan, we thought first to search the winners’ list for horses that won both races.
Before, though, we will throw in the fact that the winner of The Metropolitan is exempt from balloting for the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Play your cards right, win your races and it seems as though horses could receive enough ballot exemptions to last an entire racing career.
Quite a few gallopers used the Kingston Town Stakes to back with a win in The Metropolitan.
Monte Carlo was the first in 1958. Next was Piper’s Son from 1964. Then came Tails (1969), Analie (1973), Lord Revinir (1991), Vita Man (1999) and Herculian Prince (2010).
The first dual winner of the Kingston Town Stakes was Valerius in 1959 and 1960. The aforementioned Tails won the race twice with an intervening year, in 1969 and 1971. Kingston Town won in 1980 and 1981 to complete the list of dual winners as of mid-2022.
The winner of the inaugural race in 1948 was Columnist. Hardly an intimidating name, but to some degree, quite creative.
Columnist won the race as a six-year-old. He was a major winner, including the Caulfield Cup, Caulfield Stakes, Autumn Stakes and two Rawson Stakes, along with some others.
A notable galloper named Foxzami won the Kingston Town Stakes in its second year of 1949.
Foxzami was a Kiwi horse that had his big wins in 1949. One of those would have been the Kingston Town Stakes, although at that time it was, of course, the STC Cup. Another good win was the Hotham Handicap, now a Group 3. Foxzami, though, will be forever remembered for winning the 1949 Melbourne Cup. It must have been a slow track, because Foxzami’s time was one of the slowest winning times in the history of the race, 3:28.5. To supply some perspective, when Comic Court won the Cup the following year, he shaved a full nine seconds of Foxzami’s winning time. Foxzami was carrying 55 kg in his Melbourne Cup win giving advantages to the horses that finished second and third, but Comic Court was given 59 kg for his Melbourne Cup the following year so we cannot use weight or track conditions as the only factors in the nine-second difference in running times.
The winner from 1953 was a gelding named Alinga.
There’s a familiar name, we thought, but the Alinga whose name we recognise was the one from 2006, a mare that won some money and was an okay broodmare. Alinga, we believe, refers to an area in Queensland near Gold Coast.
The 1956 winner of the Kingston Town Classic was Advocate. He won some good races, including the Victoria Derby. The next year he was sent to stud in of all places, Pennsylvania.
We hope they didn’t have him for supper or put him to working in the mines.
It is time to jump ahead and look at the first dual winner of the race, 1959 and 1960’s Valerius.
Valerius won the Colin Stephan Stakes twice, the Invitation Stakes, the Brisbane Cup, Chipping Norton Stakes and Parramatta Cup. Like Advocate, Valerius was exported to the U.S., but the state was not identified. Hopefully one where horses were not shot and eaten.
Valerius was a successful sire. Out of eight named foals, all were mares. There were no major stakes winners.
The race was won by Piper’s Son in 1964. We mentioned him earlier for being the first to win The Metropolitan using the ballot exemption the winner of the Kingston Town Stakes receives. He also won the Colin Stephen Stakes and the C. B. Fisher Plate.
Looking at the winners subsequent to Piper’s Son, the next one to win the Kingston Town Stakes and back in The Metropolitan was Tails from 1969.
Tails looks to be the best we have found to the year of 1969.
He was the winner of six races that would eventually be declared Group 1 quality by the ARB. He started favourite and finished third in the 1971 Melbourne Cup. Earlier in 1971 came the second win in the Kingston Town Stakes by Tails.
The next horse to win the Kingston Town Stakes and claim The Metropolitan using the ballot exemption was the 1973 winner Analie.
She was a more than handy mare that claimed wins in the Craven Plate, Queensland Derby, Queensland Oaks and others. Her best win would appear to be the Doncaster Handicap from 1973. Her earlier racing resulted in her being declared the 1972 Champion Three Year Old Australian Filly.
Moving ahead, we find another dual Kingston Town winner in the legendary winner from 1980 and 1981.
We are speaking, of course, of the legendary Kingston Town. We detail Kingston Town more thoroughly on a page dedicated to him elsewhere on this website. His record of three consecutive Cox Plate wins stood until Winx won her first of four Cox Plates in 2015.
He never quite rose to the occasion to win a Caulfield or Melbourne Cup. He was runner up in the 1982 Melbourne Cup, beaten a neck whilst carrying 59 kg by Gurner’s Lane that had a 3 kg advantage. Kingston Town did win the Sydney Cup, so the trip was not an issue. A few of his major wins other than the Cox Plate were the Warwick Stakes (three times), the George Main Stakes (two times) and the Caulfield Stakes (two times).
After Kingston Town’s two wins, we move ahead to 1991, when the winner was Lord Revenir.
He was one of the group that won The Metropolitan off his ballot exemption for winning the Kingston Town Stakes. He won almost $800,000 when that was not so easy to do. He had 34 jumps for six wins and six placings.
Our next notable winner is 1999’s Vita Man.
He won The Metropolitan in 1999 when the race had been stretched to 2600 metres. In between winning the Kingston Town and The Metropolitan, he scored a victory in the Colin Stephen Stakes. He then had a bad day and ran second to last in the Caulfield Cup. His first major win came in 1997 when he won the then Group 2 Queen Elizabeth at Flemington. The Metropolitan turned out to be his last win.
The next to double in the Kingston Town Stakes and The Metropolitan was Herculian Prince from 2010.
Winner of nine races, Herculian Prince won other good races, including the JRA Plate and the Neville Sellwood Stakes.
There was a good winner the following year when Libran won in 2011.
He beat Antonio Giuseppe to win the race, and then ran sixth next up in The Metropolitan.
The next good winner of the Kingston Town Stakes was 2018’s Avilius.
Avilius was the winner of almost $3.7 million from 39 jumps for 11 wins and 9 placings. Avilius was Brit bred and ended up working for Goldolphin after racing in Europe.
His first win in Australia, following a couple barrier trials, was a BM 91 race at Randwick, followed by a Group 3 win in the Premier Cup and then the Kingston Town. A fourth consecutive win came in the Group 3 Bart Cummings at Flemington.
After less-than-winning efforts in the Cox Plate and the 2018 Melbourne Cup and a fifth in the Group 1 Australia Cup, Avilius won two consecutive Group 1 races when he took the Ranvet and Tancred Stakes. The final win of his career was the Group 1 George Main Stakes in 2019.
The replay of Avilius winning the Kingston Town Stakes in 2018 can be seen at the following link.
It was an unfair race in two regards.
First, it was unfair to the other horses in the race.
Second, it was unfair to make Avilius run the first 1800 metres of the Kingston Town Stakes when all he needed was the final 200 metres to prove he was far and away the best in the field.
Finche, from 2019, was good enough to win over $1.4 million from just 19 jumps for four wins and six placings. While the Kingston Town Stakes was his best win, he placed or ran near the front in many races with big purses.
The 2020 winner Taikomochi is still racing, or possibly is still racing. He is okay, although a progeny of Snitzel carries a huge weight of expectations and Taikomochi has yet to meet those. The Kingston Town Stakes was his most recent win and in our view, his trainers, Waterhouse and Bott, wasted him a bit with something like 23 barrier trials. Then, who are we to question a Waterhouse?
The most recent winner, She’s Ideel, was detailed at the outset of this article.
In recent years, the winners of the Kingston Town Stakes have seemed as though they cannot be bothered with The Metropolitan, but that could have as much to do with the decline of staying races and of breeders focusing on sprinters and milers.
It does take ability to win a Group 3 race, so many of the winners of the race did manage to do good things on the track.
There was the one Melbourne Cup winner in 1949’s Foxzami, but beyond that, we did not find a Caulfield Cup or Cox Plate winner except for 1948 Kingston Town Stakes winner Columnist, that won the Caulfield Cup in 1947.
Kingston Town Stakes Past Winners
|2014||He's Your Man|
|2009||Ready To Lift|
|1976||Gold And Black|
|1972||With A Will|