The Liverpool City Cup is an open handicap sprint race of 1300 metres for all horses aged three years and above.
The race has been staged at Randwick since 2016 and is held near the end of February or early March, according to the calendar.
Liverpool City Cup Race Details
Race Distance: 1300m
Prize Money: $200,000
How To Bet On The Liverpool City Cup
Our Top 3 Recommended Online Bookmakers To Bet With For The Liverpool City Cup:
Liverpool City Cup Betting Tips
When Is The Liverpool City Cup: 24/2/24
What Time Is The Liverpool City Cup: TBA
Where Is The Liverpool City Cup: Randwick Racecourse
How To Live Stream The Liverpool City Cup
To live stream the Liverpool City Cup, TAB Account Holders can watch the race live.
More Details About The Liverpool City Cup
Prizemoney for the race is $200,000 as of 2023, so when Ellsberg won in 2022, his share of the then $160,000 prizemoney worked out to $84,000, a paltry pittance for this winner of over $3.3 million, mostly from his three most recent races, where he won the Group 1 Epsom Handicap, and then won the $1 million Five Diamonds Prelude. He won the $2 million Five Diamonds the following month.
he race has been at Royal Randwick since 2016. The meeting features two Group 1 races – the Chipping Norton Stakes and the Surround Stakes. Three Group 2 races – the Guy Walter Stakes, Skyline Stakes and Sweet Embrace Stakes make this meeting a good precursor to the rest of the autumn racing.
The better type of sprinters use the race for preparation and the winner is granted an exemption from balloting for the Group 1 Doncaster Handicap.
History of the Liverpool City Cup
The race has had numerous changes to the trip, race grade and venue.
The Liverpool City Cup dates its existence to 1970. There was an earlier race called the Liverpool Handicap prior. Another race known as the Warwick Farm Autumn Cup was raced as the Liverpool City Cup in 1970.
There have been no other names for the race, we suppose because naming it Liverpool was confusion enough. Liverpool City is actually a local government area on the southwest side of Sydney, with a mayor and city council and other trappings of government.
In 1970, the race covered 2400 metres. We typically expect a staying race when we hear the name of a city followed by cup, but after the first jump, the race was abbreviated to 1400 metres for the jumps in 1971 and 1942.
It remained 1400 metres from 1973 through 1978. Reduced to 1200 metres for the races in 1979 through 2007, the current trip of 1300 metres was arrived at in 2008.
It was a Principal grade race until the Group classification system came into usage, when it was granted Group 3 grade in 1979.
Like many of the races at the Randwick meeting we mentioned earlier, the Liverpool City Cup has alternated between Sydney metro courses. It began at Warwick Farm, and then started alternating with Randwick. After a couple jumps at Randwick in 1980/81, the race found a home at Warwick from 1982 – 2000. It has since been back and forth for various stints between the two venues. The last time Warwick Farm had it was from 2010 through 2015.
Venue for the Liverpool City Cup
Since it appears that the Liverpool City Cup has found a home at Randwick that is what we will describe as the venue. Our observation is that it appears as though Racing NSW and the ATC have been consolidating races at Randwick, as several that used to be homed at Rosehill, and Warwick in particular, have been held at Randwick for some time now.
Randwick opened in 1833 and is considered the premier metro horseracing track in NSW. The venue holds more Group grade races than any other in the country. The race that solidified Randwick’s place on the racing map is a special conditions race called The Everest, where slots are sold to 12 connections that try to book the best sprinter to go after the top prize of the $15 million race that bills itself as the world’s richest race on turf.
Other prestigious events held over the course of the year include the Australian Derby, the Queen Elizabeth Stakes, the Sydney Cup and the Doncaster Handicap. As of early 2023, Randwick presents 20 Group 1, 18 Group 2 and 11 Group 3 races.
For an oddly distance race of 1300 metres, the racers jump from a chute on the south side of the course. They then make a slight bend and gallop down a long straight that leads into a sweeping turn before the home straight and a finish in front of the spectator stands on the east side of the course.
Racing History of the Liverpool City Cup
We saw a few instantly recognisable names when we looked at the list of winners of the Liverpool City Cup. Other details about the history of the race include 1974, when the race was run in two divisions. That may have been because the track is only 23 metres wide at the post, as compared to the 28 metres of Randwick, out of safety concerns. There have been just two multiple winners of the race and in one of those synchronicities that only racing supplies, those multiple winners combined to win the race four consecutive years, from 1989 through 1992, with the first two years belonging to Boasting and the second two years going to All Archie.
As we go through the list, we will be looking for winners of major races, those that earned better career prizemoney and those that possibly contributed at stud after concluding their racing careers.
Blue Plume was the winner of the first race. He was of entirely northern hemisphere origins, mainly Great Britain. Other than winning the Liverpool City Cup, he placed in the H.E. Tancred in 1969 and the Fernhill Handicap in 1967.
Abdul was the winner in 1971.
This New Zealand galloper appealed to us for being a grey entire that made 66 jumps for 17 wins and 12 placings, although we do not know what that translates to in terms of prizemoney.
Abdul won the Group 1 ATC All Aged Stakes in 1971 as well. We found two sources that credit him with winning the 1970 Cox Plate, while another source claims that the winner that year was Gay Poss.
A controversy! Those are rare in Thoroughbred racing, are they not?
Not really, most racing rorts concern niggles such as how many times a hoop uses the crop, which horse bumped the other, along with the assorted positive swab, trainers using cruel training tactics, or one horse being substituted for another.
We got down with the research and found additional sites that give the 1970 Cox Plate to Abdul, so we will ignore the source that gave the race to Gay Poss.
The definitive answer, in our view, came into sight when we discovered that Gay Poss had jumped favourite in the 1970 Cox Plate, but finished sixth, one spot ahead of none other than Gunsynd. We learned that in 1970, first place in the Cox Plate was worth $21,000 in prizemoney and a $600 trophy.
A Kiwi gelding named Zambari won the Liverpool City Cup in 1972. He was unexceptional, except that he made 91 jumps and was winning major races as late as 1975.
In 1974, when the race was run in two divisions, one of the winners was a mare named Toltrice. She won 14 races, including four that are now Group 1 grade races.
In the sheds, she supplied a remarkable 14 foals by some of the better stallions of the time, such as Vain, Danehill and others of that quality.
The other division in 1974 went to Itchy Feet.
He was by the notable U.S. sire Mahogany, but he was not a notable racer. One reliable source says that Itchy Feet made only one jump for zero wins, so we have a second controversy, although nothing by comparison to which galloper won the Cox Plate and which did not.
To this stage of the history of the Liverpool City Cup, we have seen some good gallopers and some productive breeders. We could expect more of the same, as races such as this seem to supply better than handy winners, so we want to jump ahead to 1989 and 1990, when Boasting won the race twice consecutively.
Boasting was a gelding by Crown Jester out of Constant Chatter. His lines do contain some northern hemisphere horses, but he was mainly Australian, with the legendary Baugette as his grandsire, with ties to Star Kingdom on his dam and sire’s side, and Biscay for a grand dam sire.
The next two jumps of the race belonged to All Archie, first across in 1991 and 1992.
All Archie made it into top races. Along with winning the Liverpool City Cup twice, he won the Group 2 Challenge Stakes and the Group 3 Royal Sovereign Stakes. He ran second to Show County in the 1991 Canterbury Stakes, but the runner he beat into third was none other than Zabeel.
Our next stop is all the way to 2002, when it was Bomber Bill that won.
Bomber Bill made 98 jumps for 23 wins and 11 placings, results that earned him almost $1.9 million. We were not too keen on those 98 jumps when it was time to look at Bomber Bill’s form.
He won his first seven jumps racing at Ascot in Western Australia.
He won the Group 1 Australia Stakes at Moonee Valley in 2001. His next Group 1 win was the 2003 The Goodwood at Morphettville. His last win was the 2003 Group 3 Rubiton Stakes at Sandown.
Our next winner was Danleigh in 2008.
Danleigh was a gelding by a U.S. sire, but he managed to win over $2.5 million despite coming from the land of dirt tracks. To be fair, the U.S. is running far more turf races than it had in the past.
Danleigh was a big deal in 2009, when he had Group 1 wins in the All Aged Stakes and the Manikato Stakes. He won the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes in 2010 and the Chipping Norton Stakes in 2011. He had Group 2 wins spanning the years of 2006 to 2012 and had four second place runs in Group 1 races, once again spanning the years of 2006 to 2012.
Danleigh left a form line of 63 jumps for 10 wins and 19 placings and won above $2.5 million.
Ofcourseican was a 2006 mare by Mossman with ties to Canny Lad, Bletchingly, Biscay and Star Kingdom on her dam’s side.
Her Group 1 win was the 2012 Coolmore Classic.
She did not make more than a million in race earnings, but she supplied six foals, one of which was a 2016 colt by Pierro named Persan that won above $1.7 million. He is now aged six, as of early 2023 and is listed as active under the tutelage of Ciaron Maher and David Eustace.
When we saw the name of the winner of the 2014 Liverpool City Cup, we thought that this was our “What was this horse doing in this race”?
Then again, the winners we have examined have been better than initially expected, so the name of the 2014 winner, Terravista, did not surprise us too much.
Terravista was northern hemisphere on the side of his sire Captain Rio. A few Aussie horses came along in the more recent generations on his dam’s side.
He was gelded, but he made just 32 jumps for 11 wins and 7 placings for a haul of $2.6 million. He recorded a Group 1 win in the 2014 Darley Classic and three years later, produced an unexpected Group 1 win in the 2017 Lightning Stakes. He nosed Chautauqua to win the Darley, so we should hate him, but our appreciation for Chautauqua does not extend to disliking horses that bested him. Besides, Chautauqua paid him back by beating him soundly in the Group 1 T. J. Smith Stakes.
Another good winner of the Liverpool City Cup was 2015’s It's Somewhat.
This gelding by the shuttle stallion Dynaformer raced 49 times for 9 wins and 13 placings. His prizemoney was almost $3.5 million. He shocked the racing world to a degree by winning the 2017 Doncaster Handicap half a length from Happy Clapper. It's Somewhat jumped for $31 with 11 of the 20 in the field considerably shorter.
The 2021 winner was Think It Over.
This gelding by the legendary So You Think made 35 jumps for 12 wins, 11 placings and over $7.1 million in stakes. Reported as active and spelling in the early months of 2023, we might see Think It Over race again, or maybe not.
Think It Over has won at Group 1 grade with the 2021 George Ryder Stakes and the 2022 Queen Elizabeth Stakes, which was his last jump. Considering that he beat the uber-racer Zaaki half a length in the Queen Elizabeth, there is no reason to shut him down just yet.
We admit to being surprised at the quality we found on the list of winners of the Liverpool City Cup. Often, Group 3 races leave us begging for good winners, but in this instance, we had to skip many of the winners in order to be able to say things about the better types we found on this list.
Liverpool City Cup Past Winners
|2023||Think About It|
|2021||Think It Over|
|2018||Crack Me Up|
|2007||The Free Stater|
|2005||Sam Sung A Song|
|1999||Return To Go|