The Group 3 Neville Sellwood Stakes in one of just a few Australian Thoroughbred races restricted to horses aged four and above.
The 2000 metre race is run under quality handicap conditions at Rosehill Racecourse during the autumn racing season, where $200,000 in prize money is on the line.
Neville Sellwood Stakes Race Details
Race Distance: 2000m
Prize Money: $200,000
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When Is The Neville Sellwood Stakes: 30-3-24
What Time Is The Neville Sellwood Stakes: TBA
Where Is The Neville Sellwood Stakes: Rosehill Racecourse
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More Details About The Neville Sellwood Stakes
Zeyrek won in 2023 and was paid $110,000 for the win and the six-year-old French gelding has acquitted himself somewhat since coming over from France for his first appearance at Rosehill in a barrier trial in March of 2021.
He runs for the Hawkes boys and he is listed as active.
His win in the Neville Sellwood Stakes was not surprising, since he jumped favourite and beat another French horse, the second favourite Sunshine Rising. Two other runners in the field give France as their land of origin.
Mon Dieu! Sacre Bleu!
First, it’s French horses. Next thing you know, everyone is going around affecting the style and lifestyle of Marcel Marceau. The French obviously know that Australia has the lowest population per capita of mimes in the world.
Zeyrek last jumped in May of 2023, as of late July, where he ran fifth in the Group 1 Doomben Cup, which was won by the French horse Huetor! Zeyrek’s form line as of now sits at 23 jumps for five wins and five placings, good enough to earn $605,000.
In the past, the Neville Sellwood Stakes was run at the Rosehill meeting that featured the Golden Slipper Stakes and The BMW but racing authorities have always demonstrated a willingness to modify the racing calendar for various reasons.
The race was held on 25 March 2023 for the most recent jump, one week subsequent to the 2023 Golden Slipper Stakes.
The BMW was held at the meeting with the Neville Sellwood Stakes, but the race is now going by its more original name, the Tancred Stakes. The Tancred Stakes and the Storm Queen Stakes are the Group 1 races for the meeting. There are two Group 2 and four Group 3 races on the day, so failing to visit Rosehill on Golden Slipper Day, we would advise that going to the meeting the following week will still offer some of the better racers.
History of the Neville Sellwood Stakes
Neville Sellwood (2/12/22 – 7/11/62) was a great jockey made greater by having at various times, the likes of Todman and Tulloch to carry him around. His death, obviously premature by any measure, was the result of falling from his mount at a racecourse near Paris, France.
The race had its debut in 1980 and was known as the Neville Sellwood Stakes through 1990.
Various iterations of the race name have seen it as the Five Stars Stud Quality Handicap, the Quick-Eze Handicap, the Stephenson Food Service Stakes, the highly unwieldy Canterbury Bankstown Express Neville Sellwood Stakes and the Cellarbrations Hong Kong Jockey Club Stakes.
The trip for the race has been more stable – 2000 metres – with a drop to 1900 metres in 2010, the year the race was held at Canterbury Racecourse.
The race grade was Listed from inception through 2010. It was made into Group 3 grade in 2011 following the merger of the Australian Jockey Club and the Sydney Turf Club that resulted in the current day Australian Turf Club.
Venue for the Neville Sellwood Stakes
Rosehill Gardens Racecourse in Sydney is one of the premier metro tracks in Australia.
Racing commenced in 1885 and as of mid-2023, Rosehill holds nine Group 1 races, 13 Group 2 and 14 Group 3 races over the course of a year.
For 2000 metre races, the horses jump from barriers at the end of a short chute located in close proximity to the grandstands on the northwest side of the course. There is a nice, long straight of nearly 450 metres before the first turn, a long sweeper that leads onto the back straight. After negotiating the tighter turn on the south extremity, the racers proceed onto the home straight to the finish in front of the stands.
Racing History of the Neville Sellwood Stakes
We did not immediately recognize any of the names on the list of Neville Sellwood Stakes winners. We see some that suggest connections to better or great Australian racers, but the fact remains that many of the winners have been northern hemisphere racers looking to qualify for the Melbourne Cup when the season rolls over to spring.
We will examine each winner but will not report on them here unless they won Group 1 races, significant prize money or served as breeders that produced formidable offspring.
The first time a race is run is always of historical import, as is true for anything being done for the first time that is somehow worth remembering.
The first time the race jumped in 1980, it was won by the gelded Iko.
Iko has tenuous ties only to Australian bloodstock through his dam, his dam’s dam and his dam’s dam’s dam. The sire was Cindy’s Son, a U.S. galloper that averaged below $1,000 for each of his 14 jumps.
Other than that, he was a gelding and that he won the Sellwood, we could locate nothing about Iko.
The next winner, More Mink, was a gelding with the only claim to fame being winning the Sellwood, being beaten into second in the Group 1 All-Aged Stakes by Rare Form in 1983 and losing to Kingston Town in the Group 3 Premier Stakes in 1981, another second-place finish, but this time, he was ahead of the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes winning Prince Ruling. We recently spent an examination on the Doncaster Prelude and feared that we would get through the entire list without finding one mare for a winner until 2013. Not so the Sellwood.
Look Aloft was the winner of the Sellwood in 1985. There was nothing compelling about her, though, other than that her ability was sufficient to win the Group 1 Queensland Oaks in 1984. She beat nothing of note but was just another of a long list of horses with mostly northern hemisphere lines.
After racing, she supplied nine named foals, from good sires that included Danzatore, Snippets and Sir Tristam, but all her foals were eminently forgettable.
With the discovery that the 1987 winner, Out Of Sight, was a mare, we were able to abandon any need to find a mare for the winner of this race
. Most of her racing was in New Zealand and her name might have come from the fact that at the end of races, she was so far back as to be out of sight.
While he was not much of a racer, the 1988 winner’s name was irresistible to us.
He was Ostensible, a U.S. horse that made 23 starts and won eight races, including the Craven Plate and the City Tattersall’s Club Cup. He beat another Yank horse, Authaal, that won the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes and the Group 1 Underwood Stakes, with a third in the Caufield Cup.
Ostensible was reputedly a decent sire, quantity-wise, but none of his progeny was good enough to win above $100,000.
A decent Kiwi mare named Round The World was the 1989 winner.
She had five wins and won $411,000, including a Group 1 win in the 1987 Queensland Oaks. She supplied four foals; the best won $152,000.
Protara's Bay won the race in 1994 and this gelding’s story somewhat summarises the types racing in the Neville Sellwood Stakes. He fetched just $5,000 when purchased in 1991.
We found something decent when we arrived at 1998, the year the Neville Sellwood Stakes was won by Star Covet. The name alone reveals the rather distant connection to Star Kingdom through sire Covetous to Luskin Star and Kaoru Star.
This gelding made 52 jumps for six wins and ten placings. He earned $832,000.
The mare Gypsy's Daughter won in 2000.
She earned $211,000, but she supplied a good gelding named Rolling Pin that was by the good sire Pins. Rolling Pin won almost $440,000.
A good Kiwi mare named Inaflury by Zabeel won in 2001.
Her form line of 31 jumps for nine wins and six placings returned over $1.1 million in prize money. She won four Group 2 races and capped her form with a win in the Group 1 Thousand Guineas in 1998 by beating Danelagh and St. Clemens Belle, so Inaflury had good ability.
Her stud record was far less impressive than her racing career.
Another mare, another Zabeel daughter, 2004 winner Shower Of Roses had 15 jumps for five wins and two placings and earnings of $621,000.
She was good from the outset and had a Group 1 victory in the Group 1 Storm Queen Stakes that was run that year as the Arrowfield Stud Stakes. She beat a few better types, but she had just one foal in 2005 by Encosta De Lago that failed to fire as a racer.
More of Zabeel, this time as grandsire, with Octagonal as sire, was represented in the 2005 winner, Jeremiad. This Aussie gelding’s dam, Lament, had lines connecting to Star Kingdom, so between Zabeel and Star Kingdom, we are in pedigree ecstasy.
Suffice it to say that Jeremiad never came close to the results of his line.
He did earn above $407,000 from just 29 jumps for eight wins and five placings; he was pretty good in this lot of Neville Sellwood Stakes winners.
The gelding Men At Work was the 2006 winner and the third Zabeel offspring we have encountered. The Sellwood Stakes victory was his brief, shining moment.
The intriguingly named gelding Coalesce was the 2007 winner.
Yet another Zabeel progeny, this one with 43 jumps for 10 wins and 6 placings and $686,000 in winnings. He beat two-time Group 1 winner Grand Zulu in the 2007 Sky High Stakes three years before that race was promoted from Listed to Group 3.
One of the better we have seen to this stage is the 2010 winner, Herculian Princ He was a New Zealand gelding that earned above $603,000 from a modest, by gelding standards, 34 jumps. He beat better class horses Mourayan and No Wine No Song when he took out The Metropolitan Handicap in 2010 for his ole Group 1 win.
Another lightly raced gelding, Western Symbol, won in 2012.
He raced just 22 times for six wins and nine placings to win above $310,000. He beat 2010 Sellwood winner Herculian Prince in the 2012 JRA Plate.
We have a tie between Star Kingdom and Zabeel when we encountered the Zabeel-sired mare Lights of Heaven as the 2013 winner, which gave Zabeel bragging rights to having sired five winners of the same race, just like Star Kingdom but for the fact that the five race winners from Star Kingdom were winning the Golden Slipper Stakes, and five consecutively to boot, and the first five jumps to the other boot.
A Brit gelding named Junoob won in 2014 after doing his early racing in the northern hemisphere.
He won over $1 million from 58 jumps for 12 wins and 15 placings.
A French stallion named Pornichet won in 2015.
His 27 jumps supplied seven wins and five placings, along with $1.1 million in earnings. His bragging rights come from winning the Group 1 Doomben Cup in 2015, with another Group 3 win in the 2014 Sandown Stakes.
The somewhat familiar name of It’ Somewhat graces the Neville Sellwood Stakes winners’ list for 2016.
This impressive gelding by U.S. sire Dynaformer won just below $3.5 million from 46 jumps, nine wins and thirteen placings.
His Group 1 win in the 2017 Doncaster Mile found him beating the great Happy Clapper and Single Gaze fell to It’s Somewhat in the 2017 Group 2 A. D. Hollindale Stakes. He was often seen in fast company in various races, taking on Winx, Hauraki, Lucky Hussler, Egg Tart and Tosen Stardom.
It was no surprise to see the name of the 2018 winner, Arbeitsam.
This robust gelding inherited his ability from his sire Snitzel and grandsire Redoute’s Choice. There was other strong blood in his lines.
He needed just 28 jumps to win over $1.1 million from racing that included seven wins and seven placings.
He never won after winning the Sellwood Stakes, with only a third in the Doncaster Handicap giving his earnings a huge boost.
A second Snitzel progeny is represented by the 2019 winner Taikomochi.
His form line reads 36 – 7:5:4 for $627,000.
Could Snitzel catch Zabeel and Star Kingdom for siring winners of one particular race? That will depend on how long he stands. His fee keeps increasing, as might be expected for the sire of Cox Plate, Golden Slipper Stakes and four-time Group 1 winner Trapeze Artist.
The Irish gelding Mount Popa was the 2022 winner.
He is still listed as active, his most recent jump, as of late July 2023, was the Listed grade Mayor’s Cup where he was two pebbles shy of stone motherless – 14th in a field of 16.
Combined with his running in the British Isles, Mount Popa has 27 jumps for 6 wins and 11 placings and just above $1 million.
The Neville Sellwood Stakes, to us, is a bit of an odd duck.
It comes as close to qualifying for a geldings only race of any that easily comes to mind.
Come to think of it, could there be a race for imports only, aged four and above?
Any connections that possessed better types would have them in the barns by the age of four, leaving the field clear for the geldings to battle on until their legs fall off.
Neville Sellwood Stakes Past Winners
|2013||Lights Of Heaven|
|2006||Men At Work|
|2004||Shower Of Roses|
|1994||Prince Of Praise|
|1992||Red For Go|
|1989||Round The World|