The Randwick Guineas, presented by the Australian Turf Club (ATC), is a Group 1 set weights race for horses aged three years only. It is run over 1600 metres at Randwick Racecourse in Sydney.
Prizemoney for the race is $1 million.
Randwick Guineas Race Details
Race Distance: 1600m
Prize Money: $1,000,000
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When Is The Randwick Guineas: 2/3/24
What Time Is The Randwick Guineas: TBA
Where Is The Randwick Guineas: Randwick Racecourse
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More Details About The Randwick Guineas
It was won by Converge in 2022. The now four-year-old gelding by the renowned stud from Germany, Frankel, from Ireland’s Conversely, has a form line of 17 jumps for four wins and 6 placings for winnings of nearly $1.8 million. He had an earlier Group 1 win in the J J Atkins at Eagle Farm in 2021. He was second in the Rosehill Guineas, but he was barely in the frame with Anamoe, the horse Converge beat to win the Randwick Guineas.
Converge collected $580,000 for beating the nine other horses that jumped.
The winner of the Randwick Guineas automatically qualifies for the Group 1 Australian Derby and the Group 1 Doncaster Handicap. It is the first leg of the Australian Triple Crown, combined with the Rosehill Guineas and the Australian Derby.
Horses aimed at that Triple Crown see their trips grow to 2000 metres for the Rosehill Guineas and 2400 metres for the Australian Derby.
It takes a very talented three-year-old galloper to win over increasingly long trips. It is made slightly more conceivable by the fact that all three races have set weight running conditions.
The last time a horse won the three races in the same year was 2013, when It’s A Dundeel managed the feat. Octagonal did it in 1996.
Others were Imagele in 1973, Martello Towers in 1959 and Moorland in 1943.
Several horses have won two legs. Prior to the inauguration of the Randwick Guineas in 1935, known as the Canterbury Guineas prior to 2006, Phar Lap won the Rosehill Guineas and the Australian Derby and there is little doubt that if there were a race he was in, he would win it.
History of the Randwick Guineas
The race debuted in 1935 and the Canterbury Guineas, taking the name Randwick Guineas in 2007.
It was a spring race in the early days, run in early September, but in 1979, after the race was skipped in 1978, it shifted to autumn as a good lead-up race for the Sydney Autumn Carnival.
The length of the race has been modified to some extent. Ignoring the discrepancy between English and metric measurement, the race had always been in the 1800 – 1950 metres range. Since 2006, it has been 1600 metres after being chopped from the 1900-metre trip of the race from 2000 through 2005.
The race grade was Principal prior to the Group system coming into use and the Randwick Guineas was declared a Group 1 race at the first opportunity.
Naturally, since it was originally called the Canterbury Guineas, it was run at that venue from inception through 1996.
It moved to Rosehill for three jumps before returning to Canterbury from 2000 – 2005, and then to Randwick for the first time in 2006. It was staged at Warwick Farm in 2011, Randwick in 2012 and Warwick in 2013.
The Randwick Guineas has been at Randwick Racecourse beginning in 2014.
Venue for the Randwick Guineas
The race has made the rounds of the Sydney metro tracks, that’s for sure. We will allow Canterbury the metro designation, since it is only 11 kilometres from the Sydney CBD. Canterbury does claim distinction of being the first to install photo finish cameras in 1946 and the first mobile barriers in 1948.
Now seemingly permanently ensconced at Randwick, the race is run alongside the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes. That meeting offers three Group 2s – the Challenge, Reisling and Todman Stakes. The Group 3s are the Wenona Girl Quality and the Aspiration Quality. Two Listed grade races round out the meeting.
Randwick opened in 1833.
It is Sydney’s premier Thoroughbred racing venue. The race that seems to capture everyone’s attention is The Everest, a special conditions 1200-metre sprint worth $15 million in prizemoney, making it the world’s richest turf race.
Other notable races staged at Randwick are the Queen Elizabeth Stakes, the All Aged Stakes and the Sydney Cup, to mention just three.
In total, as of early 2023, Randwick stages 20 Group 1, 18 Group 2 and 12 Group 3 races over the course of a calendar year.
For 1699-metre races held at Randwick, the barriers are set up near the middle of a turn. Horses run a slight turn until they hit the back straight on the south side. They make two turns and head for the home straight and finish in front of the stands at the northeast side of the track.
Racing History of the Randwick Guineas
The Randwick Guineas, or the Canterbury Guineas for any old school racing fans, has always been a prestigious race and the winners’ list bears that out.
We will look through the list and report on the better racers and breeders. Plenty of the top gallopers in the history of racing have won the race, so we will have to skip many, but we will hit all the important winners.
Hadrian, winner in 1935, is mentioned because the first time something is done makes it historical. He is also of interest because he filled the second leg of the Triple Crown when he won the Rosehill Guineas, but missed winning the Australian Derby.
A name we recognised, partly at least, was 1941 winner Chatham’s Choice.
He was indeed by Chatham, with Windbag as his grandsire. He was obviously good, as the race always attracted better gallopers. WE know he ran third in the Derby in 1941, but not much else. We did learn that he ran second to Leonard in the 1946 Cox Plate.
The 1943 winner was Moorland, mentioned once more for winning the Triple Crown.
A legend won the race in 1949. It was Delta.
Delta won more than half of his 41 jumps – 22 wins and 8 placings. His earnings of just under $100,000 seem paltry juxtaposed alongside today’s figures, when one Group 3 win will exceed what Delta earned, but the races Delta won, if moved to today’s prizemoney, would be in the multiple millions of dollars.
He won the Cox Plate in 1949 as well as the Victoria Derby. He had five major wins in 1950 and six in 1951, including that year’s Melbourne Cup. He was still racing effectively in 1952, with wins in the Chipping Norton and Cumberland Stakes.
Delta was not quite as productive at stud. We credit him with 19 named foals.
We looked at the 1952 winner, Prince Dakhil and 1953’s Prince Morvi, but we did not find anything in common other than their first names.
Prince Dakhil was third in the Derby and appeared promising, but he died as a three-year-old. Prince Morvi was the better, by winning the Sires’ Produce Stakes, the Derby, Victoria Derby, All Aged Stakes and George Main Stakes, all now Group 1 grade races. He was good enough to run second to Hydrogen in the 1953 Cox Plate.
Closing out the early era, we arrive at 1957, when the great Todman won the race. Todman made only 12 jumps, winning 10 and placing once. His six major wins are all Group 1 races now. His biggest win was the 1957 Golden Slipper Stakes. His sire was Star Kingdom. ‘Nough said.
Todman was sire to some really good types. His Group 1 winners include Eskimo Prince, Sweet Embrace, Blazing Saddles, Ricochet and Imposing. Due to these and other good gallopers, Todman was declared the sires’ premiership winner for prizemoney 13 times.
When he won the Randwick Guineas in 1957, he was the winner of the race that prevented Tulloch from winning the Triple Crown, although it may be more accurate to say that Tulloch got in Todman’s way, as Todman won the first race of the series.
The 1959 winner, Martello Towers, won the Triple Crown.
He had a major win in 1961, when he took the post in the George Main Stakes. He sired many foals, including Artello Bay, winner of the Perth Cup in 1971.
A true indicator of the quality of the gallopers participating in the Randwick Guineas is the 1960 winner Persian Lyric. He often lined up against the legendary Wenona Girl and it was she that denied Persian Lyric of the Rosehill Guineas before he went on to win the Australian Derby and fulfill two of the three legs of the Triple Crown. It was Persian Lyric beating Wenona Girl to win the Randwick Guineas.
He also raced against Sky High, another top galloper of that era. Sky High ran Persian Lyric into second in the 1960 Victoria Derby.
He was a good sire after his racing days were concluded.
An interesting aspect of Thoroughbred racing comes into view with the 1962 winner, Summer Prince and the 1963 winner, Summer Fiesta.
Both were by the same sire, Great Britain’s Summertime. Both were New Zealand born horses. Both were geldings.
The interesting thing, though, was that both won the Randwick Guineas and the Australian Derby and both were denied from winning the middle leg Rosehill Guineas.
The 1981 winner, Ring The Bell, was the first New Zealand trained horse to win the Randwick Guineas.
A notable winner was 1983’s Mr. McGinty. In New Zealand, where he foaled, he was known simply as McGinty.
He made 27 jumps for 14 wins and 7 placings for just under $500,000 Australia and New Zealand winnings combined. He won the Group 1 Air New Zealand Stakes twice. Group 1 wins in Australia were the George Adams Handicap, Rawson Stakes and Caulfield Stakes. He might have won more, but he was beaten at least twice by Emancipation.
The last one from the early era of the race to win was 1987’s Tidal Light.
She was a jumper in 19 races, winning 10 and placing in three for above $567,000 in prizemoney. She was the Champion three-year-old from New Zealand in the 1986/87 racing season.
She supplied a couple of nice foals with Octagonal and six of her 15 foals won races.
From the modern era, Veandercross was the first notable on the list of winners of the Randwick Guineas. He won the race in 1992 and would have Group 1 wins in the LKS MacKinnon Stakes, Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Ranvet Stakes and Australian Cup. He was awarded Australian Champion Racehorse of the year for the 1992/93 season.
Kingston Bay from 1993 had no relation to Kingston Town that we could verify, but he was good enough as a gelding to make 68 jumps for just over $1 million in prizemoney.
Kingston Town did try the race in 1980, losing to Rocky Top, and then going on to win the second two legs of the series.
In 1996, the Randwick Guineas was won by Octagonal.
He was yet another Kiwi galloper to win the race and he won over $5.8 million from 28 jumps, half of which he won. He placed an additional eight times. He was Australian Champion Two Year Old in 1995 and Champion three-year-old in 1996, when he was also Australian Horse of the Year. He won the Cox Plate in 1995 and the Group 1 Tancred Stakes in 1996 and 1997. In all, he had 10 Group 1 wins.
A son of Zabeel, Octagonal supplied Lonhro and Niello. Octagonal supplied more foals than we chose to count, but Lonhro and Neillo were far and away his best.
A father-and-son sort of thing took place when Niello won the races in 2004 following Octagonal’s win in 1996. Neillo came within one win of matching his dad for winning the Triple Crown, but he was denied in the Australian Derby by Starcraft.
In the current era, from 2006 when the race changed from the Canterbury Guineas to the Randwick Guineas, we find a better type in the 2008 winner, Weekend Hussler, but it is really the 2013 winner and winner of that year’s Triple Crown, It’s A Dundeel, that we were after.
He was the fifth and most recent Triple Crown winner.
Yet another of New Zealand origin, his grand dam sire was Zabeel. His sire’s side was entirely northern hemisphere blood.
Since then, we have Le Romain (2016) and Kementari (2018) leading to the 2019 winner The Autumn Sun.
The Autumn Sun won the second leg of the Triple Crown to go with his win in the Randwick Guineas, but he was thwarted by Angel Of Truth in the final leg Australian Derby.
He was by Redoute’s Choice, so we were not shocked when he was sent to the barns after just nine jumps, eight of which were wins and the other a place. During that time, he won almost $3.5 million. He bet the better galloper Zousain for win in the Group 1 J J Atkins and the Golden Rose. Five of his eight wins were at Group 1 grade.
The 2021 winner was Lion’s Roar.
He is listed as active and as of early 2023, he has made 19 jumps for four wins and five placings and a little over $1.5 million in earnings.
We were impressed by the number of New Zealand horses that have won the Randwick Guineas, but we do not think there was one plodder on the entire list of winners.
Also impressive was the number of horses that were truly great gallopers, but as three-year-olds, did not have the ability to win all three races of the Australian Triple Crown. Names such as Naturalism, Kingston Town and Spirit of Kingston, along with others, won two legs but came up short in the third.
He was prevented in his quest for the Triple Crown by the winner of the second two of the series,
Randwick Guineas Past Winners
|2019||The Autumn Sun|
|2013||It's A Dundeel|
|1985||Spirit Of Kingston|
|1981||Ring The Bell|
|1954||Pride Of Egypt|