One of Randwick’s grandest races is the Group 1 Sires’ Produce Stakes, a 1400-metre test for two-year-olds run under set weight conditions near the culmination of the autumn carnival.
The 2023 race was held on 1 April and Militarize fooled eight shorter priced horses into waiting for him to finish before crossing themselves, enabling Militarize to take the $580,000 winner’s share of the $1 million prize money pool.
Sires Produce Stakes Race Details
Race Distance: 1400m
Prize Money: $1,000,000
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When Is The Sires Produce Stakes: 6/4/24
What Time Is The Sires Produce Stakes: TBA
Where Is The Sires Produce Stakes: Randwick Racecourse
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More Details About The Sires Produce Stakes
The talented son of Dundeel has amassed $1.1 million from five jumps for three wins and one placing and other than a mis-fire in the Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes that left him 19 lengths behind while jumping at an incredible $101 despite entering the race with the undiscovered ability to win the Sires by a mile and backing with an easing victory in the Group 1 Champagne Stakes next trip.
The ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes in the granddaddy of all the various Sires’ Produce Stakes that are run at racing jurisdictions across the world.
Do not be fooled by inferior Sires’ Produce Stakes that are foisted upon unsuspecting race fans in Australia in Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, and god only knows where else.
The ATC version has been one of Australia’s most important two-year-old races and its inception in 1867 grants it legacy status to match its racing prestige.
The day on which the Sires’ Produce Stakes lands is a mega-meeting at Randwick that serves up four Group 1 races. Run alongside the Sires’ are the Doncaster Handicap, the T. J. Smith Stakes, and the Australian Derby. One Group 2 and five Group 3 races on the race card mean that spectators can see the best gallopers in the country at one place and on one day.
The set weight conditions for a non-gender restricted field has colts and geldings with 56.5 kg., while the fillies receive 54.5 kg.
History of the Sires’ Produce Stakes
The first jump of the race was in 1867, so it has roots that represent a very different sort of racing environment from that of today. Nineteenth century horses were expected to win 1400 metre races, but they also had to make the longer trips, as was the case of the first winner of the Sires’, Glencoe, that won the 3200 metre Melbourne Cup the next year.
We might find ourselves explaining 2021 Melbourne Cup winner Verry Elleegant, as she won shorter trips, but none of the races she won at 1400 metres was anything near the level of the Sires’ Produce Stakes.
The race grade was Principal until the Group classification system was instituted, at which time the ATC Sires’ Produce was immediately granted Group 1 status.
The jumps of the race for the four years from 1905 through 1908 found the trip reduced to 1200 metres.
Royal Randwick in Sydney has always been the venue for the race.
Venue for the Sires’ Produce Stakes
Royal Randwick Racecourse in Sydney is the premier flats galloping course in New South Wales.
It opened in 1833, when the Flemington lot was galloping on the Maribyrnong mudflats in the Melbourne hinterlands.
As of mid-2023, Randwick is the site for 20 Group 1 races, including some of the oldest and most prestigious to be found. There are 18 Group 2 and 11 Group 3 races.
The current headline grabber is The Everest, where top sprinters compete for a purse stuffed with $15 million.
Races of 1400 metres at Randwick jump from a chute that joins a turn and lead onto a short straight. Another turn leads onto the home straight to the finish line by the main stands.
Racing History of the Sires’ Produce Stakes
The best of Australia’s sprinters and middle distance horses have won the Sires’ Produce Stakes and in the case of the earlier years, winners often had the versatility to win major races of Melbourne Cup trip.
The best gallopers mean strong fields and winners that were equivalent to the top racers of the day, so even those horses we will overlook were good, but we will instead focus on the legends whose names inhabit the winners’ list.
The first jump of the race in 1867 was won by Glencoe.
Aside from the 1868 Melbourne Cup, Glencoe won the VRC Queens Plate two VRC All-Aged Stakes, the AJC ST. Leger Stakes, Melbourne Stakes and AJC All-Aged Stakes.
Glencoe did not enjoy success at stud.
The next year supplied a filly in the 1868 winner Coquette.
She was by the good Oz sire Sir Hercules, with the rest of her lines consisting of lots of Brit horses with a good representation of Australian blood thanks to her dam Vanity.
We next skip ahead to the 1877 winner Chester.
We mentioned the versatility of gallopers in the 19th century. Chester not only won the Melbourne Cup at 3200 metres but won as far out as 4800 metres.
His form line was 30 jumps for 19 wins and 8 placings. Some of his dominant wins were two each for the AJC Spring Stakes and the Melbourne Stakes.
Chester was the leading sire in Australia for 1888, 1890, 1892 and 1893. Those final two came after Chester died from a ruptured bowel in 1891.
One of his offspring named Abercorn was good enough to beat the mighty Carbine. Chester’s output supplied 26 stakewinners for 104 stakeswins.
There was a dead heat in the race in 1880 that found Geraldine and Kamilaroi sharing the win.
Geraldine was by the same sire, Yattendon, that was responsible for Chester. The other winner, Kamilaroi, was also a mare. Neither of the two was exceptional in any way, except for dead heating in a big race.
The racing history of the Sires’ Produce Stakes took an odd turn that found the race not being held from 1984 through 1904. Eleven jumps were skipped.
The next good winner to appeal to us was Prince Foote from 1909.
Prince Foote, like many gallopers from that era, was entirely northern hemisphere in his lines, specifically Great Britain. Described by people of the time as diminutive, Prince Foote was the biggest of all when he won the 1909 Melbourne Cup as a three-year-old.
His form line of 22 jumps for 11 wins and five placings reveals his talent.
We count his major race win tally as being nine top races, including the 1909 Victoria Derby and the 1909 AJC Derby. He was limited to 19 named progeny, but aside for a few that won the occasional major race, none of his offspring equaled him as racers.
Another better type appears as the winner in 1931.
It was Ammon Ra, a New Zealand foaled gelding that made 29 jumps for 17 wins and 5 placings. He had seven major wins in 1931 and five in 1932. Some of his wins were the Futurity Stakes, Rawson Stakes and the Chipping Norton Stakes.
Ammon Ra beat the legendary Nightmarch in the Rawson and Chipping Norton Stakes, just to supply some measure of comparison. Those race wins were in races we might have expected to find Phar Lap, but Phar Lap was either not in those races with Ammon Ra, or if he was, he did not place, which is hard to accept.
This was a golden period for the Sires’ Produce Stakes, as the next several jumps brought with them some of the better racers in Australian Thoroughbred racing history.
The 1933 winner was Hallmark.
In his prime years of 1933 through 1935, Hall Mark won 16 major races (two Underwood Stakes), including the grand prize of the 1933 Melbourne Cup. He made 52 jumps for 18 wins and 25 placings.
Hall Mark had Heroic for his sire and the lines on the side of his dam Herowinkle contains names such as Carbine, The Welkin and Musket – sort of the royal family if you will. He did not have his “A” game when he went up against the giants of his era, including Peter Pan and Rogilla, but he did beat Rogilla when finishing second to Chatham in the 1932 Cox Plate.
His stud output, given his racing credentials, was not exceptional, but his racing does account for his induction into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame in 2019.
It is with some reluctance that we realize that our space constraints force us to skip three consecutive legends that won the race from 1935 through 1937.
They must be listed, though, and they were Young Idea (1935 Sires’, 1936, 1937 Cox Plates), Gold Rod (1936) that won extensively as late as 1940 and Ajax (1937). None of these were as good at stud as they were at racing, but Ajax produced many foals and there is no doubt that some of them contributed to the sport.
We have written extensively about all three, so we will just acknowledge them here before moving on to the 1941 winner, Yaralla.
Yaralla was the winner in 1941.
To win the 1942 All-Aged Stakes, he beat High Caste into third place. His stud career was brief, just 12 named foals, with 11 of those being fillies.
Shannon was the remarkable stallion that won the race in 1944. After winning nine major races in Australia, including two George Main Stakes, he shipped to the U.S. and won big races there in 1948.
Shannon was a prolific sire with 34 stakes winners, although number 34 earned only $180. What we saw that really shocked us was that some of Shannon’s offspring made well over 100 jumps, including a U.S. galloper that made a mind-boggling 309 jumps!
Shannon was the TSD American Champion Older Horse for 1948 and he was inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame in 2006.
The notable winner from 1957 was none other than Tulloch, another legendary racer we have written extensively about.
Here we will just say that he won the Caulfield Cup and the Cox Plate on his way to compiling a record of 53 jumps for 36 wins and 16 placings. We will also mention that when he won the 1957 Sires’, he did it by beating Todman.
Like the majority of the other stallions we have found as winners of the Sires’ Produce Stakes, Tulloch as a sire was a pale reflection of Tulloch the racer.
Moe notables followed Tulloch as winners of the race.
Wenona Girl in 1960, Baguette in 1970 and Luskin Star in 1977. These three are more that have received our closer attention and we pass them by, even though Luskin Star would have afforded us the opportunity to mention his grandsire, Star Kingdom.
Wonga Prince (1985) and Victory Prince (1986) were not closely related, as the names seem to suggest, but they both had lines to Star Kingdom and in the case of Wonga, he had connections to Star Kingdom three generations removed on both sides of his genealogy table.
We are also going to jump over the 1987 winner Snippets, despite that stallion’s many contributions to Australian Thoroughbred breeding.
Same with the 1995 winner Octagonal, another great racer and sire that has received dedicated scrutiny in the past.
Two more recent winners we want to look at more closely are Sebring from 2008 and Pierro from 2012.
Sebring retired from the track after winning the Golden Slipper Stakes and the Sires’ Produce Stakes in the same year. He made just six jumps for five wins and one placing to earn above $2.4 million.
Sebring beat Samantha Miss to win the Sires’, but she returned the favour and beat Sebring in the Champagne Stakes.
Sebring was a mighty sire, with Criterion, winner of more than $6.5 million, and other Aussie racers that won from $3.3 million to $1.2 million, so his is the case of a good racer that was the better as a breeding stallion.
Pierro is another of those that raced on limited basis. He made just 14 jumps and the son of Lonhro won 11 times and placed in the other three and won over $4.5 million.
He was good enough on multiple occasions to beat the likes of More Joyous, Epaulette, All Too Hard and Snitzerland in the 2012 Golden Slipper Stakes.
He was sire to winners of 10 Group 1 races, with one-time winners in Levendi, Pierata and Pinot and multiple winners in Aracadia Queen (three Group 1 wins), Regal Power (two Group 1 wins) and Shadow Hero (two Group 1 wins).
Pierro was the complete package. He did not eat much hay as a racer and with just 14 jumps the commissions to trainer Gai Waterhouse would not have been too onerous and outside of three jumps in Victoria, his travel expenses were minimal.
Following Pierro, we do not feel too bad about being pickier, even though we are overlooking the good Microphone, to take a quick look at 2020 winner King’s Legacy and the 2021 winner Anamoe.
King’s Legacy by Redoute’s Choice was another in the pattern of taking good colts off the track in order to avoid risking years and years of lucrative DNA fees. He made 12 jumps for three wins and two placings for just above $1 million. His other Group 1 win was the Champagne Stakes, with a Group 3 win in Queensland.
His first crop in 2022 produced two colts and seven fillies. Time will tell.
Anamoe is in a class to himself.
The Australian Champion Three Year Old made 25 jumps for 14 wins and 8 placings that produced more than $12.1 million in prize money.
Now aged five years as of mid-2023, Anamoe won 11 Group 1 races, including the 2022 Cox Plate.
He is just getting started at stud, with one colt to his credit.
Fireburn was the 2022 winner.
The talented filly is spelling following the sixth win of her career when she won The Roses, a Group 2 middle distance race at Doomben in May of 2023.
Her 16 jumps have returned a line of six wins and two placings and above $4.2 million in prize money thanks to the win in the Golden Slipper.
Any one of the winners of the Sires’ Produce Stakes would be one we would gladly encounter when we are covering those Listed and Group 3 races that sometimes feel as though it was roughies and quarter horses running on a synthetic track in Northern Territory.
We had to skip many great horses due to the wealth represented by the winners’ list of one of Australia’s oldest and most prestigious two-year-old races.
ATC Sires Produce Stakes Past Winners
|2018||El Dorado Dreaming|
|2015||Pride Of Dubai|
|1981||Full On Aces|
|1963||Time And Tide|
|1959||Fine And Dandy|
|1958||Man Of Iron|
|1930||The Doctor's Orders|