The Group 3 Southern Cross Stakes is a Group 3 1200-metre sprint for all and any gender provided that they are at least three years of age. It is run at Randwick Racecourse in Sydney during February.
The running conditions are set weights plus penalties and the prizemoney for the race is $200,000.
Southern Cross Stakes Race Details
Race Distance: 1200m
Prize Money: $200,000
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When Is The Southern Cross Stakes: 10/2/24
What Time Is The Southern Cross Stakes: TBA
Where Is The Southern Cross Stakes: Randwick Racecourse
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More Details About The Southern Cross Stakes
Lost And Running was the winner of the 2022 jump.
Running, yes. Lost? Not so much. This six-year-old gelding has only a smidge of Aussie blood, yet he somehow is managing to find NSW race finish lines quicker than his competitors.
He has taken in more than $4.2 million from 17 jumps for nine wins and three placings. He won his first four jumps, took a race off to finish second, and then win two more, by which time he had progressed to winning at Listed grade. He picked up a cool million for running fourth in The Everest, followed by a second in the Classique Legend Stakes.
Lost And Running was an established winner of races before his first Group grade win in the Southern Cross Stakes. Two tries later, he won the Group 2 Premier Stakes.
His GPS was working fine, as he found the finish line with room to spare without following any of the others.
The Southern Cross Stakes is a race that is run alongside the Group 2 Apollo Stakes and the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes. The Group 3 Triscay Stakes is also part of the meeting.
The better sprinters use the race as preparation. Some will wait a bit and try the Group 1 New Market Handicap a month later. The big autumn carnival races are looming and the Southern Cross Stakes gives all a chance to see what stage of readiness is present.
History of the Southern Cross Stakes
The Southern Cross Stakes has been going off since 1940, although after two jumps the race was put on hold for World War II in 1942 – 1945.
The race was known as the Frederick Clissold Handicap through 1992. Clissold was one of the main honchos in the establishment of the Canterbury Park Racing Club. One year after having a race named for him, he died. At least he was able to enjoy the honour for the one year. Many of those enjoying similar honours had to die first.
The race was called the Anniversary Cup in 1993, but returned to variations based on Frederic Clissold beginning in 1994 until it was the Premier Express Freight Stakes. It was back to Frederic Clissold Stakes in 2004, until the name Southern Cross Stakes took hold in 2009.
The Southern Cross is a famous star formation seen in the southern hemisphere, but not even the Vics name races after constellations.
There were many gallopers by that name, but none seems to have done anything worthy of a race name, so maybe constellations are fair game in NSW.
Originally a Principal race, the Group classification system put the race at Listed grade in 1980, with promotion to Group 3 grade in 1989.
The trip for the race has been constant, allowing for the slight difference between six furlongs and 1200 metres.
The race has been staged at Canterbury, Rosehill, Randwick and Warwick Farm. It seems to have found a home at Randwick, where it has persisted since 2014.
Venue for the Sothern Cross Stakes
Royal Randwick in Sydney, the premier metro track in NSW, some would say Australia and some might say the world, has been the venue for the Southern Cross Stakes since 2014.
The course has been in operation since 1833.
In terms of Group races, no other Australian track is the equal of Randwick. The premier, legacy races are such as the Australian Derby, the Queen Elizabeth Stakes and the Doncaster Handicap, to mention a few of the 20 Group 1 races staged over the course of the year.
A special conditions race, The Everest, has further enhanced Randwick’s reputation, as the race is billed as the richest turf race in the world.
For 1200-metre races such as the Southern Cross Stakes, the racers jump from a chute opposite the grandstands, race one sweeping turn and head down the 410-metre home straight to conclude at the east side of the track.
Racing History of the Southern Cross Stakes
Some truly great horses have won the Southern Cross Stakes, along with some of those that fall not into the truly great category, but the merely great category.
There have been no dead heats in the race and unlike quite a few other races in NSW, it was not abandoned in 2007 when Equine Influenza was spreading through the stables of the state.
The race was not held during the years of 1942 – 1943, logically enough, as the threat of Japanese invasion, although it seems almost comical now, was very real. The race was not held in 1973 and 1974. We were around then, but we don’t recall any given cause.
The only multiple winner of the race was Ab Initio, with wins in 1999 and 2001. His connections might say that their horse was so good that he was capable of winning in two centuries. Hopefully they would/did not. He was okay, though, so we will look into him when we get to those years.
We had a champion winner of the Southern Cross Stakes straight off in the first jump when Gold Rod was the winner.
Gold Rod would have been aged seven years at that time by our reckoning. He started winning in 1935 and we can credit him with multiple wins that are now graded as Group 1, including the 1937 Epsom Handicap and the 1939 Doncaster Handicap.
Gold Rod was foaled in New Zealand in 1933. His lines contain more northern hemisphere ancestors than anything else, but he was fast, which is the important thing. He made 46 jumps for 16 wins and 12 placings to earn £18,920 back in the days when a pound was worth more than it is today in relation to other currencies.
His stud output was not equal to his racing, in our view. He supplied nothing but fillies and all 10 of those fillies came in 1941 and 1942, immediately after he retired from racing.
As best we could determine, none of Gold Rod’s products achieved anything from racing.
We are skipping six winners and moving ahead to 1950 to find a notable winner of the Southern Cross Stakes in San Domenico.
Like Gold Rod, San Domenico did very well from racing, but he raced as a gelding, so he diverges from Gold Rod from that perspective.
He won the Challenge Stakes (now Group 2) in 1949 and 1950. The years of 1950 and 1951 saw wins in the Warwick Stakes (now Winx Stakes, now Group 1) and the Canterbury Stakes (now Group 1) those same years of 1950 and 1951. Other big wins were the Oakleigh Plate, the George Main Stakes, Hill Stakes, Futurity Stakes and All Aged Stakes.
San Domenico made 79 jumps for 25 wins and 18 placings.
The 1956 winner was Evening Peal.
Evening Peal was a filly by Great Britain’s Deville Wood from Australia’s Mission Chimes. We went back five generations and discovered Carbine in her lines on both sides. There were several other good ones included, such as Blenheim and Dark Ronald, all of which are often encountered in the lines of winning Australian gallopers.
She won multiple races that have since been assigned Group 1 grade, but none bigger than the 1956 Melbourne Cup. She had run second to Redcraze in the Caulfield Cup, but she still went out for $16 in the Melbourne Cup, where she managed to hold Redcraze off by a neck. She had 51 kg in the race, which was more than any Melbourne Cup winning mare was given. Her time for 3200 metres at Flemington The record for her racing is 51 jumps for 11 wins and 11 placings.
She supplied four foals, three fillies and one colt by Sky High, but none seems to have contributed big wins or big money.
We thought to jump ahead to 1972, but we decided to take a brief detour and look at a good racer that won in 1969, Roman Consul.
Roman Consul was a 1964 gelding, with fairly anonymous lines, other than Great Britain’s Hyperion and Gainsborough. He won some races that are now Group 1, including back-to-back wins in the MacKinnon Stakes in 1969 and 1970.
We were hot-to-trot for the winner of the Southern Cross Stakes in 1972 was Gunsynd.
Gunsynd was one of those used so effectively by T J Smith, at least as an older horse, when Smith took the trainer’s reins from Bill Wehlow. He had 29 wins and 14-1/2 placings and he was deemed the Australian Champion Racehorse of the year in 1972. He won more races than we intend to list, but he won the Rawson Stakes in 1971 and 1973. In 1972, he won just about everything in sight, including the first of two Queen Elizabeth Stakes and the Cox Plate.
He entered the Australian Racing Hall of Fame in 2005.
After a sort such as Gunsynd, most of the others will fall flat. They may have won more money, but that does not make them better.
We moved all the way ahead to 1996, when the winner was Danewin.
Danewin did his share of winning and placing.
Danewin was by the U.S. stallion Danehill, a name that often appears in the lines of the better types that win better races. He made 31 jumps for 13 wins and 9 placings, earning over $2 million for his time on the turf. We can credit him with five Group 1 wins and second place runs in additional Group 1 races. His time in the Southern Cross Stakes was a record.
He had a large number of offspring, a high percentage of which made money by racing. There are many high six-figure horses that could call Danewin daddy. A 1999 gelding out of Nice Choice named County Tyrone earned more than $2.3 million, but it was the pairing of Danewin and Wily Trick that produced the 1998 filly Elegant Fashion that won over $6.3 million. That same year, a colt from Kali Smytzer named Elderly Paradise won more than $5.3 million.
Another million-dollar winner by Danewin was 1999’s gelding named Mittani out of And A Hug. In 2003, a cold from Ozone Sand named Theseo won above $3.2 million.
Most breeders of Thoroughbred would give one of the things that goes halfway towards making a gelding to get one million-dollar winner from a stallion, much less the number supplied by Danewin.
The first and only dual winner of the race was Ab Initio in 1999 and 2001. He was handy or perhaps a bit better, winner of 14 with four placings from 41 jumps for $785,000. He was a gelding that had lines to famous U.S. horses, such as Spectacular Bid and Bold Ruler.
The good gelding Terravista was the winner in 2014.
That same year, he won the Group 1 Darley Classic. Three years later, he won the Group 1 Lightning Stakes. Terravista had a string of high finishes in some of the better Group 2 and Group 1 races.
He made 32 jumps for 11 wins and 7 placings to earn over $2.6 million.
The Southern Cross Stakes was his first win at Group grade.
His first Group 1 win was the Darley Classic, where he beat equal-weighted Chautauqua by a neck. Chautauqua often got the better of Terravista, but as the old saying goes, “If You’re going to lose, lose to something good,” and Chautauqua was that until he decided to make the barriers his stall.
A notable winner from 2017 was Le Romain.
This gelding by Hard Spun won above $4.1 million from 43 starts for 7 wins and 18 placings. He had Group 1 wins in the 2016 Randwick Guineas and the Cantala Stakes. He had five second place finishes in Group 1 races, plus a third place run in one of his final races, the Group 1 Doomben 10,000.
Kaepernick was by Fastnet Rock and his grandsire was Danehill, the stallion that gave us Danewin and all of those million dollar stakes earners.
Masked Crusader was the 2021 winner.
This gelding by Ireland’s Tornado our of She’s Got Gears is listed as active and he should be, having made just 25 jumps for the Hawkes boys for seven wins and six placings and over $4.4 million in stakes.
Two jumps after winning the Southern Cross Stakes, he hit Group 1 pay dirt when he cruised to a 2.5-length win in the William Reid Stakes.
When we examine Group 3 races, we seldom expect to see so many of the best types as the winners. Hall of Fame horses, Melbourne Cup winners, a Cox Plate winner, millions of dollars in prizemoney and impressive progeny records are the sorts we find winning the Southern Cross Stakes.
Southern Cross Stakes Past Winners
|2022||Lost And Running|
|2012||No Evidence Needed|
|2007||The Free Stater|
|1964||Here I Come|