The Star Kingdom Stakes is a Group 3 sprint of 1200 metres run under quality handicap conditions by horses aged three and above at Rosehill Gardens Racecourse during autumn racing.
A four-year-old gelding named Bacchanalia by Exceed And Excel was the winner in 2023, taking advantage of the increase from the 2022 prize money of $160,000 to $200,000 to earn a $110,000 cheque.
Star Kingdom Stakes Race Details
Race Distance: 1200m
Prize Money: $200,000
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When Is The Star Kingdom Stakes: 30-3-24
What Time Is The Star Kingdom Stakes: TBA
Where Is The Star Kingdom Stakes: Rosehill Racecourse
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More Details About The Star Kingdom Stakes
Bacchanalia has earned almost $560,000 from his 21 jumps for six wins and five placings.
The only replay we could locate is not of the quality to which we have become accustomed thanks to the supreme efforts of Conor MacDonald. Please do not hold it against the people who posted the video for calling the race the Three Kingdom Stakes. Writers get tired and make mistakes, difficult as that is to believe.
The Star Kingdom Stakes is one of those races that will move around the calendar at times. In days past, it was often run at the Rosehill meeting that offers the Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes.
Most recently, the race shared billing with the Group 1 races the Tancred Stakes and the Storm Queen Stakes. The meeting also had the Emancipation Stakes and the Tulloch Stakes representing Group 2 grade. Joining the Group 3 Star Kingdom Stakes at the meeting were the Neville Sellwood Stakes, the Doncaster Prelude and the Schweppervescence.
History of the Star Kingdom Stakes
The race had its first edition in 1979.
It is named for Star Kingdom, a 1946 Irish galloper that won nine times and placed in an additional three from 16 jumps. He raced in Ireland as Star King before he arrived in Australia in 1951 and ran under the assumed name of Star Kingdom. We could not find an Australian racing record for him, but he proved to be one of the most important sires in Australian Thoroughbred racing of the last 70 years.
He was Champion Sire five times, along with Champion Australian Sire of 2YOs seven times.
We are often impressed with the number of great racers sired by Star Kingdom. He was the sire for the first five winners of the Golden Slipper Stakes.
Just a few of his famous offspring were Biscay, Todman, Sky High, a recert that won 29 races. Many of his offspring have proved to be good breeders as well. Records indicate that more than a decade after Star Kingdom died in 1967, he had 42 sons standing in Australia and New Zealand, while at the same time, more than 100 grandsons were standing.
Any readers we might have are accustomed to our frequent mentions of Star Kingdom and we have very little doubt that when we look at the list of those horses that have won the race, we will find at least one with lines to Star Kingdom.
The race began in 1979 as the Star Kingdom Stakes. That is the currently official registered name for the race, but it has offered several variations across the years.
It was the Nivea Visage Stakes from 2005 – 2008 after several years as the Star Kingdom Quality Stakes from 2000 – 2004.
Sebring Stakes was the name used for 2010 through 2012. The race jumped as the Sebring HKJC Stakes in 2013 before reverting to the simpler Sebring Stakes in 2014.
Sanity and common sense ensued in 2015 and the race has been known as the Star Kingdom Stakes since.
The trip for the race has always been 1200 metres, with the exception of 2009 – 2012, when it was abbreviated to 1100 metres.
The Star Kingdom Stakes was Listed from inception, which was 1979, the year many races fell under the Group classification system for the first time. Group 3 grade was conferred in 1988.
The race has always taken place at Rosehill Gardens Racecourse in Sydney, with the exceptions of 2008, when it moved to Canterbury, and 2022, when it was necessary to hold the event at Newcastle.
Venue for the Star Kingdom Stakes
Rosehill Gardens Racecourse in Sydney is one of Australia’s premier metro tracks and deserves to be mentioned in the same or next breath with Randwick, Flemington and Caulfield.
It opened for racing in 1885 after breaking ground in 1883.
Like many other courses, it is a multipurpose venue, although its primary function is gallops racing.
Most of the important races at Rosehill are held in autumn and over half of Rosehill’s nine Group 1 races are in the month of March.
Rosehill, in addition to the Group 1 races, stages 13 Group 2 and 14 Group 3 races over the course of the year.
The most anticipated of these is the Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes. Rosehill also offers a mega-money race, too. Starting in 2019, the Golden Eagle offers $10 million in prize money for four-year-olds that race 1500 metres under set weight conditions.
Fors 1200-metre races such as the Star Kingdom Stakes, the barriers are placed at the end of a chute that provides for a 400-metre run to the firs turn. The back straight leads into the continuous turn that connects to the home straight for the final 400-metres to a finish line in front of the stands at the northwest extremity of the track.
Racing History of the Star Kingdom Stakes
While the list of winners for the race is not exactly a Who’s Who of Australian racing aristocracy, some better types have won the race.
The first dual winner was Friend’s Venture in 1992 and 1993. The next was Bradshaw in 2002 and 2003. Bradshaw was followed by Swift Alliance that won in 2010 and 2011. More on those three later.
In the first year of the race, 1979, the winner was The Judge.
The Judge was a northern hemisphere product with a smattering of New Zealand blood. His major wins were the now Group 1 Lightning Stakes, along with two wins in the A. J. Moir Stakes.
He did not make a lot of money – true of most of the racers from that era, but his form line was a respectable 10 wins and five placings from 26 jumps.
The Judge did not sire as many as some others, but his 1985 colt out of Summoned was none other than Zeditave that won over $1.2 million from 14 wins from 17 jumps.
As we go through the list, we will skip any that did not post high strike rates for good earnings, win major races, or supply quality offspring. If we list no progeny, it would be due to a gelding winning, or a stallion or mare that did not leave any record of offspring.
The 1980 winner was Radiant Echo.
His sire was Osmunda, while his grandsire was Star Kingdom. So, it took us just two jumps of the race to find Star Kingdom in the pedigree of the winner.
Prior to winning the Star Kingdom Stakes in 1981, Bemboka Yacht jumped as the owner of a Group 1 victory in the 1980 Stradbroke Handicap, although he crossed second to Ducatoon that was later disqualified for a positive swab for a banned substance.
Bold Jet, winner in 1982, won the A. J. Moir in 1983 when it was a Group 2 race. That same year saw the handy gelding winning the Group 1 Goodwood at Morphettville.
The first mare to win was 1983’s Bronze Spirit.
She was not a big winner, but she beat good horses that were tipped, including Ideal Planet in The Galaxy in 1983 when the race was Group 2 grade. She beat Honest Promise, winner of the Group 1 George Adams in 1983.
Manuan was a good gelding that won the Star Kingdom Stakes in 1984.
He tasted Group 1 victory when he took out The Galaxy in 1985.
We were getting excited to report that Manuan won the Newmarket Handicap in 1984, but his win was in the Newcastle Jockey Club version.
A better winner was 1987’s Targlish.
He won a Group 1 race in 1989 when he was first in The Shorts.
We have moved past some handy types to have a better look at the first dual winner of the Star Kingdom Stakes.
It was Friend’s Venture, winner in 1992 and 1993.
Friend's Venture was a 1987 gelding that earned $533,000, but this gelding did need 66 jumps in order to produce that figure. He had 12 wins and 21 placings. When Friend’s Venture tried, as did many winners of the Star Kingdom Stakes, The Galaxy at Group 1 grade, he finished behind Schillaci and ahead of Euclase.
He beat Sublimate in his second Star Kingdom Stakes win in 1993, but that victory lost some lustre in The Galaxy when Sublimate won the big prize from Friend’s Venture.
Jetball, winner in 1994, was another to claim Group 1 glory with a win in The Galaxy. We will not succumb to redundancy by mentioning that Jetball had a famous ancestor for which this race is named.
Jetball was a colt destined to make his mark at stud. He jumped just 19 times for seven wins and eight placings. At the grade where he was most successful, his earnings from that good form was just $466,000, even with the win at Group 1 in The Galaxy.
We would estimate that Jetball was the best sire to this stage of Star Kingdom Stakes history, with our guess being above 300 foals – at least far more than we are willing to attempt counting.
The best of all his crops was the New Zealand gelding Opposing Force that raced overseas in Malaysia and earned about $1.7 million.
We found a good mare in the 2001 winner, Camena.
She was by Snippets, an above average sire. She has distant lines to Star Kingdom on the side of her dam Soda Watch. Her earnings of around $633,000 were pretty good for this lot and she needed only 15 jumps to tally seven wins and five placings.
Next comes the 2002 and 2003 winner of the Star Kingdom Stakes.
It was Bradshaw, a gelding by Last Tycoon.
He made 33 jumps for nine wins and four placings to earn above $628,000. It almost seems as though Bradshaw raced to win the Star Kingdom Stakes, but he did win The Shorts in 2000 from the better racer Guineas.
Red Oog was a 1999 gelding by a U.S. sire that managed to win $1.1 million by winning 10 times and placing in 6 other races.
He was one of those sorts your never heard of until you look and see that he beat Glamour Puss and Snitzel to win the Group 1 T. J Smith Stakes in 2006. The exclamation point on his racing would have to be the win in the 2005 Doomben 10,000, where he left Egyptian Raine and Takeover Target in his wake.
We mention the 2008 winner Hoystar only because he beat a much better racer in Danleigh to win the 2008 Group 3 Frederick Clissold Stakes.
We skipped a group of average geldings to arrive at the final horse to win the Star Kingdom Stakes twice.
It was Swift Alliance winning two in a row in 2010 and 2011.
This stallion made only 17 jumps for 9 wins and 2 placings for about $600,000.
He has produced some offspring and still has time on his clock, but his record suggests that his opportunities with the more fecund mares are behind him.
With Snitzel as sire, with Redoute’s Choice, Snippets, Danehill and Canny Lad for ancestors, it is no wonder that 2013 Star Kingdom Stakes winner Hot Snitzel was able to earn $1.3 million from 38 jumps for eight wins and nine placings.
While he was beating better gallopers while he raced and going head-to-head with such as Flamberge, Smokin Joey and others of that quality, he could secure only one Group 1 win, the BTC Cup in 2015.
Speaking of Flamberge, this was the winner in 2014.
This gelding by Exceed And Excel won more than $1.7 million from 47 jumps for 11 wins and 10 placings.
Flamberge won three Group 1 races – the first was the 2015 SAJC Goodwood, the next was the 2016 William Reid Stakes and the 2016 Oakleigh Plate. He was on the wrong side of Chautauqua more than once, as were most that raced the Grey Flash when he would still leave the barriers.
Generalife, a gelding by Lonhro, was the 2015 winner.
His form line of 40 – 9:3:7 earned almost $900,000.
The 2016 winner, Malaguerra, was the latest in the string of capable geldings.
His $1.8 million in earnings came from 36 jumps for 12 wins and 6 placings. His career delivered two Group 1 wins, the first of which was the 2016 Darley Classic and the BTC Cup that same year.
The 2017 winner Jungle Edge, another gelding, produced similar revenue to that of Malaguerra, except that Jungle Edge made 89 jumps, winning 18 and placing in 25.
Spright was a solid mare that won the race in 2018 as part of her form line of 32 jumps for 6 wins and 10 placings. She won just under $1.4 million. She had a Group 1 win in the 2019 SAJC Robert Sangster Stakes and she placed well in races with the likes of Sunlight, Brave Smash, Prized Icon and Viddora.
The 2021 winner was Signore Fox.
A son of Exceed And Excel, he is now retired to stud but has yet to supply a progeny record.
He won just above $1 million from 43 jumps for nine wins and five placings.
A seven-year-old gelding named Gem Song was the 2022 winner.
His status is given as active, with his last race being at Rockhampton Racecourse in Queensland in April of 2023.
The Star Kingdom Stakes has supplied some interesting racing stories, a few better winners, mostly geldings, and a few breeders that supplied competent offspring.
Star Kingdom Stakes Past Winners
|Year||Star Kingdom Stakes Winners|
|2000||King Of Acapulco|
|1999||Return To Go|
|1988||Lunch On Sunday|