The Group 3 Sydney Stakes is a weight-for-age sprint of 1200 metres for horses aged three years an older staged at Sydney’s Royal Randwick Racecourse in mid-October.
For 2022, it is run alongside the Group 3 Craven Plate as one of the preliminary attractions for The Everest.
Sydney Stakes Race Details
Race Distance: 1200m
Prize Money: $500,000
How To Bet On The Sydney Stakes
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Sydney Stakes Betting Tips
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When Is The Sydney Stakes: 12/10/24
What Time Is The Sydney Stakes: TBA
Where Is The Sydney Stakes: Randwick Racecourse
How To Live Stream The Sydney Stakes
To live stream the Sydney Stakes, TAB Account Holders can watch the race live.
More Details About The Sydney Stakes
Occupying a prestigious slot at the same meeting as The Everest means the race offers a hefty prize purse by Group 3 standards of $500,000.
The 2021 winner was Big Parade, a then five-year-old gelding by Deep Field from Crystal Rock.
Big Parade has been nicely prepared and managed by Randwick-based trainer Mark Newnham to the tune of almost $900,000 in stakes winnings from 18 jumps for eight wins and six placings.
The Sydney Stakes is the most recent and best, as of mid-2022, ahead of the spring carnival, win for Big Parade, but strong gallops in better races, including the Classique Legend Stakes and a close second in the Group 1 Galaxy at Rosehill would seem to indicate that Big Parade may yet win at Group 1 level with a little racing luck and good health.
He earned $288,500 for winning the Sydney Stakes from near the front as the odds-on favourite, beating Kementari with Hugh Bowman up.
History of the Sydney Stakes
From the inception in 1968 through 2016, the Sydney Stakes was known as the City Tattersall’s Lightning Handicap.
The name Sydney Stakes came into use in 2017, which may have played a role in the race being elevated to Group 3 status, although a desire by the ATC to have some quality races to accompany The Everest might have factored into the equation.
Prior to the Group classification system coming into use, the race was considered a Principal race before spending the years from 1978 through 2017 at Listed level.
The race has always been run at Randwick, with the lone exception being the year of 1983, when it shifted to Warwick Farm.
The trip for the place has sort of been all over the map. Ignoring for the moment the minor variances from furlongs to metres, the race was 100 metres from 1968 through 2000. It was run at what seems barrier trial length in 2001, when it was trimmed to 870 metres. We suspect weather/track conditions may have accounted for this odd trip.
It was restored to 1000 metres in 2002 and from 2006 through 2016, it was 1100 metres. The current length of 1200 metres went into effect in 2017.
Venue for the Sydney Stakes
Randwick Racecourse in Sydney is the marquee track of New South Wales. The earliest racing at the site is generally accepted as being 1833.
The track was dubbed Royal Randwick in early February of 1992 when her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth II paid a visit to dedicate the Paddock Stand. Ah! Who does not love a generous dose of pomp and circumstance?
A few of the major races staged at Randwick are The Everest, the Australian Derby, All Aged Stakes and the Doncaster Handicap.
The track has an intriguing ovoid shape that has been compared to a shelled hard-boiled egg that has been left on the dash of a car for a bit too long.
For 1200 metre races such as the Sydney Stakes, the racers jump from a chute on the west side of the track, run about 600 metres in a straight line, and then run one turn to hit the home straight and finish in front of the stands on the east side.
Racing History of the Sydney Stakes
Some of the better types have won the Sydney Stakes over the past decade, although the best types that want to race at this meeting are lined up for The Everest.
This almost gives the race the feel of a consolation prize, but that cannot be said about the race prior to the first jump of The Everest in 2017.
The list of winners includes a couple of gallopers that have won the race on more than one occasion and we will begin with the first time the race jumped in 1968 to search for those racers that won better races or contributed significant progeny.
We begin with the first winner, Academy Star, from 1968.
We believe he only had eight jumps, which is very few, even for a horse destined for stud. The Sydney Stakes was the one win we can definitively attribute to him. He had a solid pedigree, with distant connections to British champions Hyperion and Gainsborough on his sire’s side. Hyperion was also represented on the distaff side and his dam, Concert Star, was by Star Kingdom.
Academy Star was not prodigious as a sire, but he did supply Thoroughbred racing with 20 named foals between 1971 and 1986.
Moving through the list of winners, we found nothing notable until 1973, when a mare named Kista took the race.
She was by way of New Zealand and the same year she won the Sydney Stakes, she won in Queensland, taking first in the Booroolong Handicap.
She was viewed as good enough to be served by Planet Kingdom, Luskin Star and other good stallions, but none of her six named foals leapt off the page as truly significant.
The race was abandoned in 1976, although the way we learned of that abandonment had us momentarily believing that there was a winner named Race Not Run.
Trench Digger was the winner in 1981.
This gelding had some good wins in the Phar Lap Stakes, Expressway Stakes and the Royal Sovereign Stakes, along with placings in the Shannon Quality Stakes, The Galaxy and the Apollo Stakes.
The 1983 winner, Solo Lad, was a gelding of little interest, except for his lines. His grandsire was Todman by Star Kingdom. Star Kingdom was also represented on Solo Lad’s distaff side in the same generation he served on the sire’s side.
Vain Karioi from 1984 presented some stronger history.
Along with his win in the Sydney Stakes, he had a win in the Hall Mark Stakes. He was by Vain out of Kariette. Vain was by Wilkes and Kariette was by Baguette, so there was at least a solid pedigree to supplement Vain Karioi’s 45 jumps for 9 wins and 10 placings.
Vain Karioi was a strong sire, with stakes winners aplenty.
He had several that surpassed the $100,000 mark in earnings and perhaps the best was the gelding out of Kirk’s Girl named Just A Printer from 1991 that won over $360,000.
Bemboka Spirit from 1985 had an impressive strike rate, winning 17 races with 7 placings from 35 jumps, but his meagre earnings suggest that he raced mainly in sideshow races. His other good win was The Shorts.
He was an okay sire and his best was the grey gelding De Arman (1996) out of Spy’s Lass that won over $200,000.
The first multiple winner of the Sydney Stakes in 1988 and 1989 had the appealing moniker of Diamond Benny.
Diamond Benny might have benefitted from some polish, but he did manage to win 15 times, with a good win in the Group 3 Frederick Clissold Handicap in 1989.
We did not find any record of offspring by Diamond Benny.
West Dancer from 1990 was a New Zealand sprinter that won the June Stakes, the Civic Handicap and the Concorde Stakes – all in that same year.
His lines included Northern Dancer and Nearctic and other better northern hemisphere horses, such as Todman and Star Kingdom are represented on the side of his dam Glorify.
The 1991 winner, All Archie, won the Challenge Stakes at Group 2 level, along with the Group 3 Liverpool City Cup, the Group 3 Royal Sovereign Stakes and a second win in the Liverpool City Cup. All of those wins were in NSW.
All Archie shared some ancestors with 1990 winner West Dancer.
Classic Magic from 1992 won over $439,000 with 14 wins and 15 placings from 54 jumps. His best win came in 1994 in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes at Randwick.
Legal Agent from 1993 won an additional five better races, but nothing above Group 3. He lined up for a couple of Group 1 jumps, but he was field filler only and did not place.
Sword was the winner of the Sydney Stakes in 1995.
This gelding is the first galloper we have found that was a better type. He was no lower than fifth and that just once, in his first 20 jumps and he carried Chris Munce across the line in 1996 in the Group 1 Goodwood at Morphettville.
A mare named Ossie Cossie was the winner in 1997.
She made 58 jumps, winning 19 and placing in 18. It did not earn her much money and with that many jumps, we had low expectations of her as a breeder, but she was second to Al Mansour in 1997 in the Moir Stakes at Moonee Valley. She was well back from Big Al in that race.
Two of her better progeny were Cos Snip by Snippets and Jantzen by Johannesburg that combined for close to $300,000 in earnings.
Snippets also served as sire to the 1998 winner, Mutombo.
That is all that need be said for Mutombo.
The Sydney Stakes resulted in a dead heat between Pastime and Strabane in 2001.
Pastime was by Snippets, so there are three by him in the winner’s circle, but Pastime did little as a racer and was a gelding.
Strabane was good enough to win almost $300,000, but he was also gelded and did not leave offspring to examine.
A true notable won the Sydney Stakes in 2002.
It was Shogun Lodge, a gelding by a U.S. Sire named Grand Lodge out of Pride Of Tahnee.
He was a great galloper, one that, considering the earlier winners of the race, made us wonder why he was in the Sydney Stakes.
He made 58 jumps for 12 wins and 20 placings. His racing career was one of bad luck, for although he won three Group 1 races and a fourth that would become Group 1, he ran second in another 12 Group 1 races.
The combined margin by which Shogun Lodge lost those 12 Group 1 races was 10 lengths. One Group 1 loss was to Lonhro by 1.3 lengths and another was to Sunline by a neck in the 2002 Doncaster Handicap.
He earned more than $4.6 million.
Shogun Lodge won the George Main Stakes in 1999, the Epsom Handicap in 2000 and the Queen Elizabeth and Canterbury Stakes in 2001.
He met an early demise in the Group 1 Emirates Stakes at Flemington when he collapsed due to heart attack brought on by a lung haemorrhage.
The Sydney Stakes was abandoned in 2007 due to the Equine Influenza outbreak.
We skipped ahead to 2012. By this time, the race was being dominated by geldings. Rest assured, we did not overlook any Group 1 winners.
The next two years, 2012 and 2013, provided the dual winner Famous Seamus. He earned over $1.3 million in 55 jumps for 12 wins and 10 placings. His country of origin is given as New Zealand, but beyond his dam Clinique, he was almost entirely of U.S. lines.
The Sydney Stakes was his first significant win, as well as his second.
Good Group 1 fortune came his way at Doomben in 2014 when he took the BTC Cup from Spirit Of Boom with Buffering into third.
Deep Field from 2014 made only eight jumps. His third jump saw him breaking the Canterbury track record for 1100 metres in 2014 in his race immediately prior to the win in the Sydney Stakes.
Servicing mares, he was better still. Too valuable was his DNA to race more than a few times. Arguably, his best was 2017’s Isotope, a filly out of Great Dansaar that has won over $1.2 million.
We are compelled to jump over Dothraki (2015) and Spieth (2016) in order to look at the 2017 winner, In Her Time.
She earned over $3.7 million and was good enough to line up in The Everest twice. She had Group 1 wins at Rosehill in The Galaxy, the Lightning Stakes at Flemington.
Another better type was the 2018 winner, Pierata.
He had many close calls, but finally won at Group 1 level in 2019 when he took the All Aged Stakes at Randwick from Osborne Bulls.
Pierata has won over $5.8 million from just 26 jumps for nine wins and nine placings.
Pierata can be seen winning the Sydney Stakes at the following link.
Deprive, now retired, won the Sydney Stakes in 2019.
He won nearly $1 million from 24 jumps for eight wins and four placings. He beat Champagne Cuddles to win the Sydney Stakes.
Trumbull won in 2020 and we could not help imagining how cool it would be if he could have won the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes. The Sydney Stakes was his best and final victory.
The Sydney Stakes, originally the City Tattersall’s Lightning Handicap, will probably never be confused with the Sydney Cup; still it has provided some good winners, especially in recent years.
While it has been controlled by geldings for the most part, there were some good mares to win and a few good stallions as well, some of which supplied progeny that outstripped their earning as racers.
Sydney Stakes Past Winners
|2023||I Am Me|
|2017||In Her Time|
|2007||Race Not Run|
|2004||Sam Sung a Song|
|2001||DH Pastime / Strabane|
|1986||Let Me Tell|
|1976||Race Not Run|