The Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes is a 1400-metre set weights race held at Randwick Racecourse in Sydney during September spring carnival racing. It is part of a meeting that includes the Group 1 George Main Stakes, The Shorts, another Group 2 and two Group 3 races, the Bill Richie Handicap and the Kingston Town Stakes.
The race has been referred to as the Darley Tea Rose Stakes. We think that may refer to Darley Abbey chinaware, specifically a china pattern for tea cups, but since we don’t drink tea voluntarily, we will refer to the race as the Tea Rose Stakes.
2022 Tea Rose Stakes Information
Date Of The Tea Rose Stakes: 17/9/22
Time Of The Tea Rose Stakes: TBA
Venue For The Tea Rose Stakes: Randwick Racecourse
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Actually, the Darley in the name is for Darley Stud. The operation is owned by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum the ruler of Dubai and vice-president of the United Arab Emirates. The best horses from Darley are transferred to the Sheikh’s Goldolphin racing stable.
Of course, there have been many horses named Tea Rose, which is more our cup of tea, metaphorically speaking. There was an Australian mare from 1887 named Tea Rose and there was another from 1941 that won the AJC Derby and the Rosehill Guineas in 1944.
The race is for three-year-old fillies and part of a series known as the Princess Series. The other races are the Group 2 Silver Shadow Stakes, the Group 2 Furious Stakes and the Group 1 Flight Stakes.
Prizemoney for the Tea Rose Stakes is currently $200,000.
A filly with the name Four Moves Ahead won in 2021. She earned $111,350 for the win - $109,350 for the win plus a $2,000 bonus.
History of the Tea Rose Stakes
The race was first run in 1980. From the first jump through the race staged in 1990, the race was held at Rosehill Gardens Racecourse. It shifted to Canterbury Park Racecourse for 1991 before returning to Rosehill from 1992 – 2011.
The race moved to Royal Randwick in 2012 and has been there ever since.
Just as the venue for the race varied, so too did the trip.
Australia was already on the metric system by 1980, so there is none of that furlong or fractional mile nonsense with which to deal.
The Tea Rose Stakes debuted as a 1400-metre race and stayed there through 1984. From 1985 through 1990, it was 1500 metres.
In 1991, the year it was held at Canterbury Park Racecourse, the race was 1550 metres, which we assume had something to do with the racing facility at Canterbury.
The race reverted to 1500 metres from 1992 through 2012 and in 2013, it was again and has remained 1400 metres.
As for the race grade, it began as Listed, was elevated to Group 3 in 1983 and Group 2 from 1985 forward.
Venue for the Tea Rose Stakes
Randwick needs little by way of introduction. It is one of Australia’s most famous racecourses and the largest in New South Wales.
Randwick traces its origins to around 1833, when the first private races were held there. Racing came to a halt at Randwick in 1840. With the formation of the Australian Jockey Club (AJC) in the early 1840s, what had been strictly a training facility resumed racing in May of 1860 when the AJC established its headquarters at Randwick. The AJC ran things until 2011, when it merged with the Sydney Turf Club (STC) to form the Australian Turf Club (ATC).
It is possible that the AJC had a closet full of monogrammed linens where they only needed to change the J in AJC to a T in order to make all that monogrammed linen useful once again.
Racing History of the Tea Rose Stakes
With just over 40 years, as of early 2022, of racing history, the Tea Rose Stakes still manages to supply us with some notable winners.
Another thing about the history is less about the gender and more about the age restriction. Every filly gets one crack at the Tea Rose Stakes.
The winner of the 1980 race was Dark Eclipse.
She was a formidable competitor in 1980, winning the Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes, along with the Group 3 Magic Night Quality Handicap and the Sweet Embrace Stakes. All three of those races, unlike the Tea Rose Stakes, are 1200-metre races, so winning the Tea Rose was Dark Eclipse’s statement that she could handle the extra 200 metres of the Tea Rose Stakes. She was by Baguette, a great racer and perhaps a better sire. Like his daughter, Baguette won the Golden Slipper Stakes. The fact about Baguette that grabbed our attention was that from 31 jumps for 15 wins and 11 placings, he could manage only $195,000 in earnings, racing, as he did, in the 1960s.
Dark Eclipse produced a filly and a colt by Bletchingly, but those foals were not great winners. She had a filly by Show Down that never made it to the track.
Black Shoes was the Tea Rose Stakes winner in 1981.
Her Tea Rose win, combined with a Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes and Group 3 Gimcrack Stakes in 1980 were backed in 1981 with a Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes win, resulted in her being declared the Champion Two Year Old Filly in Australia for 1981.
The third year of the race supplies us with our first legitimate notable winner, 1982’s Emancipation. She was by Bletchingly out of Ammo Girl, so any expectations of great results through a great pedigree were exceeded. From 28 jumps, Emancipation won 19 and placed in one race. She won seven Group 1 races and was the 1984 Australian Horse of the Year.
The winner from 1983 was Sabre Dancer. She made 11 jumps for five wins in Australia, but was then sent to England in 1984. The Brits shipped her to New Zealand in 1988 and the Kiwis gave her back to Australia in 1990. She had plenty of French connections, so it is almost surprising that they did not send her to France.
Premier Flight from 1984, won seven races, but it seems that the Tea Rose Stakes, in its last edition as a Group 3 race, was the only important race she ever won.
Shinakima from 1985 was a modest galloper that raced 54 times for seven wins and 12 placings, but her only other major win was the 1987 Group 2 STC Queen of the Turf Stakes, along with a fourth place finish in the 1987 Group 1 Doncaster Handicap.
Glory Girl from 1987 was another modest galloper, with some of her best results being second place finishes in the Group 1 Flight Stakes that same year and the Group 1 Orlando Wines Classic, better known as the Coolmore Classic and registered as the Thomas Arthur David Kennedy Stakes.
A solid but unspectacular horse was 1988 winner Glenview. She had some good finishes in five Group 1 races, finishing second, third and fourth.
Tristanagh was better than many. Her 1989 Tea Rose Stakes win was among many races that she won, including the Group 1 VRC Oaks and the Group 1 Thousand Guineas. She was the top filly for 1989 – 90 according to the Australasian 3YO Classification.
Whisked, from 1990, was good enough to win the Group 1 Thousand Guineas and the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes that same year. She was the 1998 -99 Australian Broodmare of the Year. She was dam to Tie the Knot by Nassipour. Tie The Knot won over $6.2 million and notched big wins at Group 1, including two Sydney Cups and four consecutive Chipping Norton Stakes wins, so Whisked gave back far more to racing than she took in prizemoney herself.
Bold Promise’s Tea Rose win in 1991 was one of the top wins for her. She won over $1.7 million despite never winning a Group 1 race.
The winner from 1992 was Burst. She did quite well racing, winning over $2.1 million with impressive race victories including three Group 1 wins in the Champagne Stakes, the Sire’s Produce Stake and the Golden Slipper Stakes.
We could not resist the 1993 winner, Angst, since we experience so much angst ourselves. She was a grey that seemed destined to rule the turf, but she died after 10 jumps following surgery to remove bone chips. She won at Group 1 level in the AJC Flight Stakes.
The winner in 1994 was Danarani. She made 20 jumps and won two Group 1s, the Toorak Handicap and the Flight Stakes.
We would skip over 1997 winner Stella Cadente, but she did win the Group 1 Australia Stakes in 1998, so we gave her a mention.
The most notable winner since Emancipation in 1982 was 1998’s Sunline.
She was a legitimate Hall of Famer from the moment she put hoof to turf. She was a New Zealander that was named New Zealand Horse of the Year four times and Australian Horse of the year three times. She won the Cox Plate in 1999 and 2000, the same years she twice won the Doncaster Handicap. In 2000 and 2002, she won two All Aged Stakes and two Coolmore Classics. She made 48 jumps for 42 wins and 12 placings on her way to collecting over $11.3 million in prizemoney.
Sunline earned a page on our site devoted to the great champions for anyone who desires more details.
By now, we have determined that the fillies that were capable of winning the Tea Rose Stakes were better than handy and after Sunline, we concluded that the subsequent winners were of similar ability, so we are jumping ahead.
The Tea Rose Stakes was abandoned in 2007 due to the outbreak of equine influenza in New South Wales.
Another notable appears on the winners’ list for 2008.
She was Samantha Miss and she won all four legs of the Princess Series, with Group 1 wins in the Champagne Stakes, Flight Stakes and VRC Oaks. She won over $1.75 million from just 12 starts for seven wins and four placings. She was by Redoute’s Choice.
The wait for another great winner was short, as the 2009 Tea Rose Stakes went to More Joyous.
Trained by Gai Waterhouse, More Joyous made 30 jumps for 21 wins and two placings on her way to bring in over $$4.4 million. She was the Australian Champion Middle Distance Racehorse in 2012 and claimed victories in eight Group 1 races.
More Strawberries was the winner of the Tea Rose Stakes in 2010 and she was frequently well placed in many major races.
Streama, from 2011 was well above average.
She was a granddaughter to Redoute’s Choice, so she got her ability honestly. She won four Group 1 races, including the 2012 AJC Oaks, showing the stamina to win at 2400 metres. Her prizemoney was above $2.6 million.
Another good filly was 2013 winner Guelph.
She won over $1.6 million with Group 1 wins in the Sires’ Produce Stakes, the Champagne Stakes, Flight Stakes and Thousand Guineas, burnishing the stud image of Exceed and Excel.
First Seal won in 2014 and that race can be replayed at the following link. The race call is in Spanish, but the important takeaway is that First Seal beat Winx for the win. She beat Winx again next up when she won by three lengths in the 2014 Group 1 Flight Stakes. She beat Winx into fifth in the 2015 Group 2 Surround Stakes.
We now skip forward to the 2017 winner, Alizee.
She won over $3.1 million from 29 jumps for 10 wins and six placings. A Goldolphin horse out of Darley Stud, she won three Group 1s – the Flight Stakes, Queen of the Turf Stakes and the Futurity Stakes.
We conclude our exam of the Tea Rose Stakes with Miss Fabulass (2018), Funstar (2019) and Dame Giselle (2020).
Dame Giselle was arguably the best of the three, a winner of $1.3 million despite never winning at Group 1 level. She did win three consecutive Group 2 races in 2020 when she won the Silver Shadow Stakes and the Furious Stakes before sealing the hat trick with the win in the Tea Rose Stakes.
The Tea Rose Stakes has attracted some of the best three-year-old fillies since it made its debut in 1980.
Even the not-so-famous winners were competent gallopers and while it is problematic to figure out what the racing authorities have in mind, it is possible to foresee a future where the Tea Rose Stakes is elevated to Group 1 level.
Tea Rose Stakes Past Winners
|2021||Four Moves Ahead|
|2004||Prisoner Of Love|