The Australian Turf Club presents the Group 2 The Shorts during September during the spring carnival racing season. It is held at Royal Randwick Racecourse in Sydney.
The Group 2 race is currently set at 1100 metres and offers prizemoney for $500,000.
The Shorts Race Details
Race Distance: 1000m
Prize Money: $500,000
How To Bet On The Shorts
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The Shorts Betting Tips
1. Tips will be published closer to race day
When Is The Shorts: 14/9/2024
What Time Is The Shorts: TBC
Where Is The Shorts: Randwick Racecourse
How To Live Stream The Shorts
To live stream The Shorts, TAB Account Holders can watch the race live.
More Details About The Shorts
The race is for horses aged three years and above and is run under set weights plus penalty conditions.
When Eduardo won in 2021, it was almost as though the prolific winner was backing up in grade, racing in a Group 2 race while already the winner of two Group 1 races. He beat notables to win The Shorts, beating Nature Strip and Gytrash in a meeting that presented the racers with a light rain.
Eduardo collected $287,000 for finishing first and another $2,000 bonus to make his take $289,000.
The win made Eduardo one of the top picks for The Everest, but this time Nature Strip proved the better galloper.
History of The Shorts
The Shorts is one of the older races on the Australian Thoroughbred racing calendar. It was run for the first time in 1867. Two World Wars did not cause the race to be abandoned. It was not held in 2007, the year the equine influenza epidemic that tore through North South Wales stables and caused hundreds of races to be canceled.
Given the age of the race and the unrestricted age and gender elements, it is a bit of a surprise to report that only five horses have won The Shorts more than once. We will name and examine those horses in the racing history section further on in this report.
First run in 1987, the race used the old measurements from that first year until 1971, when it was a six-furlong event. Six furlongs is about as close to 1200 metres as is possible to imagine, but let us eliminate the imagination and report that in metres, six furlongs is equivalent to 1,207.01 metres. Any racing punter knows that seven metres can be massive when many races are determined by fractions of metres.
In 1972, the race was shortened to 1100 metres, where it remained until 2010 and 2011, when it reverted to 1200 metres.
Beginning in 2012 and since, the race has been an 1100-metre trip.
The race has been at Randwick always, save for 2011, when it shifted to Rosehill Gardens Racecourse for the one race.
The race grade was initially Principal prior to the Group classification system coming along in 1979. The Shorts was made a Listed race for 1979 and remained at that level until 1994, when it became a Group 3 event.
It achieved Group 2 level in 2008, where it has stayed.
Venue for The Shorts
The Shorts has always been run at Randwick, with the exceptions of 2011, when it shifted to Rosehill Racecourse for one edition, and 2007 when it was not run anywhere due to equine influenza.
Randwick is the largest racecourse in NSW.
There was some private racing being held at the location as far back as the early 1830s. Racing stopped for a while beginning in 1840. Following the establishment of the Australian Jockey Club in the early 1840s, Randwick was used as a training facility. When the AJC moved its headquarters to Randwick in 1860, it was not long until racing resumed.
Randwick replaced Hyde Park, the main Sydney racing venue in the central business district. Randwick sits approximately seven kilometres from the CBD, adjacent to the University of New South Wales.
As of 2017, Randwick has laid claim to being the site of the world’s richest turf race. That race is The Everest and a couple of winners of The Shorts have gone on to win The Everest, with its $15 million purse offering $6,749,000 to the 2020 winner Classique Legend.
Racing History of The Shorts
As of 2021, The Shorts has been run 154 times.
Earlier, we expressed surprise that a race of this vintage has only had five multiple winners, given that there are no age or gender restrictions, other than the requirement that the gallopers must be at least three years of age.
Further, of the previous winners, we found few recognisable names until 2014, when the winner was Terravista.
Redzel, the winner in 2017, would earn a place in the annals of Thoroughbred racing history for winning The Everest the first two times the world’s richest turf race jumped.
We did not see the names we typically associate with top sprinters. No Chautauqua, no Wenona Girl, no Black Caviar.
With this reality facing us, we set out to examine the previous winners of The Shorts in hopes of finding a few diamonds amidst all the roughies.
The first winner was Gunilda in 1867.
Gunilda was a mare by Coroebus out of a dam by the same name of Gunilda. Historical databases suggest that Gunilda’s sire may have been a stallion named Cheddar. At any rate, the lines were exclusively British.
Gunilda did not leave a lot of racing history behind.
A lack of history beyond Gunilda often found us unable to identify a winner with certainty. Searching the winners from Tippler (1868) through The Judge (1878), we found pedigrees with major gaps. We found a slew of horses with the same name as The Shorts winners and often there was not a horse listed that foaled in the right year or the right place to have participated in The Shorts.
It was 1879 when Chorister was the winner and winning The Shorts is the only thing we could determine with accuracy with regard to Chorister.
A horse named The Felon is given as the winner of The Shorts for 1887, but we could not even find proof that a horse by that name ever existed. This is a rare occurrence, as Thoroughbred lineage from that era, and this era, for that matter, is often more detailed and complete than human lineage.
Another example of the scarcity of available records from the late 1800s can be found in the 1888 winner, Tilburn.
To look at Tilburn’s lines, we see that his sire was Kingsborough, his grandsire was Kingston and his great grandsire was also named Kingston, although the foal date for the first is given as 1860, while the other is given as 1849.
We mention Tilburn only because with names such as Kingsborough and Kingston, we suspect this line may have eventually made its way to Kingston Town, but that is mere speculation on our parts. Well, that and a line on his dam’s side that contained Sir Hercules, the unraced stallion that was sire to Melbourne Cup winner The Barb and 1866 Sydney Cup winner Yattendon.
The 1891 winner, Alexander, was by 1880 Melbourne Cup winner Grand Flaneur, with the aforementioned Yattendon for grandsire and Sir Hercules one generation further back.
We find similar lines when we look at the 1892 winner, Victor Hugo.
Waterfall won in 1895 and that same year, in his last race, he won the AJC Mares’ Produce Stakes, the race now known as the Group 1 Sires’ Produce Stakes.
We believe the 1903 winner, Ceres, was the Australian mare foaled in 1899. She did not leave much for a racing record, but her lines were superb. She was by Wallace, a stayer that won out to 4800 metres. Her grandsire was New Zealand’s Carbine. Other ancestors to Ceres were Musket, with the winner of the 1866 Melbourne Cup The Barb on her dam’s side, along with Sire Hercules, sire of The Barb.
The 1905 winner was Machine Gun of New Zealand.
In addition to winning The Shorts, he also won the 1903 Dunedin Champagne Stakes and the 1905 Great Easter Handicap.
We find it necessary to jump ahead to 1912, which is where we find Gigandra winning the first of three The Shorts victories.
Aside from his name sounding like Godzilla’s opponent in a Japanese science fiction movie, Gigandra left little behind by way of a racing record. He did something that no other has ever done, though, by winning The Shorts for a second and third time. Those wins were in 1914 and 1915.
While we are in the time period of the early 20th century, we will mention the 1913 winner Golden Hop, which may have prevented Gigandra from winning The Shorts four consecutive years.
Golden Hop won the AJC Challenge Stakes that same year and he repeated that win in 1914.
Moving ahead again, we come to our next multiple winner. It was Calmest, winner in 1926 and 1927. We could not discover anything about her beyond the two wins in The Shorts.
We have an unusual multiple winner in Winnipeg from 1941. Unusual in that this gelding won again in 1944. We rarely see these sorts of two-year gaps from multiple winners of major races.
Even by the middle of the 20th century, the databases do not offer much information about winners of The Shorts.
For example, the 1948 winner, Comedy Prince, was listed as unraced by one vast database that generally supplies good intel, but most people would scratch their heads over a winner that was unraced.
Moving ahead to our next multiple winner, we learn that it was Nagpuni in 1953 and 1954.
Of Nagpuni, we know that he was sent to the U.S., so we wonder if he was good like Phar Lap, also sent to the U.S., or so mediocre that he was banished to the land of dirt tracks.
Skipping some more years of horse names that do not excite much curiosity, we arrive at our last multiple winner of The Shorts, King’s Favourite from 1976 and 1977.
King's Favourite had Todman as a grandsire and Star Kingdom for a great grandsire, so perhaps he should have been better than he was, but the only other win we can report is the 1977 City Tattersall’s Lightning Handicap.
In 1991, the winner was Euclase.
He was a good racer, winner at Group 1 level in the SAJC Goodwood Handicap. Euclase sired plenty of stakes winners, but the only ones that surpassed his prizemoney of $483,000 were La Baraka ($641, 000) out of Triscay, Star Laser ($570,000) out of Noted Star and Prime Witness ($1.9 million) out of Good Looker.
When we get further into the modern era of Thoroughbred racing, we get to some better types for winners of The Shorts.
The first of these is Terravista from 2014.
Terravista won over $2.6 million from 32 jumps for 11 wins and seven placings. His big wins were the 2014 Group 1 Darley Classic (Tea Rose Stakes) and the 2017 Group 1 VRC Lightning Stakes.
Rebel Dane from 2015 was already a proven winner when he lined up for The Shorts. His Group 1 win was the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes. Rebel Dane was often right there against the likes of Winx, Chautauqua, Redzel, Tycoon Tara, Buffering and Terravista.
The 2017 winner was Redzel.
Redzel was not just a winner of The Everest. Redzel was not just a two-time winner of The Everest. He won the Group 3 Concorde Stakes three times in a row from 2017 – 2019. Other major wins were the Challenge Stakes, Darley Classic, Doomben 10,000, Hall Mark Stakes and the Resimax Stakes.
Pierata, from 2019, won over $5.8 million. His record of 26 jumps for nine wins and nine placings includes a Group 1 win in the 2019 All Aged Stakes at Randwick. A big chunk of Pierata’s prizemoney came from winning the Magic Millions 3YO Guineas to collect $1.2 million.
The 2020 winner, Classique Legend, unsuccessful in a 2019 attempt in The Everest, won the race in 2020, beating Bivouac by 2.5 lengths. To win The Shorts, Classique Legend had to beat Eduardo and Bivouac, which he did going away at the end.
In recent years, The Shorts has been approached as a lead up race to The Everest.
Prior to The Everest, the race did not seem to attract the best types, but while some of the winners might have been obscure from the historical perspective, they were good enough to win, sometimes more than once, a spring carnival sprint race that is held in the early stages of the spring carnival, a race good enough to deserve Group 2 status.
The Shorts Past Winners
|2018||Ball Of Muscle|
|2011||Love Conquers All|
|2004||Dance The Waves|
|1997||Hot As Hell|
|1990||Rise 'N' Shine|
|1980||Hit It Benny|
|1883||Blue And White|