The Guy Walter Stakes is a Group 2 set weight plus penalty conditions race for mares aged four years and above over 1400 metres held at Randwick Racecourse in late February or early March.
We have occasionally seen the race posted as the Guy Walter Proven Thoroughbreds Stakes, but that was a case of the race being sponsored by a breeding operation known as Proven Thoroughbreds, it has nothing to do with the age of the runners or a claim that they have proven to be good racers.
Guy Walter Stakes Race Details
Race Distance: 1400m
Prize Money: $250,000
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When Is The Guy Walter Stakes: 24/2/24
What Time Is The Guy Walter Stakes: TBA
Where Is The Guy Walter Stakes: Randwick Racecourse
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More Details About The Guy Walter Stakes
Prizemoney for the race, as of the month leading into the 2023 jump, is $250,000.
The race was won by Forbidden Love in 2022.
The daughter of All Too Hard out of a U.S. dam is now retired, although she jumped as recently as January of 2023. She supplied a form line of 29 jumps for eight wins and six placings to collect over $2.2 million in prizemoney. Her win in the Guy Walter was backed by Group 1 wins in the Canterbury Stakes and the George Ryder Stakes.
Forbidden Love needed to beat just seven other mares to win the first prize of $109,350. She jumped as a distant second favourite, but she beat the favourite by nearly five lengths thanks to the expert steering of Hugh Bowman.
She won by letting the others do all the work until the 300-metre line, and then leaving them behind like Fine Cotton in a barrier trial with Winx.
The Guy Walter Stakes jumps at a Saturday meeting at Randwick that features the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes and the Group 1 Surround Stakes. The Guy Walters Stakes is one of three Group 2 races at the meeting, the other two being The Sweet Embrace Stakes and the Skyline Stakes.
The race was run by three-year-olds and older mares from inception through 2004. The current set weight plus penalty conditions began in 2012. Prior, the running conditions were open handicap.
Like the information we uncovered for the original namesake of the race, Wiggle, we also have some doubts about the entry conditions, as a search for the 2011 winner gave the entry restriction as being aged four and upwards.
History of the Guy Walter Stakes
The race is a recent addition to the Australian Thoroughbred racing calendar, when observed from the prospective of racing taking place at Randwick for well beyond 100 years before the Guy Walter Stakes made its debut in 1996.
The name is a honorarium to a horse trainer named Guy Walter who had 36 Group 1 winners and horses that won a combined 120 or more stakes races and earned approximately $40 million in the process.
The race was originally known as the Wiggle Stakes, although why we could not say.
Wiggle was a mare foaled in 1955 with an interesting history to her.
Her form is missing some elements. We believe she made 55 jumps and won 21 races, but any placings are unknown. Her earnings are given as $116,000, yet she is credited with winning the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap as the only two-year-old to win the race. She is also listed as winning other Group 1 races – the Champagne Stakes and the Caulfield Guineas - and numerous Group 2 races. Allowing for much lower prizemoney in the late 50s and early 60s, we cannot conceptualise of a galloper winning three Group 1 races and six Group 2 races and having so little for which to show from it.
At any rate, Wiggle Stakes or some variant using Wiggle was in place from the start of the race in 1996 through 2014.
The trip for the race has held constant at 1400 metres for the entire time the race has been run.
It has made the climb from being a Listed grade race until 2014. It was a Group 3 race for two jumps in 2014 and 2015, with Group 2 from 2016 forward.
Like many such races, the Guy Walter Stakes has switched venues, we assume at the direction of the ATC. It was at Warwick Farm from 1996 through 2001, went to Randwick for three jumps before returning to Warwick from 2005 – 2015 and has been at Randwick since 2016.
Venue for the Guy Walter Stakes
Since the race has been at Randwick since 2016, that is the venue for the race, in our view.
Randwick is possibly the top racecourse in Australian, although the gang at Flemington might dispute that claim.
We do know that Randwick holds more Group grade races than any other track, while Flemington sometimes gives us the impression that they don’t want any nasty horseshoe prints on their holy turf.
Randwick started holding races in 1833, so they have the jump on Flemington from that regard. Their big race is now The Everest, which we believe can still claim the mantle as being the world’s richest race on turf, even if The Everest cannot Stop a Nation.
For 1400-metre races, that perplexing trip that requires training sprinters up in trip and middle-distance horses to get busy sooner, the gallopers jump from a straight chute on the south side of the course, run two of Randwick’s sweeping turns, and then finish in front of the stands on the east side of the course.
Racing History of the Guy Walter Stakes
The history of the Guy Walter Stakes is a short one, particularly when compared to some of the elite legacy races that have jumped for more than 100 years.
Even in the earlier editions, when three-year-old fillies and mares were allowed in the race, we seldom find great gallopers coming from the ranks of winners of gender-restricted races.
For a newer race, the Guy Walter Stakes has supplied three multiple winners, beginning in 2008 and 2009, when the notable mare Hot Danish won twice, when the race as still Listed grade.
The next dual winner was in 2012 and 2013, courtesy of Steps In Time.
Dixie Blossoms won the race in 2017 and 2018.
We will look at each of the winners, looking for any Group 1 winners or mares that produced significant progeny.
The first winner of the race in 1996 was called Destruct.
Destruct dropped from Sudden Impulse, the one-time Australian Broodmare of the year in 1990. The sire was Ireland’s Sir Tristam, a name we encounter often when examining New Zealand gallopers such as Destruct.
On her dam’s side, Destruct includes the likes of Luskin Star, Todman and Star Kingdom.
She was not much of a racer, was Destruct, and it does not appear as though any of her offspring accomplished much by racing.
The winner in 1997 was Timeless Winds.
Her form line of 21 jumps for nine wins and seven placings suggests a mare that was always aimed at breeding. None of her wins was any better than the Guy Walter Stakes, which was a Listed level race at the time.
She supplied foals, though, 13 of them, by the likes of such as Lonhro, Snippets and Redoute’s Choice, but only 2000’s Dance The Waves by Hennessy made much impact in Australia. Top Top Light by Snippets won over $2.6 million in Hong Kong, roughly $500,000 in proper Aussie money.
The next winner in 1998 was Sybeel.
She was one of Zabeel’s lessor progeny, but she did win the Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes in 1997, another ladies only race.
None of Sybeel’s offspring appears to have done anything significant.
Another New Zealand product, Bonanova, was the winner in 1999.
She won above $1 million from 31 jumps for eight wins and five placings. She managed a Group 1 win in the Emirates Stakes, won at Group 2 and Group 3 level and ran second in four major Group 1 races, two of those being the All-Aged Stakes and the Coolmore Classic.
As a dam, she has supplied 12 foals, the best of which seems to have been Prima Nova, a 2004 filly by Danehill Dancer. Ten of her offspring won at least some money.
Gold Lottey, the winner of the Guy Walter Stakes in 2004, was much in the same pattern as most of the other winners of the race.
She won six and placed in 10 from 38 jumps for a bit above $500,000 in earnings. She managed Group 3 races at Flemington and Moonee Valley, so she could run with the clock and against it, something we believe would give us trouble, as the clockwise running in NSW and Queensland is almost vertigo inducing. Her best finish in a Group 1 race was third in the 2002 Queensland Oaks.
Her main interest for us was in her lines. Her sire was Encosta De Lago, but most of her other lines were northern hemisphere on both sides.
Her best offspring was a 2014 colt by Toorak Toff named Iconoclasm that won $1.1 million by racing.
A Group 1 winner of the Coolmore Classic, 2005 winner Danni Martine earned just under $700,000 from just 14 jumps for four wins and three placings.
Racing in 2005, Danni Martine won the Guy Walter and next up, took the Group 1 Coolmore Classic from 2003 Guy Walter winner Forum Floozie.
The winner from 2007, Doubting, was a 2002 filly by Redoute’s Choice, so it was not much of a shock to learn that she won almost $800,000 from 22 jumps for six wins and five placings.
After winning the Guy Walter Stakes, Doubting was thrown to the Group 1 sharks, where she ran second to Tuesday Joy in the 2007 Coolmore, fifth in the Queen of the Turf at Rosehill, sixth in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick and fourth in her last jump at Eagle Farm in the Winter Stakes.
The first two-time winner of the race came along in 2008 and 2009 in the form of Hot Danish.
She was the winner of more than $2.3 million from 31 jumps for 16 wins and 9 placings. She came into the Guy Walter Stakes as a Group 2 winner of the Emancipation Stakes, with her previous jump supplying a win in the Triscay Stakes.
Hot Danish was beaten into second in the Group 1 Tristarc Stakes by Typhoon Tracy. After a Group 2 win, she ran second in the Group 1 T. J. Smith Stakes, and then best Melito to win the Group 1 All- aged Stakes and Whobegotyou in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000. She was second to Black Caviar in a Group 2 race, but it is being generous to give her second, as she was almost six lengths behind at the line.
Hot Danish was put down due to a leg infection in 2011, leaving no notable offspring.
We skipped a couple handy types to look into Steps In Time, winner of the Guy Walter Stakes is 2012 and 2013, the last time the race jumped as a Listed grade race
. She made 27 jumps for nine wins and four placings, bringing in above $1 million. Her Group 1 win was the Coolmore Classic at Rosehill in 2014.
She was limited to four offspring and despite being served by Sebring twice and once each by Medaglia D’ Oro and I Am Invincible, we have to express that her breeding output was a disappointment in racing terms.
We skip forward once again to examine the two-time winner of the Guy Walter Stakes from 2017 and 2018, Dixie Blossoms.
In addition to winning the now Group 2 Guy Walter Stakes twice, she won the Group 3 Angst Stakes twice. Her Group 1 victory was the 2019 Coolmore Classic, where she jumped for $21 to win beat the next closest by 2.5 lengths.
She made 32 jumps for 7 wins and 14 placings to earn over $1.5 million.
Krone was the winner in 2021.
Like many of her predecessors, Krone furnished a Group 1 win by taking the Coolmore Classic, which was her last win or place for her career.
She won nearly 1.5 million, receiving a big boost from winning the Magic Millions 3YO Fillies and Mares at Gold Coast Racecourse in 2022.
The Guy Walter Stakes, formerly the Wiggle Stakes, has supplied mostly handy mares for the winners - see our weekly horse racing tips to find the winner.
The possible exceptions are Hot Danish, Steps In Time and Dixie Blossoms, but even those winners were often beaten by the better classes when they were inserted into Group 1 races with the top fillies, mares, stallions and geldings participating.
Guy Walters Stakes Past Winners
|2023||Hope In Your Heart|
|2013||Steps In Time|
|2012||Steps In Time|