The George Moore Stakes is a Group 3 sprint presented by the Brisbane Racing Club in early December. The race is held at a Saturday meeting at Doomben Racecourse, so the actual month and date can vary, depending on how the calendar for the year plays out.
The race covers 1200 metres and is run under quality handicap conditions with prizemoney, as of 2022, of $200,000.
George Moore Stakes Race Details
Race Distance: 1200m
Prize Money: $200,000
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When Is The George Moore Stakes:9/12/23
What Time Is The George Moore Stakes: TBA
Where Is The George Moore Stakes: Doomben Racecourse
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More Details About The George Moore Stakes
Zoustar’s son Zoustyle was the winner in 2021.
Zoustyle won comfortably as the odds on favourite, notching a 1.25 length victory over second favourite Baller. Both Zoustyle and Baller are prepared by Tony Gollan, but Gollan was not able to sweep the podium because he had just the two runners.
Zoustyle earned $116,000 for his effort.
History of the George Moore Stakes
George Moore, the race’s current namesake, began as a Queensland jockey in 1939 and is memorialised in Queensland for winning the Doomben 10,000 five times over a 31-year span. He won prestigious races all across the country and abroad, with two Cox Plate wins in 1957 and 1968, but he never had the right mount or the right racing luck to win the Caulfield Cup
or the Melbourne Cup. His reputation was burnished by riding the legendary Tulloch for 19 of Tulloch’s 36 wins.
He retired from riding in 1971, and then went on to be a successful trainer in Australia and Hong Kong, where he won the trainers’ premiership 11 times.
The George Moore Stakes was first run in 1979 as the XXXX Stakes, the name that persisted through 1986. The following year saw the race being the Thornhill Park Stakes.
The race became the L. J. Williams Quality Handicap in 1988, only to be supplanted by the Summer Stakes in 1989.
L. J. was revenged in 1990 with the name going back to that in 1990 and lasting for three races through 1992. Summer Stakes was used again for the race in 1993 before the AWA Stakes held sway from 1994 through 1999.
Summer Stakes returned for a last hurrah from 2000 through 2006.
The race was not held in 2007, leading us to think that the equine influenza outbreak that so heavily impacted racing in NSW was of concern in Queensland as well.
The race was again skipped in 2010 when the meeting was abandoned after six races due to bad weather.
They may race with the clock in Queensland, as do their southern neighbours in NSW, but they change names for races in proper Victorian fashion.
As the qualifications for the race are “open,” any and all are welcome, with the exception of apprentice jockeys.
The first multiple winner was Mirraben, an anonymous type that won three times, including twice in one single year, 1989, apparently due to some adjustments to the racing calendar. His first win was in 1987 and the race did not jump during the 1988 calendar year.
The other multiple winner was Chief De Beers. He was a champion sprinter by New Zealand’s Hula Chief, with lines connecting him to Vain, Wilkes and Star Kingdom. He won in 1994 and 1997 and it is unusual for a galloper to win a race twice with two intervening years.
Chief De Beers won the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 in 1995 and 1998. He was often ridden by Mick Dittman
At the age of eight, Chief De Beers went to work for the wallopers and served with distinction in Queensland, although we don’t know who was steering him then.
The George Moore Stakes has always been run at Doomben, with the exception of 2016, when it shifted to Eagle Farm for one jump. If memory serves, and it often does not, we seem to recall that it was around this time when Eagle Farm was staging boat races.
The grade of the George Moore Stakes has shifted more often than the venue has.
Since its debut was in 1979, the year the Group classification system took hold, it was immediately declared Group 3, but suffered the ignominy of being devoted to Listed grade for 18 jumps before rising once again to Group 3 in 2001.
There have been some notable winners, including Takeover Target, Lucky Hussler and I’m A Rippa. We will look at these three when we examine the racing history of the George Moore Stakes.
Venue for the George Moore Stakes
With the one exception, the George Moore Stakes has always jumped at Brisbane’s Doomben Racecourse.
Opening in 1933, in the Brisbane suburb of Ascot, it is a small wonder that they did not try to work Ascot into the name of the track.
Group 1 racing at Doomben includes the BTC Cup, the Doomben Cup and the Doomben 10,000. There is only one Group 2 race currently, the Champagne Classic. Nine Group 3 races round out the Group offerings at Doomben.
The racecourse was closed for a time during the Second World War and used to supply sleeping stalls for American soldiers fighting in the Pacific Theatre. It reopened for racing in 1946.
The course layout is a conventional oval of rather smallish circumference of 1,715 metres and the home straight is just 350 metres.
For a 1200-metre sprint race such as the George Moore Stakes, the racers start at the head of the back straight on the west side of the track, run the straight, make the big turn on the east extremity of the course, and then down the entire home straight to finish in front of the grand stands.
Racing History of the George Moore Stakes
Over the years, the race has attracted some better types. Some of those come from NSW, possibly via connections that want to capture some more prizemoney following campaigns in Victoria or NSW.
The first winner from 1989 was Princess Reichen.
As best we could determine, the win was her best and she supplied four named foals, three by the stallion Christmas Tree, but none of her progeny made much of an impact on Australian racing.
The 1990 winner was Grand Rocky.
His grandsire was Todman, which makes his great-grandsire Star Kingdom.
Grand Rocky was more sire than racer, it appears. His best was Baanya Boy that won 10 races and earned $360,000 despite never winning above Listed grade.
Handsome Prince won in 1981.
This gelding was popular with Queensland racing fans and he managed to win the first two legs of the Doomben Triple Crown before losing the third leg on a heavy track. He was often unable to perform at his best as his career found him often battling bad knees.
Marquee Star won in 1982.
He was kept whole for his entire career, which included 63 jumps for 15 wins and 24 placings. He does not seem to have won any major races and we think he never jumped in a Group 1.
Marquee Star was a prolific sire.
He seemed to pass along his stamina for racing, for although none of his offspring pulled up any trees racing, some of them made a lot of jumps, including the 1990 colt Just Dynamite, out of Pretty Gem, which made 104 starts.
The winner for 1983 was Foreign Interest.
His tie to Star Kingdom was on his dam’s side. Other notable ancestors were Canada’s Nijinsky and Northern Dancer. Foreign Interest won a couple Group 3 races. His best progeny was a 1993 gelding out of Arch Command named Gene’s Interest that made 86 jumps and won over $500,000.
We have our second mare to win the race in 1985’s Basic French.
She squandered an impressive pedigree that included sire Bletchingly, with lines to Biscay and Star Kingdom and none of her babies achieved fame on the turf.
We jumped over a couple nothing gallopers to find another nothing galloper named Mirraben, except Mirraben won the George Moore Stakes three times. Mirraben did not leave a progeny record that we could locate.
A gelding named Gypsy Rogue won in 1990.
He managed to win the Group 2 Tourist Minister’s Cup in 1990, but considering Planet Kingdom and Star Kingdom were in his lines, his racing record was not equal to his pedigree.
The 1991 winner, a gelding named Turvey, was a decent sort and we like him for making 85 jumps. He won 17 races and 15 placings to earn more than $340,000.
The best we have found to date, in our view, was the 1992 winner Buck's Pride.
He made 72 jumps for 21 wins and 18 placings to amass a bit above $660,000. He won a Group 2 race in 1993 and 1994, all the while managing to remain intact.
He did not leave everything on the track.
As a sire, he supplied 41 foals and a remarkable percentage, over 50 percent, made some money racing. The 1998 mare out of Bushina named Bush Triumph was the only one to go above $100,000 in earnings and she required 42 jumps to get there.
The next winner we want to examine is 1994’s Chief De Beers. He also won the race in 1997. We detailed him earlier in this article, but here we will say that he won over $1.58 million, but as a gelding, left nothing to follow him. He is the only galloper to this stage in the racing history of the George Moore Stakes that was able to win at Group 1 grade.
In between the two George Moore Stakes wins by Chief De Beers was 1995’s Atlantic Crossing and 1996’s Rip Home, neither of which did anything notable.
The gelding Make Mine Magic won the race in 2003.
He had 14 wins and 8 placings from 54 jumps for $942,000. He won at Group 2 in Queensland during 2000 and 2001. He won his first six jumps, but those were minor races. He finished fourth in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap on two occasions.
We ignore the very ignorable 2004 winner Show Biz Kid.
That leaves more time for the 2005 winner, Takeover Target.
He is our What Was This Horse Doing In This Race Horse.
Takeover Target won over $6 million from 41 jumps for 21 wins and 10 placings. He was the world’s highest rated turf sprinter in 2006. His Group 1 wins were the 2004 Salinger Stakes, the 2006 Lightning Stakes, the 2006 Newmarket Handicap, the 2006 Sprinters’ Stakes, the 2007 Doomben 10,000, the KrisFlyer International Stakes in Singapore in 2008, the T. J. Smith Stakes in 2009 and The Goodwood in 2009.
Takeover Target was inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame in 2012, long overdue by our measure. Two of his Group 1 wins came when he was racing as a nine-year-old. He beat Apache Cat in the Group 2 Winterbottom Stakes in 2008 and when he won the Group 1 The Goodwood in 2009, He proved that I Am Invincible was vincible after all, winning by a length.
When Natural Destiny won in 2006, he set a track record for the trip at Doomben. He is standing in Queensland now and he has produced quantity, but not quality to this stage.
We jumped ahead, skipping nothing of note, until we arrived at 2013 to find the familiar name of Lucky Hussler.
One of the few winning Aussie racers we have found with lines connecting to Argentina, this mostly northern hemisphere gelding hustled more than $2.1 million in prizemoney from 51 jumps for 10 wins and 9 placings.
Lucky Hussler’s major wins were the 2016 Magic Millions Cup, the 2015 Group 1 Toorak Handicap and the 2015 Group 1 William Reid Stakes that same year.
A good product of Choisir, a gelding named Big Money, was the winner of the George Moore Stakes in 2014.
He earned over $817,000 from 40 jumps for 10 wins and 9 placings.
Maybe he should have been named Okay Money, but that is cynicism on our part, as Big Money never won above Group 3 grade.
From Big Money in 2014, we find the 2015 winner with another money-themed winner named Didntcostalot. We could easily have named this gelding Didntwinalot, but he actually earned over $560,000 from 41 jumps for 10 wins and 8 placings.
A 2012 gelding by I Am Invincible named Most Important won the race in 2016.
He won just above $1 million from 42 jumps for 10 wins and 11 placings. Most Important wrote his million-dollar-winning resume without winning above Group 3.
The million dollar plus winning gelding I'm A Rippa was the winner in 2018.
He made 38 jumps for 8 wins and 15 placings. About half his earnings came from winning the Magic Millions Qtis Open that same year.
The 2019 winner was a gelding named Chapter And Verse.
He needed 35 jumps to amass his stakes, with 6 wins and 11 placings. He won the same race that accounted for most of I’m A Rippa’s stakes, so that is where most of Chapter And Verse’s earning came from.
Our final winner was 2020’s Hard Empire, a gelding by the U.S. stallion Hard Spun.
He is listed as active, although he is nine years of age, and he ran in September of 2022 and he won the Group 2 Missile Stakes at Randwick in August of 2022.
We think there should be more races named for jockeys and the George Moore Stakes is one they got right.
Queensland racing will never be mistaken for Victorian or NSW racing, but good horses often make the trip north in order to pad their bank accounts at the end of a campaign.
Queensland does have its legacy elite races and part of the appeal of racing there is that the events such as the Stradbroke Handicap and the Doomben 10,000 gain an extra degree of import for their rarity.
George Moore Stakes Past Winners
|2019||Chapter And Verse|
|2018||I'm A Rippa|
|2004||Show Biz Kid|
|2003||Make Mine Magic|
|1997||Chief De Beers|
|1994||Chief De Beers|