The WW Cockram Stakes is a Group 3 sprint for mares four years and older. It is run under set weight plus penalty conditions over 1200 metres at Caulfield Racecourse in Melbourne. The race is restricted to mares that have won at least once.
Heads up. We will make some further references to the race as the Cockram Stakes for purposes of clarity and honestly, typing ease.
WW Cockram Stakes Race Details
Race Distance: 1200m
Prize Money: $200,000
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When Is The WW Cockram Stakes: 7/9/24
What Time Is The WW Cockram Stakes: TBA
Where Is The WW Cockram Stakes: Caulfield Racecourse
How To Live Stream The WW Cockram Stakes
To live stream the WW Cockram Stakes, TAB Account Holders can watch the race live.
More Details About The WW Cockram Stakes
The race is run in the early stages of the spring racing season. For 2022, it will be in late August, but the calendar could dictate that the race might creep into the early days of September. The meeting at which the race jumps is the meeting when the Group 1 Memsie Stakes is held. Other major races on the day include the HDF McNeil Stakes and The Heath 1100.
The Cockram Stakes received a prizemoney boost in 2021, which benefitted the winner Probabeel. She received $120,750 of the $200,000 purse for her win. There has never been a repeat winner, although we know of at least one case where the winner of the race lined up the following year.
We would almost wonder, given Probabeel’s racing record that includes multiple Group 1 wins, why she was in this race, but the better class such as her use the race to prepare for bigger races later in the spring. Probabeel went for the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes, where she finished fifth. Further racing suppled a second in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes, a win in the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes, a fifth-place finish in the 2021 Cox Plate, and a win in the Group 3 Geoffrey Bellmaine Stakes when she resumed in autumn of 2022.
History of the W. W. Cockram Stakes
The Cockram Stakes was first run in 1992. There is some doubt surrounding the grade of the race. One source gives it only as Group 3, but we found historical records indicating that the earlier years of the race were run at Listed grade and it is entirely possible that it started as an unlisted handicap.
Unusual for a Melbourne Racing Club race, the trip has never varied. It has always been 1200 metres.
The name is a tribute to W. W, “Wally” Cockram. He was an important Thoroughbred breeder in Victoria and he spent some time as the Vice Chairman of the Victorian Amateur Turf Club and later, the Melbourne Racing Club, from the early 70s to the mid-80s.
As is often the case with horse races, the name can be changed to suit the whims of the sponsors, which is possibly a good thing for this race. We assume Wally took a lot of heat over his surname when he was growing up.
When the race moved to its permanent home at Caulfield in 2002, it was being called the Sir Edward Dunlap Research Foundation Stakes. That mouthful was replaced in 2014 with the Sportingbet Sprint Series Heat 1 Stakes. Too many syllables again, but the race became the William Hill Sprint Series Heat 1 Stakes.
For the most recent race in 2021, it was simply the W. W. Cockram Stakes, so it would appear that there were no sponsors wanting to add their name.
Race Venue for the W. W. Cockram Stakes
The Cockram Stakes has been run at two different courses over the 30 years it has been run.
For the first two years, it was at Sandown Racecourse, Melbourne’s “other” metro track. It jumped at Caulfield in 1994, and then went back to Sandown Park for the next two years before jumping again at Caulfield in 1997. It was back to Sandown again from 1998 – 2001. It has remained at Caulfield since 2002.
Caulfield Racecourse is less than 10 kilometres from the heart of Melbourne. It was on land set aside by and still owned by the Crown for the express purposes of racing, a nice park for people to enjoy and other forms of recreation.
If you can envision what Melbourne would have looked like in the middle of the 19th century, you would understand why they refer to Caulfield as The Heath, as the land was somewhat desolate and put the people of that time in mind of Scotland’s moors.
As Melbourne grew, the city eventually swallowed The Heath, but the moniker has persisted.
These days, Caulfield Racecourse is used for about 25 meetings per year. The track hosts about 12 Group 1, eight Group 2 and 19 Group 3 races. The best-known race is the Group 1 Caulfield Cup and the winner of that race starts a watch to see if there can be a Cups Double for the year if the winner of the Caulfield Cup can win the Melbourne Cup.
Juvenile races are popular everywhere in Australia, so our subjective view is that the second-most important race at Caulfield is the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes for two-year olds.
Racing History of the W. W. Cockram Stakes
As might be expected, a newer Group 3 race on the fringe of the spring carnival with gender and age restrictions will not feature famous names for winners. Still, not every galloper that makes it onto the turf at a metro venue is going to be good enough to win at Group 3 level. The past winners of the Cockram Stakes were at least that good, so we went looking at the previous winners to see if any rose to greater heights after winning the race, or had won at Group 1 and Group 2 level prior to winning the race.
The winner of the first Cockram Stakes in 1992 was a mare named Pride Of Demus.
This horse raced 53 times for nine wins and 11 placings, earning less than $150,000. Her great-grandsire was Star Kingdom, a name we often see in the lines of great Aussie gallopers.
Pride Of Demus beat 17 other horses to win the race, which various sources give as Listed grade. She ran in the race the following year and ran ninth. Her career consisted mainly of minor female handicaps and she was never tried above Listed grade. At stud, she was a dud, producing just two named foals that we know of, with the best that remained in Australia to race earning under $8,000.
Party Dancer from 1993 looks very much like a clone of Pride Of Demus – lots of racing, a few wins and $150,000 in earnings. Party Dancer was a mudlark, winning six times and running second once in eight starts on heavy tracks and zero wins on firm surfaces. She never got into a race that was Group quality while she was racing. She dropped Hec Of A Party by Hector Protector and old Hec was a racing mare that earned almost $300,000.
Timeless Grace was the 1994 winner.
She raced only 12 times for five wins and four placings. Her last race resulted in a second place finish in the Group 3 Tristarc Stakes. The only ancestor of note was Great Britain’s Hyperion, five generations back.
The winner from 1995, Petite Amour, was the best to that date.
She won 10 times and earned just over $260,000 from 29 jumps. She raced 17 times before she got on a metro track. She won the Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot in Western Australia when it was a Group 2 race and she ran a respectable fifth in the Group 1 Railway Stakes in Perth. She won the Schillaci Stakes at Group 2 level in 1995.
Street Talk from 1996 mainly followed the pattern of the earlier winners. She did get into a Group 1 race when she jumped in the 1997 Oakleigh Plate, but she was ninth of 12 that year and eighth of 14 in the same race in 1996.
Tonicity from 1997 was very similar to the previous winners. She was thrown into the 1995 Group 1 Caulfield Guineas, but she did not figure into the outcome. She foaled to Encosta De Lago in 2004 to produce Cecconi ($NZD 209,000) and Testa Rossa in 2003 for Test of Time ($304,000).
Spectrum, from 1998, was the best, or so it would seem, as she won at Group 2 and Group 1 in South Australia. The Cockram Stakes was the final win for her. She made 14 more jumps without placing.
Chillies won in 1999 and was second to Spectrum in 1998. She earned under $200,000. She was served by Last Tycoon and she dropped Wind Chill in 2000 that out-earned her.
Tickle My, the 2000 Cockram Stakes winner, earned almost $800,000 from 50 jumps for 11 wins and 11 placings. She won the Group 2 Sunline Stakes at The Valley in 2003. They put her in the Group 1 Coolmore for her next jump, but she ran only eighth.
Libidinous was the 2001 winner. One of those she beat was 2002 winner Pernod. Libidinous won almost half a million dollars. She was served by Exceed And Excel to provide Sebas, a gelding that earned over $500,000.
Pernod from 2002 was better than most of the previous winners. She earned over $600,000 from just 19 jumps for eight wins and three placings. She backed her Cockram win with a win in the Group 1 Dubai Cup at Caulfield. Served by good stallions, such as Zabeel and Red Ransom, along with others, she has produced eight stakes winners.
Brief Embrace from 2003 was another good racer. She earned about $660,000 from 25 jumps for four wins and 10 placings. She won the 2002 Blue Diamond Prelude at Group 3 level and was a neck behind Bel Esprit in the 2002 Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes.
Strikeline from 2004 was from the same mold as most of the earlier winners. Tried in Group 1s on several occasions, she did not place. She was served by some top stallions, including Exceed And Excel, Fastnet Rock and Star Witness, but her best was by Nicconi, which resulted in $18 million winner Nature Strip.
Dea from 2005 backed her win with a win in the Group 3 Let’s Elope Stakes at Flemington. This was the first year we find the race given as a Group 3 event. All the previous winners won at Listed level.
Storm Alert won the race in 2006 and went right into the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes, but she was well back in the field at the line. She won just four races with seven placings from 20 jumps for $333,000. She produced two good stakes winners in Dark Alert by Testa Ross and Windstorm by Redoute’s Choice.
Storm Signal won in 2007. Try as we might, we did not find a common ancestor for Storm Alert and Storm Signal.
Storm Signal won eight times with six placings from 27 jumps for $475,000.
When Princess Gisella won the Cockram Stakes in 2008, it was her third consecutive win. It was also her best and last win.
Cats Whisker from 2009 earned just under $600,000 from just 13 jumps for six wins and four placings. After winning the Cockram Stakes, she won the Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes and two races later won the Group 2 Blazer Stakes at Flemington. She was sent to the shed to be almost exclusively Fastnet Rock’s girlfriend. She has dropped eight named foals and the best racer has been Catchy, winner of over $1.8 million.
Rhythm In Paris from 2010 did little as a racer and less, so far, as a breeder.
In 2011, the winner was Mid Summer Music. She is the first winner to go over $1 million, with $1.3 million in earnings from 31 jumps for 11 wins and nine placings. She won the Group 3 Bletchingly just ahead of the Cockram. Eventually, she would win the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap at Eagle Farm for her best win. She beat Buffering in that race and by almost two lengths. Her best offspring to date is Euphoric Summer by Not A Single Doubt.
The 2012 winner, Lady Melksham, was sent to the shed after 20 jumps. The Cockram Stakes was her only Group win.
Octavia, from 2013, was good enough to win almost $380,000. The Cockram Stakes was her best win. Her best progeny is King Of Sparta by I Am Invincible. He has won over $1.3 million, almost all of it from the 2022 Magic Millions 3YO Guineas.
The 2014 winner, Gregers, retired with just over $900,000 in earnings. She won at Group 2 level. Her last two races were in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate and the Group 1 William Reid Stakes. She was eighth in both races.
Madam Gangster from 2015 fits the profile of Cockram Stakes competitors. It was her last win. She has been served by Snitzel and Medaglia D Oro, but foals from 2018 and 2017 have yet to earn any money.
Ocean Embers won in 2016. She won above $400,000. There are no named foals as of yet and we do not know of any sires.
Savanna Amour from 2017 won over $650,000. She won the Group 2 Angus Armanasco Stakes in 2017.
Ellicazoom won in 2018. The Cockram Stakes was her best win. She is by Testa Rossa, with many other champions in her line.
The winner in 2019 was Pippie. She has won over $1.2 million, including Group 1 wins in the Oakleigh Plate and the A J Moir Stakes. She is by Written Tycoon.
A replay of Pippie’s win can be viewed at the following link.
Perfect Jewel won in 2020. She is by Redoute’s Choice from Star Encounter. She retired with over $1 million in earnings from 28 jumps for eight wins and five placings.
Probabeel from 2021 is the best of the Cockram Stakes winners.
She has won over $4.3 million, doing sire Savabeel and dam Far Fetched proud. As of mid-2022, she is listed as a five-year-old and she is still racing. Her first Group 1 win was the Surround Stakes in 2020. That same year, she won the Group 1 Epsom Handicap from Funstar. She won the Group 1 Futurity Stakes in 2021, along with the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes.
The W. W. Cockram Stakes is an interesting race, mostly for looking at what the winners did after retiring from racing to stud duty, where, without doubt the best breeder was Nature Strip dam Strikeline.
The winners have been mostly handy types, but a few have shown good results on the track.
WW Cockram Stakes Past Winners
|2022||Chain Of Lightning|
|2011||Mid Summer Music|
|2010||Rhythm In Paris|
|1992||Pride Of Demus|