The Ethereal Stakes is a Group 3 event for three-year-old fillies that is run at Caulfield Racecourse on Caulfield Cup Day in October.
It is a stern test of young fillies, as it covers 2000 metres. The race is run under set weight plus penalty conditions with prizemoney totalling $200,000.
Ethereal Stakes Race Details
Race Distance: 2000m
Prize Money: $200,000
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When Is The Ethereal Stakes: 19/10/24
What Time Is The Ethereal Stakes: TBA
Where Is The Ethereal Stakes: Moonee Valley Racecourse
How To Live Stream The Ethereal Stakes
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More Details About The Ethereal Stakes
Daisies was the winner in 2021. She is by Sebring out of Tigress Lily. She is showing early promise, but with just 10 jumps for two wins and two placings, it is too soon to be making predictions.
Daisies won quite easily and was in front from the 800-metre mark or sooner. She coasted to an almost two-length win over Glint Of Hope with Biscayne Bay into third.
The win was worth $120,000 – just another example of how it pays to win Group 3 races, as Glint Of Hope was offered only a glimmer of a pay envelope, as second place prizemoney is just $36,000.
Daisies apparently did not deserve a replay, possibly because the win was so easy for her, as she beat the favourite going into the race, Kapalua Sunset, but almost 10 lengths.
The dilemma of predicting the future racing success of three-year-old fillies is a complicated one. Winx did not have great form as a three-year-old, but that is an extreme analogy, so we instead turn our attention to the winner of the Ethereal Stakes for 2021.
That winner was Chica Fuerte. She had similar racing form to Daisies, with the result being that she was retired after 13 races for three wins and five placings.
Chica Fuerte’s winning margin and position in the race at the 800 and 400-metre marks were identical to those of Daisies. Chica Fuerte beat all the shorter-priced horses by a considerable margin as well.
History of the Ethereal Stakes
The Ethereal Stakes has had almost as many names, seven, as it has jumps, 22. Sorry for the hyperbole. The race has jumped three times more time than it has had name changes.
Let us not forget that this is the Melbourne Racing Club running the race. We are familiar with races being named for obscure MRC dignitaries or equally obscure horses, but this is not the case with the horse in this instance. Ethereal was a mare that won the semi-mythical Caulfield – Melbourne Cups double in 2001. She was co-favourite in the Caulfield Cup and third favourite in the Melbourne Cup – her last win.
She was the last female horse to fill the Cups Double and one of three female horses of 11 total gallopers to accomplish the rare feat.
As an aside, we are thankful that the MRC did not name the race the Caulfield Something Stakes, as there does seem to be a preponderance of races at Caulfield with names that start with Caulfield.
Sponsorship plays an important role in the name of races, so from inception forward, we had the Foster’s Light Ice Handicap (no, it is no alright to call it the swill stakes), the Carlton Draught Handicap (Proper Beer Cup), the Skyy Blue Plate, Fat Quaddies Cup, Perri Cutten Plate, Sportingbet Plate and Sportingbet Stakes.
Ethereal Stakes did not come into use as the name of the race until 2011.
The Ethereal Stakes was originally run under handicap conditions all the way through 2010. It was promoted to Listed grade from 2011 – 2014 and achieved Group 3 status beginning with the 2015 edition.
The trip for the race has always been 2000 metres, which is quite remarkable by MRC standards. The one exception of which we know as an extra 20 metres added to the race in 2003.
Venue for the Ethereal Stakes
The Ethereal Stakes has always been run at Caulfield Racecourse in Melbourne.
Caulfield has been staging races since 1859 and holds meeting throughout the year. Its primary race is the Caulfield Cup. The track also hosts an additional 11 Group 1 races, along with eight Group 2 and 19 Group 3 races.
A few of the other important Group 1 races staged at Caulfield are the Caulfield Guineas, the Oakleigh Plate and the Toorak Handicap.
Caulfield Racecourse has a unique asymmetrical triangular oval shape.
For a 2000-metre race such as the Ethereal Stakes, the gallopers jump from a short chute just off the course proper in the northwest corner. They make almost one entire circuit, lacking just 80 metres of completing one full circuit, to finish at the end of the home straight on the north side of the course.
Racing History of the Ethereal Stakes
We do not have lofty expectations of the winners of this race, especially since it only became a Group 3 race in 2015. A fillies handicap, or even a Listed fillies race does not inspire our confidence, but we know of one recent winner, which we will disclose at the appropriate time, that did prove to be an elite racer and has us wondering what she was doing in this race at all.
Many of the fillies in races such as the Ethereal Stakes are often raced lightly prior to being sent to stud to collect fees, which is slightly safer than racing.
We will be looking for fillies that continued racing and made some impact and breeders that made major contributions.
There may be some that did both, and we will check as we examine the list of winners for any that won at higher levels.
The first winner was Lolita Star in 2000.
She made 23 jumps for three wins and five placings to win just above $300,000. Her other wins were a maiden at Sandown and the Group 2 Wakeful Stakes, a comfortable two-length win over Lan Kwai Fong.
Lolita Star had a brush with glory when she ran third next up in the Group 1 Victoria Oaks, where Lan Kwai Fong had a small measure of revenge by taking second ahead of Lolita Star.
As a breeder, Lolita Star has supplied nine named foals. Six of those have won money, but none over, or even close for that matter, $100,000.
Gold Lottey was the 2001 winner.
She made 36 jumps for 6 wins and 10 placings to earn over $565,000.
She won at Group 3 level in the Vanity Stakes at Flemington and the W. H. Stock Stakes at Moonee Valley.
Her best progeny was Iconoclasm by Toorak Toff that won over $1.1 million. Sky King by Jet Spur won over $3 million in Hong Kong money, which is about $570,000 proper Aussie money.
Hierogram from 2002 was by Octagonal, but she was limited to 12 jumps for three wins and one place. Her third and final win was the Group 2 Wakeful Stakes at Flemington in her next jump. We might say that her claim to fame was that in a barrier trial that proved to be her last time out, she lost to Lonhro by a wide margin.
Of her eight named foals, five by Exceed And Excel, only one did any winning at that winning was one race.
The winner from 2003, Timbourina, was pretty much in the mold of the others. She jumped 25 times for four wins and four placings and managed to turn that into over $530,000.
Right after winning the Ethereal Stakes, she won the Group 2 Wakeful Stakes from Special Harmony, but Special Harmony turned the tables when it mattered and beat Timbourina in the Group 1 VRC Oaks.
Served by the likes of All Too Hard, Encosta De Lago, High Chaparral, Redoute’s Choice and Exceed And Excel, Timbourina’s seven named foals have only been responsible for a pittance in winnings and no race wins.
Mango Daiquiri, the 2004 winner - a New Zealand product - is almost a step down in quality. Following the hoof steps of earlier winners, she tried the Group 2 Wakeful Stakes and the Group 1 VRC Oaks, running third and fourth in those races.
Eight named foals out of Mango Daiquiri have left little, if any, impact.
Astronomia from 2005 was another filly looking for boyfriends.
She won the race when it was still a three-year-old filly handicap, so there were never any lofty expectations for her. Her only other win was a maiden at Newcastle, although she did produce a second in the Wakeful Stakes and a fourth in the Victoria Oaks in her last jump.
Progeny by Medaglia D’ Oro, Dawn Approach, Exceed And Excel and Zabeel have done nothing noteworthy.
Amitola won the Ethereal Stakes in 2006. She won just $46,000 for that win and two other wins by her came in lesser quality races.
Seven named foals out of Amitola have done nothing impressive.
The 2007 winner was Try This.
She made 19 jumps for two wins and five thirds. Winning the Ethereal Stakes was her career highlight.
One of her two named foals to date, Waking Moment (2013) won over $120,000.
Estee by Redoute’s Choice was the 2008 winner.
Estee would go on to win the Listed Adelaide Guineas at Morphettville in 2009, Next up, she ran second to Gallica in the Group 1 Schweppes Oaks, but it was a distant second.
A mare from 2011 by Lonhro won six races to earn about $186,000.
The winner from 2009 named Run For Naara was an import from the U.S. Her only other win was the Listed Gibson Carmichael Stakes at Flemington.
Two of her three foals have won a combined $59,000.
Dizlago by Encosta De Lago was the Ethereal Stakes winner in 2010.
Her only other win was a maiden at Sandown Lakes.
Her foals to date are Cerebellum, a 2014 filly by Fastnet Rock and Dizzy Diva by Starspangledbanner from 2012. Those two earned about $38,000 combined.
Just when our prospects of finding a decent winner or breeder were getting dim, they got even dimmer when we examined the 2011 winner, Gliding.
The Ethereal Stakes was her only win.
As a breeder, she has produced to date four named foals. Home Made, by High Chaparral (2015) earned just over $61,000, while Think N Fly (2016) by So You Think, has about $92,000.
The 2012 winner was Alzora, another Redoute’s Choice offspring.
The other win by Alzora was the Group 3 Vanity at Flemington in 2013. She lined up for some Group 1 and Group 2 races without figuring in the results and often toward the back of the pack.
Of her four named foals thus far, Sacramento (2016) by Pierro has won over $400,000.
From what we have seen thus far, it was a pleasant surprise to find a good winner in 2013’s Arabian Gold.
She made 27 jumps for nine wins and three placings to earn $998,855.
If she had been ours, we might have run her until she earned the $1145 necessary to put her at $1million.
She won at Group 3 and Group 2 level and she had some nice runs in Group 1 races without winning.
She has one named foal to her credit, Laki (2016) by Redoute’s Choice that has raced once at the time this article was being prepared for $3,500.
Set Square was the winner in 2014.
Her three career wins came together, with consecutive wins in a maiden at Brathurst, the Ethereal Stakes and the Group 1 VRC Oaks at Flemington. She earned over $880,000 from 16 jumps for three wins and five placings, with $612,000 of her total coming from the Crown Oaks.
She has just one foal to date, Phoebe (2018) by Deep Impact and it does not appear as though Phoebe has had any impact, deep or otherwise, to this point.
Dawnie Perfect from 2015 claims the Ethereal Stakes as her only win.
It was the first year the Ethereal Stakes was run as a Group 3 and her $26 starting price was longer than four of the other starters were, so she had her best day.
A 2018 filly by Redoute’s Choice named Great Mystery has made 13 jumps and won two races to earn above $50,000.
The winner of the Ethereal Stakes in 2016 was Eleonora. She made just 10 jumps for three wins, six placings and $250,000 in prizemoney. Her third win and final race was the Group 3 Sunline Vase in New Zealand.
Eleonora has one named foal, Vincetta (2019) by I Am Invincible.
Of course, it is early to pass judgement on Eleonora as a breeder, as she might have more in her.
Pinot from 2017 was better than most of the winners we have seen thus far. She had two other wins. Her first was a fillies’ race at Flemington and her last was a dominant win in the Group 1 VRC Oaks, where she jumped favourite.
We hinted at a major winner in our introduction to the Ethereal Stakes.
That win came in 2018 and that winner was Verry Elleegant.
We truly wonder what she was doing in this race and the answer we supplied consisted of two words – Chris Waller.
The only issue with that answer is that when Verry Elleegant won the Ethereal Stakes in 2018, her trainer was Darren Weir.
Trainer aside, Verry Elleegant could have won anything with her eyes closed an us steering. Her 39 jumps produced 16 wins and 11 placings for a staggering $14.8 million in prizemoney earnings.
She would go on to win more Group 1 races than we care to list, but we are compelled to mention that she won the Caulfield Cup in 2020 and the Melbourne Cup in 2021.
Gamay was the winner in 2019.
Her other win was a fillies and mares maiden on a synthetic track. A Vet Certificate from 2020 said she is Not To Race, but she is dead now, so it is one of those unfortunate incidents that all of we animal lovers have to confront all too often.
The Ethereal Cup is gaining popularity as most race fans appreciate races restricted to three-year-old fillies.
Make no mistake, the winners were out there mainly to prove their worthiness as breeders.
Still, the race is worth a look by anyone who goes to Caulfield or turns on the video on Caulfield Cup Day.
Ethereal Stakes Past Winners