The Northwood Plume Stakes if a Group 3 1200-metre sprint race for mares four years and above that are not maidens.
The race is run under set weight plus penalty conditions at Melbourne Racing Club.
Northwood Plume Stakes Race Details
Race Distance: 1200m
Prize Money: $200,000
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When Is The Northwood Plume Stakes: 12/10/24
What Time Is The Northwood Plume Stakes: TBA
Where Is The Northwood Plume Stakes: Caulfield Racecourse
How To Live Stream The Northwood Plume Stakes Stakes
To live stream the Bletchingly Stakes, TAB Account Holders can watch the race live.
More Details About The Northwood Plume Stakes
The race jumps at one of Caulfield’s biggest meetings of the year on a day that features three Group 1 races – The Toorak Handicap, the Might and Power Stakes and the Caulfield Guineas. The meeting features two Group 2 races and an additional Group 3 race.
As a newer race, less than 20 years old as of mid-2020, The Northwood Plume Stakes seems to be gaining a foothold to the degree that it has been promoted from Listed to Group 3 status. It seems to be attracting some better types, including 2019 winner Tofane that has won multiple Group 1 races.
Prizemoney for the Northwood Plume Stakes is $200,000 and Dirty Thought took home the top prize of $120,000 when she nosed La Mexicana with a late charge from back of the pack.
Another good winner from 2020 was Fiesta.
A replay of the 2020 Northwood Plume Stakes won by Fiesta can be viewed at the following link. Disclaimer: The video was posted by someone we believe made a typo by calling the race a Group 2 graded race.
History of the Northwood Plume Stakes
The race made its debut in 2005 and seems to be part of an effort by the MRC to encourage owners to keep older mares racing, rather than breeding. We rather enjoy these specialty races, as they seem to offer level fields of similar ability.
These days, it is the filling of a sandwich with the top slice being the Group 1 sixth race of the meeting, the Might and Power Stakes. The bottom slice, the one that holds everything together, is race eight, The Group 1 Caulfield Guineas.
We generally expect newer races to change names and the Northwood Plume Stakes meets that expectation. In 2005, the race was called the Thai Airways International Classic. Talk about a mouthful.
Northwood Plume Stakes was first used in 2006, but was discarded for 2007 and 2008 in favour of Le Tan Stakes. Northwood Plume Stakes reemerged for 2009. Online bookie Sportingbet became involved in 2010 and the race became the Sportingbet Sprint Series Final, two syllable fewer than required to call the race by its original name. Sportingbet held the naming rights through 2014, with Cape Grin Beef Stakes being used from 2015 2018. In 2019, the race became the Bass Strait Beef Steaks.
Northwood Plume Stakes has been used for the 2020 and 2021 editions of the race, which may or may not be the last word on the topic of this race’s name.
All the talk of beefsteaks gave us the nudge to go have a quick luncheon.
The race grade was Listed from 2006 through 2012 and achieved Group 3 status from 2013 forward.
For the record, Northwood Plume was a better type that won multiple Group 1 races in a brief 18-race career that found her winning nine times with three placings. Her three Group 1 wins were the 1994 Thousand Guineas, an easy two-length win in the 1994 Victoria Oaks and the 1995 Australia Stakes at Rosehill. She also won at Group 2 and Group 3 level, with good placings in other top races.
She produced nine named foals. Nordane and The Legends, both by Danehill, won some black type races. A colt by Woodman and another by Flying Spur won prizemoney in the vicinity of $100,000.
Venue for the Northwood Plume Stakes
The race has always been held at Caulfield Racecourse in Melbourne and it has never been called the Caulfield Northwood Plume Stakes, which is one less thing with which to concern ourselves.
Racing started at Caulfield in 1859, about two years before the first Melbourne Cup.
Many racegoers and locals refer to the track as “The Heath” because early inhabitants of the region saw a resemblance to some of the terrain that can be found in the wilds of Scotland.
The namesake name of the racecourse is the Caulfield Cup, a stayers’ race that has been won by some of the greatest Thoroughbreds to take to the turf. Other important races are the Blue Diamond Stakes for 2YOs, the Futurity Stakes and the Oakleigh Plate.
Right now, Caulfield stages 12 Group 1, 8 Group 2 and 19 Group 3 races, but that could change according to the dictates of the MRC and the ARB.
Races of 1200 metres start in a chute that terminates at the southeast side of the asymmetrical oval design of the course. This gives them a long run to the first and only turn of over 800 metres before they head home for the final 400 metres to finish on the north side of the track.
Racing History of the Northwood Plume Stakes
A newer race does not offer a lot of history and the Northwood Plume Stakes still has three years until it celebrates it silver anniversary.
We were recently covering a race that is held the same day, the old Caulfield Stakes – now the Might and Power Stakes, where we were lamenting the necessity of skipping great gallopers due to space constraints on our website.
No such risk with the Northwood Plume Stakes.
Still, with a mares’ race, it is always interesting to look for Group 1 winners, winners that have beat great horses in this or another race, and those mares that supplied progeny that far exceeded the racing accomplishments of the winners.
The winner of the first race in 2005 was Crimson Reign.
She is of U.S. origins, foaled in 2001 by Red Ransom out of Crimson Road. She was actually pretty good for winning over $930,000 from 19 jumps for five wins and two placings. She beat the good mare Alinghi in the 2004 Heroic Stakes. She beat Written Tycoon in the 2006 Listed Canterbury Classic for her last win.
Deploy by Fastnet Rock was her best – a winner of more than $820,000.
Person Ensign by Rubiton was the 2006 winner. Her other two wins of a short eight jump career were an unlisted race at Moonee Valley in 2005 and a 2YO handicap at Flemington.
A 2016 colt by Brazen Beau and a 2012 filly by Turfontein combined for close to a million dollars in winnings.
The 2007 winner Storm Signal won almost half a million dollars from 27 jumps for eight wins and six placings. Her other good win was the 2007 Cockram Stakes.
Six named foals produced little, with the possible exception of Destruction by Fastnet Rock that won about $130,000 by winning two races from just five jumps.
In 2008, the winner of the Northwood Plume Stakes was Belong To Many. She was another to that type that earned about $575,000, but she required 32 jumps for 8 wins and 13 placings. Her first good win came at Randwick in the Group 2 Sapphire Stakes in 2008. The Sapphire and the Northwood Plume were her best wins, but she was well placed in some Group 2 and Group 3 races.
A filly, Majestic Lass, by Redoute’s Choice won $100,000 in an 11-race career, while the colt Native Soldier by Sepoy won over $350,000 from just 12 jumps.
Our Lona by Invincible Spirit barely deserves mentioning, other than to say that she won only two other races to earn under $200,000. The Northwood Plume Stakes was her best win. She tried the Group 3 Geoffrey Bellmaine Stakes in 2010, but could finish no higher than eighth.
Two foals, one by Lonrho, seem relegated to obscurity.
The race was taken by Avenue in 2010.
She was the winner of over $730,000 from 23 jumps for eight wins and three placings. She won four of her first five jumps and finished second in an unlisted race at Flemington in 2009. She won the Group 3 Red Anchor Stakes in the same year. She tried the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate and the Robert Sangster Stakes, but failed to place. Her last win was the Group 3 R. N. Irwin Stakes. Avenue tried two more Group 1s without placing above fifth.
Served by competent stallions Exceed And Excel (2x), Street Cry, Redoute’s Choice and Fastnet Rock, Avenue produced five named foals, none of which left much of an impression.
Hinemoa from 2011 ran 12 of her 16 jumps in her native New Zealand before winning the Northwood Plume in her first start on the mainland.
She produced three named foals. Hinerangi by Fastnet Rock won over $100,000 while Putorino by Savabeel won about $30,000.
Serene Star was the winner from 2012.
Very little about Serene Star has been retained, which is slightly odd given that we are talking about 2012 and not 1912. Her lines tie her to some great northern hemisphere horse, including U.S. Triple Crown winner Secretariat, Nureyev and Northern Dancer.
A bit of extra digging revealed that Serene Star made 28 jumps for eight wins and eight placings.
Two named foals out of Serene Star did nothing noteworthy on the track.
Aerobatics was a better winner of the Northwood Plume Stakes in 2013. She won a smidge over $600,000, which is okay, save for the fact that her sire was Exceed And Excel. Thirty-two jumps produced six wins and six placings. She tried the Northwood Plume Stakes in 2012, but she finished 11th, even with Hugh Bowman steering.
Her only other Group win was the Group 3 Darley Crown in 2014, where she beat four shorter-priced horses.
Stunts, a colt by Lonhro, won a little money - $71,000.
Next came Griante in 2014.
She is the best winner up to this year, with earnings above $1 million from 29 jumps for seven wins and eight placings. By this time, the Northwood Plume Stakes was a Group 3 race. It was the first good win by Griante. She won the Group 3 Wenona Girl Stakes in 2015, ran a good third to Lucky Hussler and Vain Queen in the Group 1 William Reid Stakes, a second to Avoid Lightning in the Group 2 Sapphire Stakes.
The major win by Griante was at Group 1 The Galaxy from Shiraz with Dothraki third.
Two foals by Redoute’s Choice and one by Pierro failed to leave any lasting impression.
Politeness from 2015 won over $1.1 million by racing 30 times, winning eight times and placing six times.
She beat Griante in the Group 3 How Now Stakes before winning the Northwood Plume. A barrier trial followed and in her next start, Politeness won the Group 1 Myer Classic at Flemington. She backed that win with a second in the Emirates Stakes.
A filly named Gentility by Snitzel in 2018 has produced some stakes winnings, but she has made only three jumps to date.
The winner of the Northwood Plume Stakes in 2016 was Sheidel.
She is the high water mark for the race in terms of earnings, with just under $1.7 million from 35 jumps for 15 wins and 7 placings. Sheidel won three consecutive Listed races at Ascot in Western Australia in November, December and January of 2016. She was nosed by Precious Gem in the Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes at Morphettville.
She next won the Group 3 Begonia Belle at Flemington, ran fifth in the Group 1 Darley Classic, second in the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes, followed by a Group 1 win in the Oakleigh Plate in 2017.
She had strong runs in other major races, but when she tried the Oakleigh Plate for the second time in 2018, she was one of the gallopers bringing up the rear.
She has been sent to stud, but nothing yet that we can determine.
Cool Passion by Not A Single Doubt was the winner in 2017.
She won over $800,000 from 31 jumps for 11 wins and 10 placings. Racing primarily in Western Australia, Cool Passion won eight times before being floated east. She won the Group 3 Maybe Mahal in 2018, with one of the racers behind her being the competent racer Savatiano.
She actually beat Winx, but it was only a barrier trial.
Cool Passion concluded her career with strong showings in three Group 1 races – The 2019 Canterbury Stakes, the Robert Sangster and The Goodwood.
She has yet to produce a foal.
The 2019 winner, Tofane, is the best of the bunch to date.
She has won over $3.6 million from 30 jumps for eight wins and nine placings. Next up after winning the Northwood Plume, she won the Group 3 Begonia Belle from Pippie. Her breakthrough win was the 2020 Group 1 All Aged Stakes from Pierata. Her next Group 1 win was the 2021 Stradbroke Handicap, followed by the Group 1 Tatt’s Tiara, both at Eagle Farm. She won the Group 1 C. F. Orr Stakes from Lighthouse, with Cascadian third, running on the speed the entire trip. A second try in the All Aged Stakes found her second to Cascadian.
She is currently listed as still active.
The 2020 winner was Fiesta.
Now retired, Fiesta made 33 jumps for 5 wins and 10 placings. She is by I Am Invincible out of Now Now. She had some high finishes in major races, but she never won above Group 3 level.
The Northwood Plume Stakes has improved over the years, but it may be some time before we see a sprint mare of upper echelon quality.
We do appreciate a specialty race such as this, though, and do await the day when there is a multiple winner, however unlikely that may seem now.
Northwood Plume Stakes Past Winners
|2008||Belong To Many|