The Melbourne Racing Club presents the Group 3 Sandown Stakes as part of the spring racing carnival. The race moves around on the Australian Thoroughbred Racing calendar, as tends to happen with minor races held at minor courses.
Sandown is considered a metro course, but it is 25 kilometres from the Melbourne CBD, which 50 years ago, would have been outback.
Sandown Stakes Race Details
Race Distance: 1500m
Prize Money: $200,000
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When Is The Sandown Stakes: 6/10/24
What Time Is The Sandown Stakes: TBC
Where Is The Sandown Stakes: Sandown Racecourse
How To Live Stream The Sandown Stakes
To live stream the Sandown Stakes, TAB Account Holders can watch the race live.
More Details About The Sandown Stakes
The Sandown Stakes is a 1500-metre race run under quality handicap conditions. The race does not have gender or age restrictions, but as is often the case with better races, horses that have not yet won on the track are not eligible to run in the race.
Prizemoney for the race is $200,000.
The 2021 edition of the race was won by Elephant. We have no comment on the name. His record suggests that this galloper runs like an elephant though. He is currently five years of age and has made only 10 jumps. He has won six of those 10, however, although the first five of those were low ranked races. He was nosed by Superstorm in the Group 2 Feehan Stakes at Moonee Valley. His next jump was the win in the Sandown Stakes from a field that totalled six runners. A try in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap resulted in an eighth.
Elephant actually runs pretty good, but 10 races for a five-year-old gelding with Shocking for a sire, along with impressive names such as Street Cry, Danehill, Danzig and other great North American gallopers, probably had greater expectations.
Elephant jumped favourite in the 2021 Sandown Stakes and he won without too much trouble to win 120,000 of the $200,000 prizemoney for the race. A replay of the race can be viewed at the following link.
History of the Sandown Stakes
The race was first run in 1981. It has always been held at Sandown Racecourse, also known as Ladbrokes Park, save for one occasion in 2013 when Sandown was undergoing some construction.
Like many Group 3 races in Victoria, names of tracks and races are for the highest bidder. The race we are examining today was known as the G. J. Coles Stakes from inception through 1987. Coles remained part of the name when the race was the Coles New World Stakes from 1988 – 1990 and Coles Supermarkets Stakes in 1991.
It was the official name, Sandown Stakes, from 1992 – 2007, after which Race Tech paid to have the race called the Race Tech Stakes for the years of 2008 and 2009. It was the Zaidee’s Rainbow Foundation Stakes for 2010. The Alannah & Madeline Foundation Stakes served as the race name for 2011.
No sponsors stepped up for 2012 – 2015, so the race went back to being the Sandown Stakes.
The year of 2016 supplied the Yarramalong Racing Club Stakes and in 2017, the race was the Chandler Macleod Recruitment Stakes.
In 2020, the race was the ZircoDATA Sandown Stakes and in 2021, it was simply the Ladbrokes Sandown Stakes.
Just as Victorian races change names frequently, trips change as well and the Sandown Stakes supplies a great example.
The distance for the race was 1400 metres from 1981 through 2007. It was stretched to 1500 meters from 2008 – 2012, back to 1400 metres for 2013, and then 1500 metres from 2014 forward.
Race Venue for the Sandown Stakes
Sandown Racecourse is considered a metro venue by those who think that being 25 kilometres from the Melbourne CBD qualifies it for the metro distinction.
Racing has been held at the present site since 1965 and Sandown carries the distinction of being the only racecourse built during the 20th century.
In addition to the Sandown Stakes, the other Group races that jump at Sandown Racecourse are the Group 2s Zipping Classic and Sandown Guineas, and the Group 3s Eclipse Stakes, Summoned Stakes and Kevin Heffernan Stakes.
The finishing straight of the track has an uphill grade, effectively stretching any race by around 100 metres in terms of the effort necessary to complete a race.
The track is a conventional oval with a long chute extending diagonally from the turn at the west side of the course. There is another chute on the east side of the course that comes into play for races of 1400 – 1600 metres.
The gallopers use this second chute for the Sandown Stakes and have a nice straight run to the turn, after which they head for home to finish at the end of the straight and the spectators’ stands.
Racing History of the Sandown Stakes
Going into the 2022 edition of the Sandown Stakes, the race has been run 41 times with only one repeat winner – Mahisara in 2012 and 2013.
We are sure that some good horses have won the race. Winning Group 3 races requires some ability, it is simply a matter of looking at the list and realizing that the only recognisable name amongst the winners for us was 2016’s Redkirk Warrior.
As we examine the past winners, we will be looking for any that won at higher level, won one of the major Australian legacy races, or contributed progeny that went on to greater accomplishments.
The winner of the first Sandown Stakes was Tower Belle in 1981.
She was a chestnut mare by Exalt out of Rich Dream. She was primarily of northern hemisphere lines, with one Aussie ancestor, her dam, and a few Kiwi horses in the mix.
Her good year for racing was 1981, when she won the Sandown Stakes when it was the G. J. Coles Stakes, and she also won the 1981 Group 1 George Adams Stakes. She was served by Bletchingly in 1984, resulting in a foal in 1985, a brown mare named Ring A Tune that did not leave a racing record for us to examine.
Vivacite was a good type that won the race in 1983.
He won the Chipping Norton Stakes the prior year, when the race was classified as a Group 2. In 1981, he won the Canterbury Cup, not to be confused with the Canterbury Stakes.
New Atlantis was the winner in 1986.
His best accomplishment as a horse was holding onto the family jewels. He did not amount to much as a racer, but as a sire, he produced multiple stakes winners, the best of which was King Of Atlantis, earner of a little over $161,000.
The winner from 1987, Luther's Luck, won a few races.
The Sandown Stakes was by this time a Group 3 race and had been for several years when Luther's Luck won. He had other good wins and it appears that his best was the Group 2 J. J. Liston Stakes in 1987.
Rendoo was a gelding by the U.S. sire Voodoo Rhythm.
Foaled in 1983, his lines included the likes of Northern Dancer, Nearctic and Nearco. He won a few good races, with a second Group 3 win in the Roman Consul Stakes. Perhaps the best summation of Rendoo would include that he was sent to the U.S. in March of 1989, but the Yanks sent him back in 1991 when they discovered that parts of Rendoo were missing.
We though the name of the 1990 Sandown Stakes looked familiar.
It was familiar, very familiar, because the winner that year was Procol Harum and we knew the name from the rock band from the 70s. Did members of the band get involved in racing and buy a foal and name it for the band? We do not know. For all we do know, the band took its name from the horse, although the dates are off.
Procol Harum was okay as a racer, earning over $520,000 from 31 jumps for five wins and seven placings. His big win was the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas. His lines were much the same as those of Rendoo, but he was Procol Harum was the better racer, provided it was not one of those days where he felt to moody to run or had the blues for some reason. Procol Harum was a productive sire of numerous stakes winners, although nothing truly significant.
The next year supplied Wrap Around as the winner of the Sandown Stakes.
She had 10 wins from 28 jumps, with another 10 placings. Her best win was the Group 1 William Reid Stakes, but she won or ran well in many major races, such as the Manikato Stakes and the Lightning Stakes. She did her sire Bletchingly proud and the same could be said of grandsire Biscay and great grandsire Star Kingdom. She produced foals, but only Commandare by Commands earned more than $100,000.
Mamzelle Pedrille was the winner in 1995.
She was fairly typical of the winners of the Sandown Stakes – okay, but not great. Her win in the race was by a comfortable 1.5 lengths after she ran home from fourth for the win. The best win we could find for her was the Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes in 1996.
She dropped 13 named foals from some of the top sires in the business, including five by Lonhro, two by Octagonal, two by Desert Prince and one by Grand Lodge. The one by Grand Lodge was the best, a gelding named Granzig that won $327,000. The other good one was Olonhro by Lonhro that won $222,000.
Normal Practice from 2000 was not much of a galloper, but he does offer some interesting history. After winning the Sandown Stakes, he lined up in three Group 1 races – the Lightning Stakes, the Oakleigh Plate and the Newmarket Handicap at Flemington. He finished dead last in all three.
We mention Little Dozer from 2001 simply because he made 87 jumps, which qualifies for instant induction into the Pro Group Racing Hall of Fame, if any such thing actually existed. He won just seven of those 87 jumps and his career earnings were less than $500,000.
Titanic Jack won the Sandown Stakes in 2005.
He is the first winner of the race to exceed $1 million in career earnings. Titanic Jack won almost $1.3 million from 41 jumps for eight wins and six placings. He was lined up and ran well against some big time gallopers, including Exceed And Excel, Lonhro, Takeover Target, Snitzel and some others of that quality. His best win was the Group 1 Emirates Stakes at Flemington from True Glo and Crawl.
Swick, a New Zealand gelding, won in 2006. Like Titanic Jack, he went past $1 million in earnings, with just under $1.1 million from 38 jumps for six wins and nine placings. After winning the race, he ran a respectable fifth in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap of 2007 won by Miss Andretti.
The next win by Swick was the 2007 Group 2 Salinger Stakes, after which he again ran fifth to Miss Andretti in the Group 1 The Age Classic, followed by a close second to Apache Cat in the Group 1 Lightning Stakes in 2008. His last and best win was the Group 1 Patinack Classic at Flemington in 2008.
Chasm, the winner in 2008, was able to win almost $800,000 through the tenacity to make 54 jumps for 9 wins and 13 placings. The Sandown Stakes was his best win and he made most of his money through finishing toward the front of the pack on numerous occasions.
We have jumped ahead to 2012 and 2013, the years the only dual winner of the Sandown Stakes appeared.
It was Mahisara, a brown horse by More Than Ready of the U.S. out of Darsini. As a racer, he was very similar to many of the previous winners in that he was good, not great. He won over $500,000 from 27 jumps for seven wins and five placings. The win in 2013 was his second-last jump. Mahisara sired many foals, but only Mahis Angel and Sing For Violet earned above $100,000.
A French horse named Pornichet won in 2014.
He won over $1.4 million from 27 jumps for seven wins and five placings. He won the Group 1 Doomben Cup from another French horse named weary by 2.3 lengths, with I’m Imposing into third. He was fourth to Winx in the 2015 Cox Plate. The Group 1 win in Queensland was the last of his career, which included 11 more jumps and numerous barrier trials.
The 2016 winner was the familiar Redkirk Warrior.
He won well over $2.7 million from 24 jumps for eight wins and two placings. The Sandown Stakes was his first good win, by half a length over Stratum Star. Next up, he won the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap by two lengths from Voodoo Lad. He beat Redzel to win the Group 1 Lightning Stakes in 2018 and backed that with a second win in the Newmarket, this one a close affair with Brave Smash second and Merchant Navy third. When he tried the Newmarket again in 2019, it was his last race and he finished next-to-last.
Dollar For Dollar was the winner in 2017.
He won over $1.2 million from 34 jumps for 8 wins and 10 placings. He had some high finishes in Group races, but he never won at Group 1 level.
Fifty Stars from Ireland was the winner in 2018. Before being exported, he managed to win over $2.7 million from 36 jumps for 10 wins and 7 placings. His big win came at five years of age, when he took the Australian Cup from Regal Power, with Vow And Declare third. It was his best and last win. He is standing in Ireland, but we do not know of any foals yet.
Gold Fields was the 2019 winner.
This gelding made 66 jumps for 11 wins and 14 placings on his way to earning almost $775,000. He spent most of those 66 jumps on minor races on country tracks. The Sandown Stakes was his last win, with a couple seconds from his next 20 jumps.
The winner from 2020 was another gelding, this one named Junipal.
Junipal is listed as still active. He has won over $550,000 from 30 jumps for 6 wins and 10 placings. The Sandown Stakes was his best win.
When we recently looked at the Gloaming Stakes, we were amazed at the quality winners’ list from a Group 3 race to the extent that we said, “There are Group 3 races, and then there are Group 3 races.”
The Sandown Stakes is from the second part of our quote, because the quality of the winners’ list is average and comprised mostly of geldings.
What few horses and mares have won has not supplied any major winners from their offspring.
There have only been a few winners to score wins in Group 1 races and we have to think that the race will never be a greatly anticipated one, due in some part to the location.
Finally, 2021 provided us with Elephant that we detailed earlier.
Sandown Stakes Past Winners
|2017||Dollar For Dollar|
|2011||Under The Eiffel|
|2010||Larrys Never Late|
|2007||Gotta Have Heart|
|1997||Cut Up Rough|