The Group 3 Alexandra Stakes is run annually in March at Moonee Valley Racecourse in Melbourne. The race of 1600 metres is for three-year-old fillies racing under set weight plus penalty conditions.
Prizemoney for the race is $200,000 as of 2023, with the top prize of $120,000 being claimed by Papillon Club.
Alexandra Stakes Race Details
Racecourse: Moonee Valley
Race Distance: 1600m
Prize Money: $200,000
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When Is The Alexandra Stakes: 22/3/24
What Time Is The Alexandra Stakes: TBA
Where Is The Alexandra Stakes: Moonee Valley Racecourse
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More Details About The Alexandra Stakes
She was a prohibitive favourite in the race and she won by 2.5 lengths in a field of seven. She is spelling at the moment after winning the Alexandra Stakes. To date, she has made six jumps for three wins and three placings, so she seems like a pretty good punt for anyone who bets based on a 100 per cent win/place strike rate.
These days, the Alexandra Stake is run at a meeting featuring the Group 1 William Reid Stakes. The Group 2 Sunline Stakes is similar in trip to the Alexandra Stakes and it is for fillies and mares, so some better types that might otherwise try the Alexandra Stakes are siphoned off the way Sunline used to siphon off the horses that were there to chase her. The one difference between the two races is that the Sunline Stakes is a weight-for-age race.
The meeting also offers the Listed grade The Valley Pearl for two-year-olds.
There was a time when the Alexandra Stakes was a spring race held on the same day as the Cox Plate, but that all changed in 2013 when the race was moved to autumn. The race was not held in 2012 in preparation for the shift to autumn.
History of the Alexandra Stakes
The race made its debut in 1983, but did not become the Alexandra Stakes until 2013, the same year the race was moved from spring to autumn.
In was known as the Carlton Draught Stakes at that time.
Other names include Crown Lager Stakes, Great Western Stakes and the once-used Salinger Stakes in 2000. For 2001, the race was the Rosemount Estate Trophy. From 2002 through 2010, the race was the Eliza Park Stakes, the Moomoot Stud Stakes and the Arrow Training Services Stakes. In 2011, Jeep Stakes was used.
For a Thoroughbred race in Victoria, we find it odd to write that the trip has been steady at 1600 metres for its entire history.
The Alexandra Stakes made its debut about four years after the Group grading system came into use, so it was granted Listed Grade in 1983 and was promoted to Group 3 in time for the 2016 jump.
Venue for the Alexandra Stakes
Moonee Valley Racecourse in Melbourne is the third of the city’s metro tracks after Flemington and Caulfield. Some might object that we are ignoring Sandown. Objection noted and overruled.
The track has been operating since 1833 on land that was once a farm property belonging to Joh F. Feehan.
William Samuel Cox bought the land with the purpose of setting up a racetrack. He would become the first Secretary of the Moonee Valley Racing Club. His name lives on because of the race named in his honour in 1922, the W. S. Cox Plate, or as it is known simply by many, the Cox Plate. The race is considered the crown jewel of Australia’s weight-for-age horseracing.
In recent years, the Moonee Valley Racing Club has been marketing the venue as The Valley. They often have Friday evening racing, something of which we would like to see more.
We would describe the track as a tight one, as it is only just over 1800 metres in circumference.
If asked to describe the shape, we would simply write that it is an oval with a couple of short straights between the turns.
For 1600-metre races such as the Alexandra Stakes, horses jump from barriers midway down the straight located on the south side of the course. They run two turns to hit the back straight on the north side, and then turn for home to the finish line near the end of the front straight on the west side of the course.
Racing History of the Alexandra Stakes
The Alexandra Stakes has jumped 38 times as of the completion of the 2023 edition of the race.
Our initial glance at the winners list does not supply any immediately recognisable names, but a three-year-old fillies race at a minor venue is not going to attract the types that might be expected were this race staged at Caulfield, Flemington or Randwick and with a number of 1600-metre races for three-year-old fillies that are far more prestigious and financially lucrative, it is fair to say that the better types will not turn out for this race.
We will examine the list for fillies that won better races, earned a lot of prizemoney, or made larger contributions to the sport through their progeny.
The winner of the first Alexandra Stakes in 1983 was Sentimental Lady.
As a racer, Sentimental Lady lists the Alexandra Stakes and a third place finish in the Group 2 Ascot Vale Stakes as her accomplishments.
As a breeder, she supplied three named foals, one each by Military Plume, Monde Bleu and Celtic Swing. The first two of those three did some racing and a bit of winning, but those two combined only accounted for about $70,000 in prizemoney from a collective 72 jumps, so they must have been running in picnic race meetings.
The 1984 winner, Delightful Belle, was a New Zealand horse that won 10 races. Two of her wins were in Group 2 races that have since become Group 1 – the C. F. Orr Stakes and the Memsie Stakes.
Delightful Belle beat Bow Mistress to win the Memsie and Bow Mistress has a race named in her honour, so…
Delightful Belle was a good producer of offspring, with 10 fillies and 3 colts to her credit, although a closer look at the list of Delightful Belle’s foals seems to indicate either unintended duplication in the pedigree or multiple twin births. Spectrum, Dehere, Danzero, Danehill and Sir Tristam, with the best of the lot being 1997’s Belle Du Jour by Dehere that won above $3.6 million, due in large part to winning the Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes in 2000.
It was nice to find such a decent achiever on and off the turf as Delightful Belle this soon in the race history. Many races similar in grade and history supply winners’ lists that are arid holes.
Following Delightful Belle was the 1985 winner, Torvill.
She was unremarkable in both respects, but her sire, the Brit stallion Jukebox, supplied lines to Brit DNA that is redolent with impact throughout decades of Australian racing stock through connections to such as Hyperion and Gainsborough.
The 1986 winner, Glowing Idol, gives us an early opportunity to invoke the name of her grandsire – the same Star Kingdom that could legitimately be claimed as the best DNA ever imported by Ireland – it just might be the single greatest Irish contribution, period.
She won over $112,000 – not bade for her type and in those years, but it would appear that the Alexandra Stakes was the best of her seven wins. Her stud output was four fillies and one colt. Three of those progeny won races and money.
The 1987 winner, Sandy’s Pleasure, had a Group 1 win the same year by winning the VRC Oaks Stakes, beating Tennessee Vain that was grand dam sired by the legendary Vain. Her 19 jumps supplied four wins and a bit above $265,000 – not bad for a lightly raced mare in the 80s.
Sandy's Pleasure supplied eight fillies and two colts. Her best was the 2004 filly by Snowland named With Ice that won nine races and almost $300,000.
The 1989 winner, Aretha was not a great racer. We cannot attribute a single major race other than the Alexandra Stakes to her.
Her offspring were numerous, if not exceptional and Aretha herself was a granddaughter of Vain. She must have been considered as a potential mother to great racers, though, as she was a frequent consort to the likes of Zeditave, Marscay, Last Tycoon, Danehill and Octagonal. Eight of her 13 offspring won money racing.
The 1992 winner was Flitter.
She was one of the better winners to this point in the history of the Alexandra Stakes, with 27 jumps for 6 wins and 11 placings for almost $650,000. She won the Group 1 Winfield Classic, the race now known as the Group 1 Coolmore Classic. She also won the Group 1 Doomben 10,000. She was declared the Australian Mare of the Year in 1994.
Her win in the Doomben 10,000 was from the good galloper Bint Marscay and some of her other wins were over a New Zealand mare named Slight Chance that won five Group 1 races and more than $1.7 million in earnings.
In the sort of familial relationship that Thoroughbred racing occasionally offers, Flitter was served by the Marscay, sire of the horse she beat to win the Doomben. None of her offspring, though, made significant contributions on the track and tips.
The one and only dead heat in the Alexandra Stakes took place in 1996, when the race win was shared by Simply Believe and Suria.
Those two beat Group 1 winner My Brightia in the Alexandra Stakes.
Simply Believe supplied a 1998 filly by Danehill that won above $320,000.
Suria was a daughter of Danehill, but she did nothing racing or breeding to make her distinguishable from the thousands of other mares that raced just until it was time to stand stud.
The 1999 winner was Miss Pennymoney.
She had major wins at Group 1 grade when she won the Newmarket Handicap and the Australia Stakes, both in 2000.
She beat Redoute’s Choice in the Australia Stakes and she was competitive with Testa Rossa and Sunline, although she did not beat either of those two when it really counted.
The 2002 winner, Dextrous, only made 10 jumps but she was unplaced just twice, with five wins and three placings.
She made a larger contribution standing stud for the likes of Commands, Exceed And Excel, Lonhro, Octagonal and Kermadec.
Ambidexter, a 2008 colt by Commands, won above $450,000. Skilled, a 2007 colt by Commands, earned over $557,000, but the top earner was 2010’s Sidestep by Exceed And Excel that won over $1.2 million from 16 jumps without a win above Group 2.
Ike's Dream won the Alexandra Stakes in 2003.
She made 34 jumps for six wins and 8 placings for just over $1 million in prizemoney. She raced alongside some better types, such as Ermein, Shamekha and Desert Wars, but she never broke the Group 1 barrier, except for her 2005 win in the Queen of the Turf Stakes.
The winner in the last jump where the Alexandra Stakes was held as a spring race in 2011 was Torah, but this was her only win. None of her offspring was particularly successful.
When the race resumed in 2013 as an autumn event, the winner was You're So Good.
She was a 2009 filly by Savabeel, but she was not so good, just about average. She had two wins and earned a little over $300,000, with her best result being a second to Ferlax in the 2013 Group 1 Australian Guineas. Post racing, two pairings with Snitzel resulted in a colt and a filly that could have been called You’re So Bad.
The 2014 winner was Marianne and the win found her beating Sauvito, so for at least the one day, Marianne was a better type.
The 2015 winner, Fontein Ruby, broke the million-dollar mark with 19 jumps for six wins and five placings. Her best win came at Group 2 grade. Three foals by Fastnet Rock failed to enjoy great success.
The 2017 winner, Oregon's Day, made 29 jumps for five wins and 8 placings for just over $985,000 in prizemoney. Her two Group 1 jumps found her best result a second to Daysee Doom in the Coolmore, but she was unplaced in the Doomben Cup. She did beat Tom Melbourne to win the Group 2 A. D. Hollindale Stakes in 2018.
Think Bleue by So You Think was the winner in 2018. She made 17 jumps for five wins and two placings to earn just over $400,000.
A million dollar earner named Princess Jenni was the winner in 2019. She was a 2015 daughter of High Chaparral that made 26 jumps for six wins and 3 placings for just over $1 million. She had a Group 1 win in the 2019 SAJC Australasian Oaks, with additional wins at Group 2 and Group 3 grade.
Her status as a seven-year-old mare is given as spelling, but her last jump was in November of 2021, leading us to surmise that her racing days are done.
The 2020 winner, Paradee, is retired with a form line of 18 jumps for six wins and 5 placings for just above $950,000. Her win in the Alexandra Stakes was from Snapdancer and the win in the 2021 Group 2 Peter Young Stakes was over Shared Ambition, with Homesman third. The 2022 winner was Daisies. She is listed as spelling for her current status, with 15 jumps for three wins and two placings. She has earned just over $550,000 at this stage.
The fillies or mares, whichever you choose to call them, that have won the Alexandra Stakes over the history of the race have been mainly unexceptional.
A few Group 1 winners, a few million-dollar earners, and a few progeny that were better types accounted for the bulk of the winners. These female racers were lightly raced for the most part, with the clear intent seeming to be burnishing racing resumes in order to attract the better stallions for breeding purposes.
Alexandra Stakes Past Winners
|2013||You're So Good|
|1998||Rose O' War|