Racing over 1100 metres at Northam Racecourse in Western Australia, horses aged two years and above try the Group 3 Northam Stakes under set weight plus penalty conditions during late April or early May.
The official website for Racing Western Australia indicates that for 2024, the race is being extended to 1300 metres, yet the 2023 edition was given as 1300 metres, two years and above.
Northam Stakes Race Details
Race Distance: 1100m
Prize Money: $150,000
How To Bet On The Northam Stakes
Our Top 3 Recommended Online Bookmakers To Bet With For The Northam Stakes:
Northam Stakes Betting Tips
1. Tips Will Be Updated Closer To The Race
When Is The Northam Stakes: 5-5-24
What Time Is The Northam Stakes: TBA
Where Is The Northam Stakes: Northam Racecourse
How To Live Stream The Northam Stakes
To live stream the Northam Stakes, TAB Account Holders can watch the race live.
More Details about the Northam Stakes
So long as the gallopers don’t stop after 1100 metres and no one is checking id’s, the Northam Racing Club can do as they please.
The 2023 winner was Dom To Shoot, ridden by, who else, William Pike.
A broad rule of thumb for racing in Western Australia is to back whichever runner has Pike aboard.
Dom To Shoot is a gelding by Shooting To Win that has made 37 jumps as of his last try in June at Belmont in the Group 3 Strickland Stakes at Belmont with William Pike aboard to run third after jumping as favourite…
…Toss out that earlier bit about William Pike.
Dom To Shoot is listed as Active, but we have to wonder, since he has not raced this autumn.
He has jumped 37 times for 7 wins and 14 placings and $908,000 in earnings.
We could not locate a replay and when we were offered video of the 2023 Northam Pacing Cup, we abandoned the effort lest we get tarnished by the buggy pullers.
The Northam Racing Club (est. 1863) runs the race at Northam Racecourse about an hour’s drive away from Perth. Most of the racing done there is mid-week, but there are a few weekend meetings, with Sunday seeming to enjoy a lot of popularity, where racing is combined with all manner of picnic activities, music, art, fashion – those sorts of things.
The Northam Stakes is the only Group race held outside a metropolitan area.
History of the Northam Cup
One of the newer races in Australia, the Northam Stakes first jumped in 2007.
It was first known as the Northam Sprint for the first five editions; Northam Stakes became the official name in 2012.
The race grade was Listed until 2018, when it was lifted to Group 3.
Then, there is the trip. One source claims that it was 1300 metres for the first two jumps in 2007 and 2008 before being trimmed to 1100 metres in 2009.
Yet, we have documented evidence of the race being 1300 metres in 2023.
The takeaway is that when it comes to Group racing on a country track, the date, the trip and the grade are subject to the whims of whoever is reporting. We can also allow as to how easily it is to make a typing error when dealing with the vast amounts of data involved with putting together a racing calendar.
The other piece of history that seems on solid ground is that in 2020, the race was moved to Ascot Racecourse in Perth.
Venue for the Northam Stakes
Northam Racecourse opened in 1863 when the Northam Racing Club was founded. A scenic drive of about 100 km from Perth along the Great Eastern Highway to the town of Northam in the Avon Valley will find the track on the eastern border of the town, sitting alongside the Mortlock River.
The facility stages about 25 meetings per year, most of them during the winter/spring months from May to October.
The course is a conventional oval with a circumference of 2017 metres, there is camber on the home turn of five percent leading onto a slightly cambered home straight of 425 metres.
For a 1300 metre race, the barriers would be erected midway down the back straight. For a 1100 metre race, the barriers would be closer to the home turn. The track has a short chute on the east side that is used for 1600 metre races. There is a long chute on the north side for 1000 metre races.
Racing History of the Northam Stakes
For a new race at a country track, we do not expect to find much of historical significance, but we will have a look at the list of winners in hopes of finding something that did well racing at the Perth metro tracks, possibly went east for success or made some contribution in the form of significant progeny.
The winner of the first Northam Stakes was Certain Gold.
She was a mare by a U.S. sire that made 58 starts, won 7 times and placed in 13 races. That looks to be a decent form line for a race mare, but Certain Gold’s racing won just $99,000.
Approximately one third of her winnings came from winning the Northam Stakes. Her race was at 1300 metres and it was simply a handicap race without a grade before 2012.
She did race at Ascot and Belmont and she did okay, but nothing ever surpassed the win in the Northam. We did not locate a progeny record for her.
The next winner in 2008 was Money Exchange, a gelding by Magic Of Money that supplies lines to Star Kingdom, although by this date, Star Kingdom was four generations back, so it is hard to grant him a lot of influence with Money Exchange.
Money Exchange made 74 jumps for 10 wins and 23 placings for $428,000 – pretty good money for a gelding racing in Western Australia.
None of his other wins were in major races and the Northam at the time was not yet graded at Listed. He was surely handy, though, as his racing near the end of his career often found him placed.
We assumed that the 2009 winner of the Northam, the gelding Vain Raider, would give us lines to Vain, but our assumption was incorrect. Vain Raider’s sire was Kenvain that had the legendary Vain as sire of his dam Dancelot.
Vain Raider had a Group 3 win in the 2010 Roma Cup at Belmont.
The 2010 winner did not tease us with an important name, only to let us down.
That is because the winner in 2010, Kid Choisir, was an actual kid of the legendary Choisir.
Kid Choisir was an entire foaled in 2006 that raced 24 times for 7 wins and 5 placings for $393,000. He is credited with winning the Supremacy Stakes and the Placid Ark Stakes in 2009.
Kid Choisir left no progeny record.
A better mare named Power Princess was the winner in 2011.
Her sire was Marwina, supplying lines to Marscay, Biscay and Star Kingdom. Vain was part of the line as well.
Her 31 jumps supplied 12 wins and 9 placings for earnings of $844,000.
She was third to Black Caviar in the 2012 Group 1 SAJC Robert Sangster Stakes. She was five lengths back at the line, though, so the placing does include a grain of salt.
Her last win was the 2013 Group 3 Roma Cup at Belmont. When she placed second in the 2012 Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes, she crossed ahead of Spirit Of Boom.
Power Princess did not leave a progeny record.
A good gelding named Barakey won in 2012, the first year the Northam Stakes was Listed grade. He romped to a five length win before a couple barrier trials preceded a Group 3 win in the Colonel Reeves Stakes – another easy win. Next up, he took the post in the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes, beating 2011 Northam Stakes winner Power Princess.
Barakey left a form line of 17 jumps for 13 wins and one placing. He earned $864,000. If we had a gelding that won 13 of 17 starts in or around 2012, we would still be racing it today, so we can only guess what kept the career of Barakey limited to 17 races. The 2013 winner was the gelding, Beach Express.
He was an average gelding racer, but he had one three-race patch that found him winning the Listed Western Australia Turf Club Stakes, followed by a second in the Listed Miss Andretti Stakes, and concluded by the Northam Stakes win. It was his last win and 22 more jumps provided nothing other than third place runs in minor races.
In 2014, a more-than-handy mare named Magnifisio won the race.
Her sire was Magnus, with Flying Spur as grandsire. Danehill, Snippets and Vain were contributors to a racer that 33 jumps for 14 wins, 12 placings and over $1.5 million in prize money.
She won the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes the same year. Another win was at Group 2 grade, one at Group 3 and four Listed wins in between 2013 and 2016. She became the one and only to Win the Northam Stakes more than once when she won again in 2016.
Her dam was Ifestio, a sister to Barakey.
With her pedigree and ability, we were surprised to come away empty for Magnifisio’s stud record.
Another good gelding won the Northam Stakes in 2015.
It was Dawn Approach by the U.S. sire Statue Of Liberty. The line includes ties to not one, but two U.S. Triple Crown winners in Seattle Slew and Secretariat. His dam was Delicate Snip, with Snippers as her sire, so Dawn Approach certainly had the pedigree.
His 38 jumps resulted in 7 wins, 13 placings and $527,000 in prize money. The Northam Stakes was his best win. It was his final win and like earlier geldings that had won the race, he jumped 17 more times, placing reliably.
First Among Equals was a gelding by Exceed And Excel, so his results of 12 wins and 13 placings for $876,000 were not surprising. Had he waited until 2018, rather than 2017, to win the Northam Stakes, he would have had a Group 3 win to his credit.
As it was, First Among Equals never won above Listed grade, but he did have one streak from April of 2015 until June of that year when he won six consecutive races.
Much the same could be written about 2018 Northam Stakes winner Battle Hero.
A gelding by Stratum with Redoute’s Choice for grandsire, Battle Hero had 42 jumps for 11 wins and 12 placings for a prize money haul of $932,000.
Like more than a few of the earlier winners, the Northam Stakes would be the last win for Battle Hero. He won the first time the race was lifted to Group 3 and he won another Group 3 race in 2016 with a win in the Roma Cup from Magnifisio.
The gelding Rock Magic won in 2019.
This capable gelding by Redoute’s Choice made 63 jumps for 16 wins and 18 placings. He won above $1.7 million and his victories include a 2016 win over Scales Of Justice in the Group 3 Belmont Sprint.
Rock Magic was another of those that never won after winning the Northam Stakes. He never won above Group 3, but he was often highly placed in better class races, so he was able to earn well.
In 2020, the year the race was moved to Ascot, the winner was Fabergino.
A filly by Maschino, Fabergino had Encosta De Lago as grandsire. The line on the side of dam Miss Razyana includes names such as Danehill, Kaoru Star and Star Kingdom.
She had 20 jumps for 12 wins, 3 placings and $830,000 in prize money.
Like some other Northam Stakes winners, Fabergino never won above Group 3 grade, but she had one patch of racing where she won three Listed Grade races in a row before adding the Northam for four consecutive wins.
She has supplied just one 2022 foal named Wootino by Wootton Bassett that has not or will not race.
Cup Night is a 2015 gelding with the same sire and grandsire as Fabergino. Cup Night won the race in 2021 by beating the 2019 winner Rock Magic.
Now aged eight years, he is listed as Active, but his last jump was in October of 2022.
Thirty-two jumps have returned 9 wins and 9 placings for $557,000 in earnings.
Elite Street was the winner in 2022.
Currently aged seven years as of late 2023, the classy gelding by U.S. sire Street Boss is listed as Active with 22 jumps for 10 wins and 2 placings for above $1.3 million in prize money.
He won the 2020 Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes and place third in the same race in 2021.
His most recent race was at Ascot in December of 2022, so we suspect his racing days are over.
We were gratified to find some good racers from a recently minted Group 3 race on a country track in Western Australia.
We found a couple Group 1 winners and a few good stallion and mares that made some contributions to racing through offspring, but the majority of the winners were geldings that accomplished little other than winning the Northam Stakes.
Western Australia horses often have to race each other many times, and many tried the Northam Stakes more than once with just Magnifisio managing to win twice, it might be possible to say that familiarity breeds competition.
Northam Stakes Past Winner
|2023||Dom To Shoot|
|2017||First Among Equals|