One of the oldest group races in Australia the Ted Van Heemst Stakes holds over 100 years of history and competition.
Held in WA it is one of the showpiece races of the Perth Racing schedule and one of the final staying races of the calendar year.
Ted Van Heemst Stakes Race Details
Race Distance: 2100m
Prize Money: $250,000
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Ted Van Heemst Stakes Betting Tips
Our feature race for tipping this week takes us west once again as we take a look at the Group Two Ted Van Heemst Stakes, held at Perth’s Ascot Racecourse this Saturday over a distance of 2100m - See our tips here
When Is The Ted Van Heemst Stakes: 16/12/23
What Time Is The Ted Van Heemst Stakes: TBA
Where Is The Ted Van Heemst Stakes: Ascot Racecourse
How To Live Stream The Ted Van Heemst Stakes
To live stream the Ted Van Heemst Stakes, TAB Account Holders can watch the race live.
More Details About The Ted Van Heemst Stakes
The Ted Van Heemst Stakes is a Group 2 weight-for-age race of the unusual trip of 2100 metres.
The entrants must be three years old and above.
The race is staged by the Perth Racing Club at Ascot in December and is viewed by the racing community as the primary lead up to the Perth Cup run on New Year’s Day.
Prizemoney for the race is currently $250,000 as of late 2022.
Regal Power was the most recent winner in 2021. He had won the race in 2019 as well. We are not sure how much longer the seven-year-old gelding by Pierro is going to compete, but he has made just 29 starts, which is a remarkable low number for a gelding of this age.
He has won nine of his jumps, with seven placings and has amassed more than $4.5 million. A substantial portion of those earnings came about as the result of winning the All-Star Mile at Caulfield in 2020, which paid $2.25 million.
Regal Power collected just $145,000 for winning the Van Heemst Stakes in 2021. His previous jump was a win in the Group 1 Kingston Town Stakes.
History of the Ted Van Heemst Stakes
The race almost appears to be something the Vics cooked up, although we would think the race would have had more than three names if that were the case.
The more often modification has been the trip.
The race began as 1-1/2 miles in the days before metrication. It was shortened to 1 mile in 1932 and 1933, and then returned to the original trip for 1934 – 1936. It jumped as a 1-mile event for the last time in 1937.
Between 1938 and 1971, the length of the race was either 1-1/2 or 1-3/8th miles, roughly equivalent to 2200- 2400 metres.
Following metrication, the trip was set at 2400 metres from 1972 – 2007. It was shortened to the current 2100-metre trip in 2008, the same year the 3200 metre Perth Cup was trimmed from 3200 to 2400 metres.
The grade for the race was Principal until the Group system came along and declared the Ted Van Heemst Stakes as a Group 2 race in 1979.
Venue for the Ted Van Heemst Stakes
Ascot Racecourse in Perth has been the site for the race for its entire history, when it and some other Ascot races were shifted to Perth’s other metro course, Belmont, for 2003.
Ascot is one of our favourites, mainly for the lovely site of Thoroughbreds burning down the back straight with the Swan River in the background.
The track opened in 1848, just a matter of years from the 1833 of Sydney’s Randwick and the 1840 of Flemington. It is uphill on the home straight, so stayers have to dig deep into reserves to mount a strong final kick.
The track has a circumference of 2000 metres. The jump for the Ted Van Heemst Stakes is midway down the home straight. The gallopers pass the finish line; negotiate a tight turn, and then a short straight followed by a sweeping turn that leads onto the back straight. A tight turn leads them onto the 380-metre home straight to the finish in front of the stands on the south side of the course.
Racing History of the Ted Van Heemst Stakes
First run in 1914, the race went off during all the years of World War I.
It is sometimes tempting to think that racing in Western Australia in the first years of the 20th century might have been an exclusive club for Western Australia gallopers, but good horses were winning and proving their bona fides in the east right from the outset.
Our proof is the 1920 winner Eurythmic.
He was extraordinary by any standard.
He began his racing career in WA, winning races in 1918 and 1919, including the dead heat with Rivose in the 1919 Perth Cup. He won the Caulfield Cup in 1920, the Melbourne Stakes (1920 and 1921), the Memsie Stakes (1920, 1921 and 1922), the Caulfield Stakes (1920, 1921, and 1922) and the Sydney Cup in 1921.
As a four-year-old during the 1920/1921 racing season, his only defeat was his fourth place finish in the Melbourne Cup. The following year, he suffered interference in the Melbourne Cup attempt and was pulled up.
When he concluded his racing career, he had made 47 jumps for 31 wins and 10 placings. He was the greatest stake-winner in Australia.
He was disappointing at stud, supplying only four foals.
The first multiple winner was Eracre in 1925 and 1926.
He was gelded, so no progeny and no extensive racing record, other than the 1923 WATC St. Leger and the 1925 Strickland Stakes.
Eracre was backed by the dual 1927 and 1928 winner, Maple.
Aside from the two Ted Van Heemst Stakes wins (then the C. B. Cox Stakes), this mare did not leave much by way of racing results. She supplied five named foals beginning in 1930 and concluding in 1943.
The 1935 winner was Hyperion.
This was not the Hyperion foaled in Great Britain in 1930 whose blood influences Australian racing to this day.
This Ted Van Heemst Stakes winner Hyperion was foaled in 1931 and he was a solid winner in WA, with wins in four other major WA races.
Another dual winner came along in 1939 and 1940’s Gay Balkan.
This horse also won the Perth Stakes twice, along with the Perth Cup and the Karrakatta Plate. He was serviceable at stud, supplying nine foals.
The 1941 winner was Gay Prince.
He was by the same sire, Gay Lothario, which supplied Gay Balkan. He won five major WA races in 1938, but left no progeny record that we could locate.
The race, then known as the C. B. Cox, was skipped during the World War II years of 1942, 1943 and 1944.
We skipped the years following the war until we lit upon the next dual winner, 1965 and 1966’s Royal Coral.
Royal Coral got around some, winning in WA and also in Geelong and he was a good sire from 1970 through the 80s. He even sired a colt in 2003, when the math would have put him at the age of 42.
A better sort was the 1972 winner, Piping Lane.
Piping Lane was a gelding by Lanesborough that could fetch only $100 for his Tasmanian breeder. He was then sold for $6,000 after winning the Hobart Cup in 1972, whereupon he promptly delivered the 1972 Melbourne Cup, winning from $41.
Piping Lane raced 59 times for 15 wins and 19 placings.
Another notable came along in 1974 in the form of Battle Heights.
A New Zealand bred stayer, this gelding by Great Britain’s Battle Wagon had a great year in 1974, winning the W. S. Cox Plate, the Sydney Cup and the Queen Elizabeth Stakes to go along with the win in WA.
Along with his wins, Battle Heights is instantly included in the fictional Pro Group Racing Hall of Fame for his 115 jumps. His last major win was the 1976 Metropolitan Handicap, but his win in the 1976 Craven Plate deserves mention.
Following Battle Heights was the dual winner from 1975 and 1976, Tropical Chief. Another New Zealand bred horse, Tropical Chief did not leave an extensive racing record. He supplied four colts as a sire.
The winner from 1983, Haulpak’s Image holds some interest as a dual winner of the race, with a gap of two jumps before the second win in 1986.
Some might say that this sort of scenario is one of the more sublime characteristics of weight-for-age racing and it is difficult to dispute that position.
Haulpak's Image was a solid type, winner at Group 2 and Group 3 races in WA ranging from 1200 to 2400 metres. He had a brush with Group 1 success when running second to Getting Closer in the 1983 Railway Stakes.
By Jumping ahead to 1989, we find Tawrriffic gracing the winners’ list for the Ted Van Heemst Stakes.
He is another winner that came along after winning the Melbourne Cup. Other good wins were the South Australian St. Leger and the AJC St. Leger.
Tawrriffic met with an untimely demise while standing stud, but he was aged just 15 when he died from a twisted bowel.
Next comes another instance of a two-time winner but not in successive years.
Old Cobber won in 1997, and then again in 1999.
In between those two wins, the name of the 1998 winner, Jack Daniels, proved irresistible.
Jack, though, did not do New Zealand proud. He had a day to remember when he won the race, as he beat a good galloper, a certain Rogan Josh, by well over a length on the day. Jack then flopped in his next race, the Perth Cup, where Rogan Josh finished second some 20 lengths in front of Jack.
As for Old Cobber, he won 14 times and placed in 10 races, but his 55 jumps returned just above $400,000.
Following Old Cobber’s 1999 win, the 2000 jump of the race was taken by his sister, Old Money.
Sharing Old Spice for the sire, Old Money was the better branch of the family.
Old Money won at Group 1 grade by taking the 2000 Australian Derby, with an additional Group 2 win via the 2000 WA Oaks.
She made 11 jumps for five wins and one placing from her racing in WA. She went to the U.S. in 2001. In 11 jumps there, she won two and placed in three races before returning home in early 2008.
Her contribution to racing continued when she supplied four foals, three of which won some money, with the fourth being none other than Trap For Fools, winner of more than $2.2 million, including the Group 1 MacKinnon Stakes.
There was a dead heat in the Ted Van Heemst Stakes in 2006 involving Daka’s Gem and Scenic Shot.
Daka’s Gem was a journeyman gelding that had a lengthy career of 97 jumps for 15 wins and 23 placings. All that racing still found him short of a million in winnings by $250,000.
Scenic Shot, on the other hand, was a gelding with the star power to earn more than $3 million. He raced all over the country and was still improving when he won the Group 1 Doomben Cup at six and the Group 1 MacKinnon Stakes at seven.
We next look at the 2012 winner, Mr. Moet.
This gelding, the product of a U.S. sire and the Aussie dam Marlock Miss, Mr. Moet was strong enough to win more than $1.5 million with his impressive list of northern hemisphere ancestors. His big win was the Group 1 Railway Stakes in that same year.
The now-deceased Delicacy was a notable winner from 2015.
She won more than $2.1 million from just 19 jumps for 12 wins and 5 placings. Delicacy had a storybook ending to her racing career. Her last three jumps supplied a second in the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic, followed by two Group 2 wins, with the Van Heemst followed by the Perth Cup.
She also had Group 1 wins in South Australia via the Schweppes Oaks and the SA Derby. When she won the Ted Van Heemst Stakes, she beat an old favourite of ours, a certain Black Heart Bart.
A good mare named Galaxy Star won in 2018.
A daughter of Redoute’s Choice, she won above $1.5 million from 19 jumps for 13 wins and 6 placings, never running unplaced. Her Group 1 win was the Railway Stakes earlier that same year. In between Regal Power’s wins in 2019 and 2021 is the 2020 winner Truly Great.
Truly Great was by New Zealand’s Dundeel and he won eight times with three placings for over $1 million in stakes. He won the Group 1 Kingston Town in his jump prior to his Van Heemst Stakes victory and he ran second in his final jump in the Perth Cup.
The Ted Van Heemst Stakes presents an assortment of winners ranging from Melbourne Cup winners and Hall of Fame inductees to those lesser types that found their glory by winning this Perth Racing Club feature.
Ted Van Heemst Stakes Past Winners
|2011||God Has Spoken|
|2004||Free At Last|
|1964||Rack And Ruin|