The Lord Reims Stakes is a Group 3 staying race of 2600 metres held at Morphettville Racecourse in Adelaide, South Australia during the month of March.
The race is run under set weight plus penalty conditions and is open to horses aged three years and above.
Lord Reims Stakes Race Details
Race Distance: 2600m
Prize Money: $127,250
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When Is The Lord Reims Stakes: 24/2/24
What Time Is The Lord Reims Stakes: TBA
Where Is The Lord Reims Stakes: Morphettville Racecourse
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More Details About The Lord Reims Stakes
As of early 2023, prizemoney for the race is the odd figure of $127,250.
Canford, a now eight-year-old gelding, won the race in 2022 and was compensated to the tune of $69,270 for his comfortable win over So Bene.
We have seen many junior grade races that supply the winners with a ballot exemption for one of the major races. The Lord Reims Stakes does that concept two better, as the first three place getters are exempt from balloting for the Group 2 Adelaide Cup.
That could be a good incentive, or it could simply be a nod to the current racing era where staying races are beyond the attention spans of racing fans and breeders are focusing on supplying milers.
The other element to the race is that while some races are restricted to fillies and mares, the Lord Reims Stakes almost seems restricted to female jockeys. Out of the eight gallopers that jumped in the race in 2022, five were piloted by female jockeys. A sixth female jockey was prevented from jumping when her mount was scratched.
The first two place getters were male jockeys, which might seem to strike a blow against equality, but some salve is supplied by the fact that the favourite for the race was ridden by a male jockey that steered Wertheimer seemingly in the wrong direction to finish nearly eight lengths back.
The race is considered the primary lead-up to the Adelaide Cup.
History of the Lord Reims Stakes
The race was renamed the Lord Reims Stakes in 2010 to honour the galloper won the race twice in 1988 and 1989. He won the Group 2 Adelaide Cup three years running – 1987 to 1989, but his main claim was in the winning of the 1987 Caulfield Cup. That race almost seemed as though the restriction was Kiwi horses only, as nine of the 18 runners were New Zealand born racers. Saying that half of the horses being Kiwi made that edition of the Caulfield Cup was restricted to New Zealanders make us guilty of hyperbole, but that is the least of our many crimes.
We initially thought that Lord Reims was some pom royalty, but then we remembered that the race is in South Australia, not NSW.
The race debuted in 1889 as the West End Draught Stakes. The name was some variation of West End until the two jumps in 1993 and 1994 went off under the name of Eagle Blue Stakes. The name reverted to West End Draught Stakes from 1995 through 2000, before spending 2001 through 2008 as the Carlton Draught Stakes. The year of 2009 saw the name Tooheys New Stakes, but having beer sponsors for a race in South Australia goes against the grain of Adelaide residents who prefer a more sophisticated libation – Sauvignon Blanc, of which there is never a shortage.
The race was always Principal Grade until the Group classification system was initiated, with the result being that the Lord Reims Stakes was classified as Group 3 grade.
The trip for the race has undergone minor variations over the years, minor, so long as you are not the gallopers that would have won had the distance been something other than what it was.
Originally 1-1/2 miles, (approximately 2400 metres), the race was lengthened to 2600 metres in 1980. Four jumps in the early 80s were of 2450 metres. The next decade saw the race once again 2400 metres, followed by six jumps at 2500 metres. The current trip of 2600 metres has been since 2004, indicating that it might be permanent, permanent in the sense of permanence associated with Thoroughbred racing.
As an older race, there have been many horses to win the race and then supply a Cups double by winning the Adelaide Cup in the same year.
Those horses were Apache King (2001), Cronus (1997), French Resort (1996), Ideal Centreman (1991), Water Boatman (1990), Lord Reims (1988, 1989), Moss Kingdom (1984), Yashmak (1980), Phar Ace (1974), Fulmen (1967), Far Away Places (1961), Parallana (1929), Altimeter (1928), Stralia (1925), Warpaint (1896), Port Admiral (1894) and Vakeel (1893).
It has been more than 20 years since a horse won the Lord Reims Stakes and filled a Cups double by adding the Adelaide Cup in the same year, so maybe there truly is a west end draught of some sort underway.
The race was skipped during the World War II years, from 1942 – 1944. There was no race staged in 1972. One dead heat occurred in 1948, when Typical shared the win in 1948, with Typical getting the win to himself in 1949.
The first true sole dual winner waited to appear until 1924. It was an Aussie horse named Cadelgo, but he had to wait until 1927 to win the second time. Falcon Gold won twice in 1954 and 1955. Fulmen won two consecutive in 1967 and 1968, filling the Adelaide Cup/Lord Reims Stakes double. The aforementioned two wins by Lord Reims were in 1988 and 1989. That was the last time the race supplied a dual winner.
Venue for the Lord Reims Stakes
The race has always jumped at Morphettville Racecourse in Adelaide.
Morphettville Racecourse is owned and operated by the South Australian Jockey Club. It opened in 1876.
The facility consists of two courses. The main course is just over 2300 metres in circumference and is long and flat, although the turns do have a slight camber in the turns, while the inner track, known as The Parks, has a circumference of 2100 metres and slightly more banking in the turns.
As of 2023, the facility offers four Group 1 races, none of which is run under weight-for-age conditions. There are four Group 2 races, all handicap or set weight condition events. There are nine Group 3 races, with the Spring Stakes and the R. N. Irwin Stakes being the two weight-for-age races at Morphettville.
For a 2600-metre race, the horses start near the beginning of the home straight, make an entire circuit and finish at the end of the home straight on the north side of the course.
Racing History of the Lord Reims Stakes
There have been too many runnings of the Lord Reims Stakes for us to examine each one. We will go through the list, looking for either recognisable names or names that suggest a connection to a legendary racer or breeder.
Since this is racing history, racing history 101 if you prefer, we will mention the winner of the first jump in 1889 named Britannia.
They have been naming horses Britannia forever. The earliest example was foaled in 1772 and we suspect that there were earlier versions as well.
Our Britannia was a mare foaled in 1884 that won a race in 1890 and 1893 known as the SAJC Elder Stakes. There was not much else we could learn.
The winner of the 1892 jump was Lord Chesterfield. In the year 1892, it is hard to imagine that Lord Chesterfield would be sent to the United States and race with success in California.
The name of the 1901 winner caused us to sit up and take notice, as the name of the winner was Randwick. They might have named the race after this winner, but the honchos at that track in Sydney might have objected, or they might have thought it keen to have more Randwicks the same way we have so many Ascots.
In 1941, the last year before the race took its WW II hiatus, the winner was Prince Ariel.
When the race resumed in 1945, it was won by King Opera.
The race resulted in a dead heat in 1948 between Typical and Chatspa.
We are certain that we are not the first to think that Typical would be a great namesake for a race, such as the Typical Idea Handicap.
Records from that era were not the best, but Chatspa was by Chatham, with Windbag for a grandsire, with notable lines coming by way of connections to Dark Ronald and Bay Ronald, names we often seen in the lines of the better racers.
Typical had the race to himself in 1949.
Typical was a gelding and his racing record is a bit obscure.
Our next stop is to take a closer look at the dual winner of the race from 1954 and 1955, Falcon Gold. There is no better example of the dearth of good racing information from those years than the fact that when we found Falcon Gold in the pedigree database, it was given that he was unraced.
Part of this was the years involved and part of this was that it was South Australian racing – not Victoria or NSW racing.
The dual winner from 1967 and 1968, Fulmen, had the famous French sire Le Filou, responsible for two Melbourne Cup winners – Li
ght Fingers and Red Handed. Fulmen, as a gelding, made 88 jumps for 16 wins and 18 placings. Along with winning the Lord Reims Stakes and the Adelaide Cup, campaigned in the east and won races in Queensland and Victoria, with wins in the Coongy Handicap and the now Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes in 1968.
Jumping ahead to more recent times, we found one we had to investigate further in the 1984 winner, Moss Kingdom.
As we suspected, there was a line connecting Moss Kingdom to one of the most prominent stallions in Australian Thoroughbred racing history, Star Kingdom.
Moss Kingdom won the Adelaide Cup in 1984, when it a Group 1 race before the Australian Pattern Committee downgraded the race in 2007. He also won the Perth Cup that year and was aimed at the Melbourne Cup as the favourite, but he broke down a fortnight before the race that stops a nation.
As the dual winner and current namesake of the race, Lord Reims will get some extra attention, but not much. His form line is given as 47 jumps for 13 wins and 7 placings. He was gelded, so no progeny and his lines were fairly anonymous until you travel back in time to such common Australian Thoroughbred contributors such as Italy’s Nearco and Great Britain’s Gainsborough.
We went trolling through the years looking for anything familiar until we arrived at 2001 when the race was won by Apache King.
We could find no connection to a sprinter named Apache Cat that is often mentioned in our racing history articles.
Apache King was a lessor racer, but he was pretty good. His form line lists 74 jumps for 10 wins and 16 placings and over $525,000 for prizemoney. His best win was the 2001 Adelaide Cup, which was a Group 1 grade race at the time.
In 2011, the winner was a Kiwi gelding named Guyno that made 51 jumps for 8 wins and 17 placings to earn above $1.2 million NZD. He had some impressive lines, with Last Tycoon for a grandsire and a distant connection to Vain via dam River Century. He was good for some time, as his 2007 win in the WA Derby and the 2009 Perth Cup suggest.
A mare named Etah James won the race in 2018.
Her form line consists 34 jumps for 8 wins and 3 placings and over a million dollars in prizemoney. Her big win was the 2020 Sydney Cup. We assume the ten-year-old mare is standing somewhere, but we do not know where or even if she truly is working the sheds.
The 2010 Melbourne Cup winner Americain supplied the 2020 Lord Reims Stake winner, Eperdument. She is retired, but no little baby horses as best we could determine.
Tralee Rose was the 2021 winner.
She is listed as active and is closing in on one million dollars in earnings from a form line of 21 jumps for six wins and six placings. She had one patch of racing in Victoria that supplied her with five wins and one second that concluded with her win in the Lord Reims Stakes. She won the Group 3 Geelong Cup in 2021. She jumped in the Melbourne Cup, but finished ninth and probably did not see Verry Elleegant win. She tried the Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup in 2022, but she was far back in both jumps.
The Lord Reims Stakes is an important South Australia race.
We found some interesting characters in the history of the race, but it would appear to us that even though the race is run in March, any trainers or connections with good stayers are looking for races to keep their horses prepared are possibly looking elsewhere, with eyes on bigger prizes.
Lord Reims Stakes Past Winners
|2017||Master Of Arts|
|2013||My Ex Mate|
|2010||Moment In Time|
|1998||Heed The Toll|
|1961||Far Away Places|