The Group 3 RN Irwin Stakes at Morphettville Racecourse in Adelaide during April is a 1100 metre weight-for-age sprint race for horses aged three years ad above.
Prize money for the 2023 edition of the race was $127,250, so the win was worth $68,975 for Kallos. The five-year-old gelding by Medaglia D’Oro races for Godolphin with a current line of 18 jumps for 6 wins and 3 placings. He has won $615,000 so far as he spells after running seventh in The Heath 1100 at Caulfield in early September.
RN Irwin Stakes Race Details
Race Distance: 1100m
Prize Money: $127,250
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RN Irwin Stakes Betting Tips
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When Is The RN Irwin Stakes: 27/4/24
What Time Is The RN Irwin Stakes: TBA
Where Is The RN Irwin Stakes: Morphettville Racecourse
How To Live Stream The RN Irwin Stakes
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More Details About The RN Irwin Stakes
We did not locate a replay for the 2023 R.N. Irwin Stakes, but Kallos did win the 2021 Group 2 Danehill Stakes. A replay of that win can be found at the following link.
First off, please forgive our feeble typing skills and permit us to refer to the race as the Irwin Stakes.
We have seen data to suggest that the Irwin Stakes will get a prize money boost to $150,000. This is a wait-and-see proposition for us.
The race often goes off on the same weekend that features some of the best NSW racing at Randwick. That particular meeting at Morphettville in mid to late April offered 10 races in 2023. The Irwin Stakes was the ninth race and the feature. There were also three Listed grade races – the Redelva Stakes, City of Adelaide Handicap and the H.C. Nitschke Stakes.
History of the R.N. Irwin Stakes
First run in 1955, the race commemorates a chairman of the South Australian Jockey Club.
Thre was a name change in 2007 to the German Arms Hotel Stakes and another in 2008 to the CMA Recycling Stakes. The name reverted to R.N. Irwin Stakes in 2009.
The trip for the race has had some minor modifications over the years. Originally six furlongs, 1200 metres became the trip with the onset of metrication, before it was chopped to 1100 metres in 1975.
It was out to 1450 metres for 1980/81 before a brief stint at 1200 metres. Eleven hundred metres started in 1986 and persisted through 2000. The next two jumps were at 1000 metres and the current trip of 1100 metres was arrived at in 2003.
Race grade went from Principal to Group 2 in 1980 and the race was lowered to Group 3 in 1991.
The venue for the race has changed often, beginning at Morphettville, two jumps at Victoria Park before 19 jumps back at Morphettville. Those shifts in courses align to some degree with the various lengths used for the Irwin Stakes.
There was one more at Victoria Park in 2001. Cheltenham Park was used for the first and only time in 2002, with Morphettville gaining control of the race in 2003.
Venue for the R.N. Irwin Stakes
Morphettville Racecourse in Adelaide, South Australia, opened in January of 1876.
At the time, there were two other venues in the city, but those closed in 2008 and 2009, leaving just Morphettville to conduct all of the city’s race meetings.
The site consists of two tracks. The course proper has a circumference of 2307 metres, while the second track, which opened in 2009 is 2100 metres and is known as “The Parks.”
These days Morphettville is home to four Group 1 races, four Group 2 races nine Group 3 races, as of late 2023.
The Group 1 races all jump in April and there is no Group racing during spring racing, with the exception of the Group 3 SAJC Spring Stakes. All the Group 1 races are 1200 metre sprints, except for the 2500 metre South Australian Derby.
The Irwin Stakes and the Spring Stakes are the only two Group races run at Morphettville at weight for age conditions.
For 1100 metre races at Morphettville, the barriers are set on the straight, giving the horses 500 metres to the tight home turn to the finishing straight and the stands on the northwest side of the course.
Racing History of the R.N. Irwin Stakes
The Irwin Stakes presents a list of winners that offers some better types, including a couple of good racers and breeders that we will examine at the year of their Irwin Stakes wins.
The first winner in 1955 was a mare named Never Rest. Her sire High Peak of Great Britain supplied her with lines to Hyperion, Gainsborough, Bayardo and Bay Ronald, so her pom bona fides were firmly established.
She won the South Australian Oaks in 1953 and in 1952, she won the Dequetteville Stakes, an 800 metre Listed race that seems to have gone out of existence after 2014.
Her three foals, all by Orgoglio, did not leave an impression.
Moving ahead, we will pick winners to examine randomly, looking for the better types that won lots of money, big race tips and/or had impact through progeny.
A better winner was 1959’s Power Duke.
Better by winning the now Group 1 Oakleigh Plate in 1960, proving his mettle on the big metro tracks of Victoria. He also won the Christmas Handicap at Cheltenham.
We finally found something in the 1966 winner Contempler.
His sire Osborne and most of the line for that side was French. For granddam sire though, the name of Star Kingdom was a shining beacon pointing to a better racer.
Prior to winning the Irwin Stakes, Contempler had a Group 3 win in the Adeliade Racing Club Adelaide Guineas and he won the Port Adelaide Guineas. He won two Group 1 races in 1964, the Caulfield Stakes and the Underwood Stakes. He added another Group 1 win in 1965 when he won the William Reid Stakes. A second to Sir Dane in the 1964 Cox Plate reveals a South Australian horse that ventured north and did well.
Contempler sired 47 offspring, but all we found were three minor winners that accounted for 17 wins.
Sunny Coronation won in 1967 and he was a winner on multiple occasions between 1963 and 1967, racing mainly in South Australia. He crossed ahead of Ripa for second in the 1964 C.F. Orr Stakes.
As a foal-getter, he was about the same as Contempler for quantity, but we found zero race wins for Sunny Coronation’s crops and suspect that many never even made it onto the track.
A New Zealand gelding, the son of the significant French sire Le Filou, the 1968 winner of the Irwin Stakes was Fileur. Other than the mares on the side of him Kiwi dam Dulcie, Fileur was a northern hemisphere product.
Fileur was a big-race racer. He was second in the 1968 Cox Plate and third in the race in 1969. He was second to Rain Lover in the 1968 Melbourne Cup and the C.B. Fisher Plate. He won the Fisher Plate in 1970, the year he won the Irwin Stakes for a second time.
His other big wins were the Turnbull Stakes, Blamey Stakes, Memsie Stakes and C.F. Orr Stakes.
He won 14 times and placed in 25 from 59 jumps, but we can only guess what his earnings might have been.
The 1974 Irwin Stakes winner was a better mare named Toltrice.
We found her credited with a form line of 31 jumps for 14 wins.
Like some of the other winners we have examined, Toltrice raced in the east with good results. Her big wins in our view were the VRC Oaks Stakes and the VATC One Thousand Guineas.
She was a fine dam that supplied eight colts and six fillies for a total of 14 named foals. She was served by top stallions, including Vain, Sir Tristam, Danehill and Danzatore. Almurtajaz by Danzatore had the best racing of the lot, with six wins and $414,000 in earnings.
We might be jumping over something good, but the 1986 winner Rory’s Jester requires more elaboration.
Rory’s Jester was by Crown Jester with Baguette as grandsire. The dam was a Brit mare named Rory’s Rocket and the line on that side is entirely northern hemisphere.
Rory’s Jester produced a form line of 17 jumps for 7 wins and 6 placings. His earnings exceeded $500,000. He won the 1985 Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes. His win in the Irwin Stakes was when the race was graded Group 2.
It was not racing that sets Rory’s Jester apart, though.
He was a successful sire of hundreds of foals. Many of those foals turned into good racers or passed along the genes that produced more good racers.
Many of his offspring won races in Hong Kong where the dollar amounts look larger than they are compared to Oz bucks, but Rory’s Jester had Australian racers that earned as high as $1.3 million (North Boy out of North Bell) and as many as eight that earned high six-figure stakes. There were even more that won between $500,000 and $100,000 – 45 of them by our count.
He continued to supply stud until 2005 before he was put down in 2007 at the age of 24.
It was only two years until the notable came along to win the Irwin Stakes in 1988.
Redelva, a gelding, made 61 jumps for 21 wins and 18 placings to earn over $1.7 million.
The 1987 Group 3 SAJC Lightning Stakes was his first good win. The Irwin Stakes was Group 2 when he won. His first Group 1 win was the 1990 Lightning Stakes at Flemington, a win that followed numerous Group 2 and Group 3 wins. His next was the 1991 Futurity Stakes and the 1991 William Reid Stakes.
He was beating the likes of Street Ruffian and Mannerism and he had a win over Planet Ruler in the Futurity Stakes.
We next turn our attention to the only other dual winner of the Irwin Stakes.
It was Scorn Bold, the winner in 1996 and 1997.
He was a gelding by Bold Habit our of Scorn Plea.
Scorn Bold was the sort we appreciate. He made 92 jumps for 23 wins and 11 placings yet earned just $270,000 for all that racing.
Other than the Irwin Stakes, it does not appear as though Scorn Bold won any major races.
The familiar name of Bomber Bill was the winner we found for 2003.
A gelding by a U.S. sire, with U.S. Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew for grandsire, Bomber Bill made 98 jumps for 23 wins and 11 placings – good for $1.8 million in prize money.
Bomber Bill’s first Group 1 win was the 1998 Karrakatta Plate. His next was the 2001 Australia Stakes. He won the Goodwood Handicap in 2003. He went for a second Irwin Stakes in 2005, but he was denied by Super Elegant. He beat some better horses, including Mistegic, Old Nick, Umrum, Defier, Regimental Gal and Dantelah.
One that Bomber Bill did not seem to get the better of was the 2005 winner Super Elegant. This gelding by a U.S. sire made 69 jumps for 19 wins and 17 placings to win over $2 million. His first Group 1 win was the 2004 Doomben 10,000 and The Goodwood was his final win.
Viddora, a filly by I Am Invincible, was the Irwin Stakes winner in 2017.
She needed 31 jumps for 9 wins and 8 placings for in excess of $2.8 million. She had Group 1 wins in the 2017 Winterbottom Stakes and the 2018 A J Moir Stakes after she ran second in that race to She Will Reign in 2017.
She tried the Irwin Stakes a second time in 2018, running second to Dainty Tess.
An important winner was from 2020 and the name was Gytrash.
This gelding by Lope de Vega won 10 and placed in 13 races from 28 jumps, winning just under $4.5 million.
Gytrash won just the one Group 1 race, the VRC Lightning Stakes in 2020, beating two-time winner of The Everest Redzel and Loving Gaby into third. He amassed all the money from high finishes in lucrative races.
The last for now is the 2022 winner Bella Vella.
She was by the notable sire Commands and she made 36 jumps for 11 wins and 10 placings to earn $970,000. She won the Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes by beating Lyre and she raced and did well against Nature Strip and Trekking.
The R. N. Irwin Stakes has certainly delivered good winners and some good breeders.
Many of the winners had the talent to race and win in Victoria and New South Wales, so South Australia earns a few bragging rights when it comes to capable Thoroughbreds.
RN Irwin Stakes Past Winners
|2012||We're Gonna Rock|
|2008||Here De Angels|
|2004||Stand By Me|
|2001||Stand By Me|