Each year, during the Victoria Racing Club autumn carnival, Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne is the site of the Group 2 Blamey Stakes and 1600-metre race for all genders run under set weight plus penalty conditions by horses aged three years or more.
Total prizemoney for the race is $300,000. First prize is $180,000 with a bonus of $2,000, went to Noncomformist in the 2023 jump.
Blamey Stakes Race Details
Race Distance: 1600m
Prize Money: $300,000
How To Bet On The Blamey Stakes
Our Top 3 Recommended Online Bookmakers To Bet With For The Blamey Stakes:
Blamey Stakes Betting Tips
When Is The Blamey Stakes: 2/3/24
What Time Is The Blamey Stakes: TBA
Where Is The Blamey Stakes: Flemington Racecourse
How To Live Stream The Blamey Stakes
To live stream the Blamey Stakes, TAB Account Holders can watch the race live.
More Details About The Blamey Stakes
Hyperno won the race in 1980, the final year of weight-for-age running conditions and he won it in 1981, the first year of set weight plus penalty conditions.
That bit of info might win the Daily Double on Australian Jeopardy.
The race is a part of an autumn carnival meeting that includes the Group 1 Australian Guineas, the Group 3 Frances Tressady Stakes and two Listed grade races – Group 4 if you will, but we will not.
Venue for the Blamey Stakes
Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, Victoria, is famous around the world as the home of the Melbourne Cup. Competitors from around the world make the float to Oz to take part in the world’s richest handicap Thoroughbred race.
Over the course of a year, Flemington is host to as of autumn 2023, 14 Group 1, 9 Group 2 and 14 Group 3 races.
A unique feature is the Straight Six, a long stretch of straight that was named when the furlong was used for designating distance. Races of up to 1200 metres can go off without any turning required.
The pear-shaped track features one long, continuous turn on the east side of the course that connects to the straights. The turn at the top of the pear, on the west side, is one of the tightest in racing.
For 1600-metre races, the gallopers jump from barriers placed near the end of the back straight, along the Maribyrnong River. They run the long, continuous turn, and hit the home straight to finish in front of the stands at the west side of the course.
History of the Blamey Stakes
There was a gelding by this name that dropped in 1997 that made seven jumps for one win and three placings and just under $10,000 in earnings. Almost, but not quite good enough to deserve having the VRC name a race for him.
The actual namesake of the race is Sir Thomas Albert Blamey and believe us, we are striving with our utmost to resist any and all puns, of which there are two that spring to mind immediately.
Blamey was an honourable military man that served in the Australian Army from 1906 through 1946. He is associated with many World War I and II battles, although he was an officer. He served with distinction and achieved the rank of Field Marshal, the only native born Australian to achieve that rank. He has so many initials after his name for his military service that his chest medals must have needed a footman to carry them.
The race is named for him in recognition as his service to the VRC as a committee member from 1947 until his death in 1951.
Thank you for your service, Field Marshal. You deserve a Group 1 race in our view.
The race made its debut in 1955, so Blamey never lived to see it.
It was a trip of 2000 metres from inception through 1972 before being abbreviated to 1600 metres from 1973 forward.
Before the Australian Pattern Committee started using the group grading system, the race was graded Principal. It jumped as a Group 2 in 1979.
It has always been run at Flemington Racecourse, with the exception of 2007, when it shifted to Sandown Racecourse while headquarters was being renovated.
It was run under weight-for-age conditions until 1981, which might explain why the list of winners is akin to a listing of Australian Racing Hall of Fame inductees.
Racing History of the Blamey Stakes
As a race with no upward limit on age eligibility and as a race that was run under weight-for-age conditions for the first 30 jumps, the list of winners is simply filthy with the top racers from their respective eras.
Even those whose names are not immediately recognisable had to have been good, because the quality fields year after year do not easily lend themselves to many lucky plodders catching lightning in a bottle and pulling an surprises.
For our purposes, we will focus on the multiple winners of the race, of which there have been many. We will also make passing mention of some true greats that won the race just once. We will take the view that the reason those great horses won the Blamey Stakes just once is because of the strength of the fields, while acknowledging that there could have been instance where a winner was close to concluding a career or was not entered in the race after winning one time.
There have been no three-time winners, by the way.
Still, the list of two-time winners is so long that we will not have space to consider progeny records.
We do feel compelled to mention the first winner of the race from 1955, Prince Cortauld.
Between 1953 and 1955, he won seven races now classified as Group 1 races, with the unique twist of having won the Queen Elizabeth Stakes twice in 1955. That accomplishment requires an asterisk, as one of the wins was the VRC version and the other the AJC version back before the AJC became the ATC. He left a form line of 52 jumps of 25 wins and 17 placings, with only 10 unplaced jumps.
Rising Fast was a one-time winner in 1956.
His racing contribution was to win the Caulfield Cup twice and the first win in 1954 was part of his Super Grand Slam of winning the Caulfield Cup, Melbourne Cup and Cox Plate in the same year.
The first dual winner was Sailor’s Guide in 1957 and 1958.
This Australian Racing Hall of Fame racer won major races between 1955 and 1959, with wins in North America, plus the 1956 Sydney Cup to show his versatility.
Just a few years later, the dual winner of the Blamey Stakes in 1961 and 1962 was Dhaulagiri. His form line of 67 jumps for 17 wins and 20 placings includes the 1961 Cox Plate.
We had to pass over only a few for the 1966/67 dual winner, Tobin Bronze. We could, and have, made entire articles about Tobin Bronze.
His staggering form line was 60 jumps for 28 wins and 16 placings. He won the Cox Plate twice, those same years as he won the Blamey twice. Arguably, his best year was 1967, with wins in the Doncaster Handicap, Toorak Handicap, All Aged Stakes and the Caulfield Cup.
The 1973 winner was Gunsynd.
Winning the Blamey Stakes just once, his form line was 54 jumps for 29 wins and 14-1/2 placings includes the 1972 Cox Plate. Eight other big wins in 1972 led to his being declared the Champion Racehorse of the Year.
The year of 1977 found Surround taking the post.
Surround almost looks pale by comparison to some of the other winners, but his 17 wins and 4 placings required just 28 jumps and one of his wins was the 1976 Cox Plate. He was the Racehorse of the Year in 1977.
We earlier mentioned the interesting bit of racing triva about Hyperno winning the Blamey Stakes in the last jump as a weight-for-age race, and then winning the first jump at set weight plus penalty conditions.
Another Australian Horse of the Year, Hyperno made 76 jumps for 20 wins and 27 placings and his historical significance is that he won the 1979 Melbourne Cup.
The Blamey Stakes had just two winners from four jumps from 1988 through 1991.
Vo Rogue won the Blamey in 1988 and 1989.
He won over $3.1 million back in the 80s when winning above $1 million was a considerable achievement. He won the Australian Cup in 1989 and 1990, with two victories in the Turnbull Stakes, two in the St. George Stakes and three C. F. Orr Stakes. He is an inductee of both the Australian and Queensland Racing Hall of Fames, owner of a form line of 83 jumps for 26 wins and 23 placings.
The second of the four-year patch of just two winners was the incomparable Better Loosen Up.
His racing form of 45 jumps for 17 wins and 12 placings includes the 1990 Cox Plate and like predecessors, he was an Australian Hors of the Year (1991). When he won the Australian Cup in 1991, he beat Vo Rogue by over five lengths. He earned above $437 million.
A dual winner of the Blamey Stakes from 1994 and 1995 was Durbridge.
Durbridge made 72 jumps for 21 wins and 15 placings for over $3.3 million. He raced and won all over the country and he beat Triscay in the 1991 Alister Clark Stakes.
There were no dual winners for many years after Durbridge, so we are jumping off at 2007 when the redoubtable Apache Cat won the race.
He left a form line of 43 jumps for 19 wins and 11 placings to earn more than $4.5 million. More sprinter than some of the earlier champions we have mentioned, Apache Cat won eight Group 1 races, including two each of the Australia Stakes and the Doomben 10,000. Those four Group 1 wins were in 2008 and 2009.
Apache Cat was honoured as the Australian Champion Sprinter in 2008.
The 2011 winner was Whobegotyou.
His form line of 27 jumps for 9 wins and 13 placings returned more than $3.1 million and he was the recipient of the Australian Champion Three Year Old for the 2008 – 2009 racing season.
The year of 2012 supplied Green Moon as the winner of the Blamey Stakes.
His 36 jumps for seven wins and four placings returned over $5.3 million, a figure that was boosted by his win in the 2012 Melbourne Cup, where he beat Fiorente by one length.
While Apache Cat was the sprint champion, Green Moon was the Australian Champion Stayer for the 2011 – 2012 season, with four of his wins over trips of at least 2000 metres.
There was a dead heat in the 2013 Blamey Stakes, with the win shared by Puissance De Lune and Budriguez. Puissance De Lune never won above Group 2. The same can be said of Budriguez, but the notable thing about the 2013 Blamey Stakes was that it resulted in a dead heat in an era of racing where races are time to the hundredth of a second.
Suavito was the winner in 2015. She had Group 1 wins in the 2016 C. F. Orr Stakes and the Futurity Stakes in compiling a form line of 24 jumps for eight wins and eight placings to earn above $1.3 million.
Her win in the 2016 C. F. Orr Stakes was by nearly a length over Lucky Hussler. It would prove to be her last win.
Hard to believe, but we are skipping over He Or She (2016), Palentino (2017) and Humidor (2018) to get to the most recent dual winner of the Blamey Stakes in 2019 and 2020, Fifty Stars.
He was a 2015 colt by Sea The Stars, so he is considered as an Irish horse. His form line of 36 jumps for 10 wins and 7 placings was good enough to earn over $2.7 million in prizemoney.
Of his first eight jumps, Fifty Stars won six and ran second in two.
His sole Group 1 win was the 2020 Australian Cup, where he won in a field that included Regal Power, Vow And Declare and Avilius.
Star Of The Seas won the Blamey Stakes in 2021.
He made 35 jumps for 8 wins and 12 placings for over $1.4 million in prizemoney. He denied Fifty Stars a third Blamey Stakes win by a head in 2021, but some of his racing was spent in a futile pursuit of Verry Elleegant, Zaaki, Savatiano, Probabeel and Kolding. He came within whiskers of beating Verry Elleegant in the Group 1 Winx Stakes in 2020 and less than half a length between he and Kolding was all that prevented a win in the Group 1 George Main Stakes that same year.
Inspirational Girl was the 2022 winner.
The Kiwi mare is aged seven years as of 2023 and is still listed as active with her most recent jump at the time of this writing being a sixth place in the Group 3 Matron Stakes at Flemington. She has made 21 jumps for 10 wins and 4 placings for just above $1.5 million in earnings.
She started racing in Western Australia, moving up in grade until she won the Group 3 Asian Beau Stakes and the Group 1 Railway Stakes before running second in the Group 1 Kingston Town.
She is one of a small handful that has been able to beat Zaaki.
The Blamey Stakes was her first win in Victoria. After beating Zaaki in the Blamey, Zakki repaid the debt with interest, leaving her far in arrears in the All-Star Mile.
Many of the competitors in the Blamey Stakes have been some of the better types, with Melbourne Cup, Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate winners, so the adjective that might be used is versatile.
Good sprinters also won the race, so it is easy to see that with the prime spot the Blamey Stakes occupies on the Australian Thoroughbred racing calendar attracts the top class.
Blamey Stakes Past Winners
|2021||Star Of The Seas|
|2016||He Or She|
|2013||Budriguez Puissance De Lune|
|2003||Walk On Air|
|1991||Better Loosen Up|
|1990||Better Loosen Up|
|1986||Lord Of Camelot|