The Edward Manifold Stakes is a Group 2 race of 1600 metres for three-year-old fillies run at set weights at Flemington Racecourse at a spring meeting that includes the Group1 Turnbull Stakes. The race is one of four Groups 2s and one Group 3 run at the meeting.
Prizemoney for the race is currently $300,000, up from $200,000 for the 2018 race.
Elusive Express took home $180,000 for winning the race from Yearning, but then repaid the favour when Yearning had the upper hand the next time they met in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas.
Winning a Group 2 or finishing second in a Group 1 supplied Elusive Express with almost identical prizemoney.
Elusive Express can be seen winning the 2021 Edward Manifold Stakes at the following link.
History of the Edward Manifold Stakes
We would like to say that the race is sponsored by Edward Corporation; a manufacturer of engine manifolds, but that would be incorrect.
The reality is much cooler.
The race is named for a former committeeman of the VRC in the early part of the 20th century.
It is hard to think of a keener surname, unless it was something like Carburetor. For our part, if Manifold was our surname we would have been sorely tempted to name a child something like Fuel Injector Manifold.
Sorry for that.
The race was first run in 1932. It has revealed a few very prominent winners, but winning a race as a three-year-old filly does not necessarily equate to future greatness.
It has always been a 1600-metre race, if you overlook some of the fiddling they did by adding 25 metres here, or 10 metres there.
Race grade likewise has been constant, with Principal Race used until 1979, resulting in Group 2 status when that system went into effect.
Race Venue for the Edward Manifold Stakes
The race is run at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne.
For 1600-metre races, the barrier is set up at the end of the south straight, alongside the river. The gallopers run the sweeping turn that is the bottom of the Flemington pear-shape, and then finish at the grandstands.
Flemington Racecourse is considered a significant historical site.
Racing History of the Edward Manifold Stakes
The first winner of the Edward Manifold Stakes was Dutchie. She was of mainly British lines, with a smattering of Australian and New Zealand blood. She did not leave much behind by way of a racing record because she never made it to age four. They were sending her by train to run in the Adrian Knox Stakes at Randwick when she was seriously injured and had to be destroyed.
The winner from 1934, Arachne, had a much better fate.
Sources indicate that Arachne won at least 10 races, some of which were the 1934 VRC Ascot Vale Stakes, the 1934 Wakeful Stakes the 1935 VATC Oakleigh Plate and the 1936 Canterbury Stakes.
Siren, the 1936 Edward Manifold Stakes winner, won the VRC Oaks.
The 1937 winner Ena, and the 1938 winner, Lady Montague, both had Australia’s Liberal for a sire and Windbag for a grandsire.
Border Lass won in 1939 and set the stage for an important galloper that would win the race in 1940. An interesting facet of this is that Border Lass and the 1940 winner were by the same sire, Gay Lothario.
The experts will by now have identified the winner from 1940 as Tranquil Star.
Tranquil Star was, in our opinion, a once-in-a-generation type.
First of all, she made 111 starts and the Edward Manifold Stakes was quite possibly the least of her wins. She won sprints and she won staying races. Her career really took off after she won the Edward Manifold. In 1941, she won the first of three St. George Stakes, repeating in 1944 and 1945. Also that year of 1941, she won the VRC St. Leger and the Chipping Norton Stakes.
Tranquil Star’s best year, quite possibly, was 1942. She had wins in the LKS MacKinnon Stakes, the Alister Clark Stakes, Caulfield Stakes, Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate. She was indicted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame in 2008.
The year of 1941 belonged to a galloper named Primavera.
Tranquil Star nearly ran down Beau Vite in the Cox Plate the following year, but it was all the others chasing her in the 1944 Cox Plate.
She was still racing as an eight-year-old when she won her third LKS MacKinnon Stakes and the same year, she ran third to Bernborough in Caulfield Stakes when Bernborough was in prime and taking advantage of the weight Tranquil Star conceded to him.
Tranquil Star has a race named for her in Melbourne, the Group 3 Tranquil Star Stakes.
Further details on Tranquil Star can be found here.
Earlier, we mentioned the winners from 1937 and 1938 and traced those two to Windbag as their grandsire.
The 1941 winner, Primavera, was by Windbag.
The other big win we know she had was the VRC Oaks.
Delina was the 1944 winner. She was good as a three-year-old, but she had injury issues as a four-year-old and never quite realised the potential she displayed at two and three years of age.
Siren Song was the 1948 winner that also won the VATC 1,000 Guineas.
Another 1,000 Guineas winner to take out the Edward Manifold Stakes was 1949’s Chicquita. She was a versatile runner that won 16 times with 12 placings from 36 jumps. She won the VRC Oaks and the Wakeful Stakes.
In 1950, she ran second to Comic Court in the Melbourne Cup. She kept winning and in 1951, she won the J.J. Liston, Alister Clark and Craiglee Stakes.
We make mention of 1950 winner Slick Chick because her grandsire was Heroic. Heroic sired Hua and Ajax, so Slick Chick was in good company.
Much the same could be said of 1953 winner Roslyn. She possibly underperformed, given that her grandsire was Hyperion and her great grandsire was Gainsborough, two of the more significant sires from that era.
Like Roslyn, 1955 winner Summersette was a New Zealand horse.
Unlike many other gallopers from that nation, she did most of her racing in New Zealand, at least most of her winning.
Like some others before her, 1956 winner Bendrum also claimed the VRC 1,000 Guineas.
Wiggle is the first we have encountered in some time on the list of Edward Manifold Stakes winners that did not fade out of sight after winning.
Wiggle lasted for 55 jumps, producing 21 wins.
Other wins by Wiggle were the Champagne Stakes, the Stradbroke Handicap and the Linlithgow Stakes. She was sent to the United States to do some racing there, where she won at least one major race and establishing some course records at Arlington Park and Del Mar.
Lady Sybil, the 1960 winner, was another New Zealand horse that did well in Australia, and then was exported to the U.S. She won the VRC Oaks, the VATC Caulfield Guineas, the Moonee Valley Stakes and the MRC Sandown Guineas.
Indian Summer from 1961 was another that won the 1,000 Guineas and she had two other wins in races that are now Group 1s, the VRC Oaks and the Adrian Knox Stakes.
We skipped a few winners in order to get to 1964, the year Light Fingers won the Edward Manifold Stakes. She was a good one for Bart Cummings that managed to win nine major races, including the 1965 Melbourne Cup.
Light Fingers was a 2017 inductee into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame and Randwick holds the Group 2 Light Fingers Stakes, run under the same conditions as the Manifold in her honour.
Further details about Light Fingers can be found here.
We have another champion waiting in the wings, but first, we mention 1965 winner Gipsy Queen. Like many before her, she also won the 1,000 Guineas. Another big win for her was the Victoria Oaks.
Next came Storm Queen in 1966.
Another Bart Cummings prepared winner from 1966 was Storm Queen. She had 13 wins and three placings from 20 jumps. She won eight major races that year, including the VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes, Golden Slipper Stakes and Champagne Stakes.
Nandalie Lass, the 1973 winner, won the VATC Memsie Stakes the following year.
Our winner from 1975, Better Vain had nine wins, including the SAJC Marlboro Plate, but we mention her mainly because she was by Vain, but definitely was not better.
Snowmist, the 1976 winner, was a Group 2 specialist it would seem. She won the Wakeful Stakes, the Frances Tressady Stakes and the Tranquil Star Stakes before eventually being exported to New Zealand.
We have another Edward Manifold/1,000 Guineas winner in Princess Talaria from 1978.
Stage Hit won in 1979 as the first winner that could claim to have won a Group 2 race. She would win more than a few and she was the co-Champion 2YO filly.
A legendary name appears for the 1982 Edward Manifold Stakes win.
She was Emancipation.
She won 19 with one second placing and was the Australian Champion Racehorse of the Year for 1984. He Manifold win came in 182, the same year she won the Tea Rose Stakes and the Carbine Club Stakes. She won eight major races in 1983 and four in 1984. Big wins by Emancipation included the Doncaster Handicap and the All Aged Stakes. She won six Group 1 races in Sydney, where the Group 2 Emancipation Stakes is run in her honour at Rosehill.
A more thorough examination of this great horse can be found at the below link.
Taj Eclipse, the 1983 winner, was another that would also win the VRC Oaks. She made only five starts, winning three and running second in two.
Spirit Of Kingston was the 1984 winner and Victorian Racehorse of the Year for the 1984/85 season. She was well traveled, going to both New Zealand and the U.S. She was by Bletchingly out of Kingston Rose, with Biscay for her grandsire and Star Kingdom for her great grandsire. She was no Kingston Town, but that is hardly reason to disregard her.
Due to space constraints, we are jumping ahead to 2004, where we encounter the last truly significant Edward Manifold Stakes winner.
It was Alinghi.
She won four Group 1 races and earned over $4.1 million. She made just 18 jumps for 11 wins and five placings. Her big win was the Newmarket Handicap, where she was one of the few fillies to do so, in 2005 and that season saw her named the Australian Champion Three Year Old Filly.
Since 2004, the winners of the Edward Manifold Stakes have been good-not-great horses.
Majestic Music from 2009 did okay in terms of prizemoney, over $850,000, but she never won above Group 2.
We encounter another Manifold/1,000 Guineas winner in 2018’s Amphitrite. The 1,000 Guineas was her only Group 1 win and after winning the Group 3 Vanity Stakes from Verry Elleegant in 2019, she never won again.
She can be seen winning the Edward Manifold Stakes at the link below.
The 2020 winner, Thermosphere, is now retired after 15 starts for three wins and three placings.
The winners of the Edward Manifold Stakes seem to fall into two distinct categories.
On the one hand, there are the good horses that won the race but did not seem to rise to consistent Group 1 prowess.
On the other hand are some of the all-time greats, such as Tranquil Star, Light Fingers, Storm Queen, Emancipation and Alinghi.
It might be a bit unfair to say that the others were not good gallopers, but many of them had short careers and were thought to be more valuable as breeders.
Winning a Principal race or a Group 2 race, as the Edward Manifold Stakes is now classified, is not so easy.
A race for three-year-old fillies will always have multiple slots on the Australian Thoroughbred racing calendar and the meeting at Flemington at which the race is run has two gender-restricted races for filly fans.
|Year||Edward Manifold Stakes Winners|
|2017||Bring Me Roses|
|2006||She Will Be Loved|
|1997||Rose Of Danehill|
|1994||Love Of Mary|
|1984||Spirit Of Kingston|
|1981||Darling Take Care|