The A.V. Kewney Stakes (hereafter Kewney/Kewney Stakes) is a Group 2 offering of the Victoria Racing Club that takes place at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne during the month of March.
The 1600 metre race is run under set weight conditions by three-year-old fillies competing for a share of the $300,000 prizemoney offered by the race
A.V. Kewney Stakes Race Details
Race Distance: 1400m
Prize Money: $300,000
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When Is The A.V. Kewney Stakes: 9/3/24
What Time Is The A.V. Kewney Stakes: TBA
Where Is The A.V. Kewney Stakes: Flemington Racecourse
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More Details About The A.V. Kewney Stakes
Revolutionary Miss was the 2023 winner that took the winner’s share of $180,000.
She is trained by the Snowdens and she has put up an impressive form line of 13 jumps for 2 wins and 5 placings to get within one good race of joining the million dollar earners club.
Her other good win was the Group 2 Blue Diamond Prelude for fillies at Caulfield in February of 2022.
The Kewney Stakes is currently slotted on the Flemington autumn racing schedule at a Saturday meeting featuring the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap. Better three-year-old fillies line up for the race.
Other major races on the meeting are the Group 2 VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes. Three Group 3 races fill out the card – the Shaftesbury Avenue Handicap, the Matron Stakes and the Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes, so the meeting features several races for the distaff side of the equation.
History of the Kewney Stakes
Arthur V. Kewney was a Pom born in Cheshire, England in 1873. In typical Brit fashion, where you might assume the “V” stood for Victor, the actual middle name of Mr. Kewney was Vaux. He moved to Australian in 1896 and worked for a gold company in Western Australia.
A keen interest in horse racing found him appointed secretary of South Australian Jockey Club in 1919 and is generally credited with making Morphettville Racecourse in Adelaide a popular venue. He was lured to the big time and appointed as secretary of the VRC in 1925, where he served until retiring in 1946 at the stately age of 74.
The race gives an origin date of 1952. It was graded as a Principal race from inception through the advent of the Group grading system, when it was deemed Group 2 and has remained at that level.
The trip has been all over the map and was a stayers’ race of 2000 metres from beginning until 1984. It was shortened to 1600 metres in 1985, and then spent the years from 2010 through 2020 at 1400 metres, with the current trip of 1600 metres restored in 2021.
Like many Flemington races, the Kewney Stakes shifted to Caulfield in 2007 whilst ‘headquarters’ was getting a freshen. Caulfield must have been pounded to death that year, but it had gotten new turf in 2005, so it was apparently up to the extra racing.
Venue for the Kewney Stakes
Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne is known around the world as the home of the Melbourne Cup. Other good races there are Victoria Derby, Newmarket Handicap and the Australian Cup.
The current classification breakdown as of 2023 is 14 Group 1 races, 9 Group 2 races and 14 Group 3 races.
For 1600-metre races such as the Kewney Stakes, the barriers are set about midway down the back straight. After a short run, the gallopers enter the long, continuous sweeping turn to hit the home straight and finish in front on the stands.
Racing History of the Kewney Stakes
The list of Kewney Stakes winners does not look as though there are any true notables, there than the 1999 winner, Sunline.
The race has jumped 72 times as of April 2023, though, and a race that attracts the quality of Sunline suggests that some of the past winners were actually quite capable. Still, none has ever won the race more than once.
Just checking to see if anyone is paying attention.
The winner of the first jump in 1952 was Great Field.
This might be tough to digest, but even though we found a newspaper report of Great Field being the winner – as well as being steered by Neville Sellwood, a hoop whose existence we cannot doubt – the pedigree database denied the existence of a mare named Great Field.
There is a Great Field foaled in 1949 in England that fits the time frame for the 1952 Kewney Stakes, but that Great Field was an unraced gelding. There was another Great Field, another gelding, that foaled in France in 2011, but unless Mr. Christopher Waller has a time machine in his stables, we doubt very much that this could be the right Great Field.
Our suspicion is that Great Field was born with another name, but we cannot prove or disprove that suspicion - horse tips
In one of those moments that only Thoroughbred racing can deliver, the next winner, 1953’s Just Caroline, also had a French doppelgänger.
She foaled in 1949 with an awesome pedigree. Her sire was Great Britain’s Neapolitan, which indicates the great Italian stud Nearco. The sire side also has lines to Hyperion, Gainsborough and Scapa Flow.
If that is not sufficiently impressive, the dam Throttle’s side offers Windbag and those Ronald fellows, Dark and Bay, that have made massive contributions to the Australian racing gene pool.
Just Caroline had additional good wins in the Bendigo Cup (1954) and the Wakeful Stakes (1952).
She supplied six fillies, none especially distinguished, but she would have been 20 or 21 years of age when she was served by Star Affair to produce the 1970 filly Starian.
We obviously cannot go into this much detail with every horse on the list, so we will pick and choose according to our whim.
The 1959 winner was Wiggle.
She was a racing mare with 55 jumps for 21 wins, with$116,300 in prizemoney. The prizemoney extrapolates out to above $2.2 million in 2023 Oz bucks.
Wiggle left many in her tracks and she left a lot of tracks. We have her as a two-time Group 1 winner. When she was aged two, she won the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap in Queensland and the history suggests that she was the only two-year-old filly to win that race.
She beat Mighty Kingdom to win the Group 1 Champagne Stakes and if anyone was experiencing apprehension, they can relax, because Might Kingdom’s sire was Ireland’s Star Kingdom.
Wiggle beat Skyline to win the Hobartville Stakes in 1958 and Skyline was a son of…Star Kingdom.
Wiggle was leased to U.S. connections, where she was dam to five colts and five fillies. Four of those foals went on to win races.
The 1960 winner, Mintaway, was one we could not ignore.
In addition to her win in the Kewney Stakes, she recorded wins in the VRC Oaks, Edward Manifold Stakes and the Auraria Stakes.
We are finding better types as winners of the Kewney Stakes, enough that we might run out our clocks before we can look at all of them, so even though we admit that we might miss some good racers, we are jumping ahead to 1983, when the winner was More Rain.
More Rain also won the Queen of the Turf Stakes, although many years before the race was lifted to Group 1 grade in 2005.
She was a good breeder, served by the likes of Encosta De Lago, Luskin Star and Vain (twice).
We found a good one in the 1991 winner.
That is because the winner was Mannerism.
She had a French sire and mostly northern hemisphere lines, with her Aussie blood courtesy of her dam Northwood Manner and if we go back further, we find Windbag on that line.
Mannerism made 38 jumps for 13 wins and 8 placings to earn above $1.8 million.
She raced alongside many good racers and supplied four Group 1 wins, including the 1992Caulfield Cup, where she beat Veandercross, the pre-race favourite. Her Group 1 win in the Futurity Stakes was over Planet Ruler. She raced and acquitted herself admirably against good racers such as Super Imposed, Rough Habit, Naturalism and she beat Redelva in the 1991 Group 2 Feehan Stakes.
She was also thrown into races with Triscay and Street Ruffian, so the obvious conclusion is that she was a great one.
Mannerism was a good breeder, too, with eight colts and five fillies to her credit by the cream of Australian stallion hood from that era, including Danehill, Marscay, Redoute’s Choice Fastnet Rock and Last Tycoon. The best of these progeny would be Dandify, a 1997 mare by Danehill that won more than $750,000.
Our next subject is the 1995 winner, Northwood Plume.
She was Australian Champion 3YO filly, thanks to wins in Group 1 races such as the Thousand Guineas, VRC Oaks and the Australia Stakes.
Northwood Plume left a form line of 18 jumps for 9 wins and 3 placings for $854,000. She supplied three colts and six fillies, six of which would win prizemoney, although none exceeded her tally.
Another better type was the 1998 winner, Rose Of Danehill.
Another of the offspring of the great U.S. sire Danehill, Rose Of Danehill was not a spectacular racer, but she was more than good enough provided a form line of 18 jumps for 4 wins and 6 placings to earn just under $900,000.
She won the 1997 Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude and lacked less than half a length of winning the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes. She never quite broke through for a Group 1 win, but she came close on occasion and she won two Group 2 races in addition to the Kewney Stakes.
She produced nine named foals, six that won money racing.
The true notable Sunline was the winner in 1999.
We could simply say that Sunline won the Cox Plate in 1999 and 2000, and leave it at that, but we would be ignoring the two Doncaster Handicap victories, the two All Aged Stakes wins, two Coolmore Classics and two Waikato Sprints. She also won the Hong Kong Mile and the Manikato Stakes, but just once each for those.
She received more awards and accolades than we care to mention, but it should suffice to say that she is in both the Australian and the New Zealand Racing Halls of Fame after a career of 48 jumps for a mind-boggling 32 wins and 12 placings and over $11.3 million in prizemoney.
Based on that form line, we can accept that she was not a great breeder. None of her four named foals, three fillies and one colt to better sires made much impact.
She was truly a once-in-a-generation galloper, to the degree that, even though the Kewney Stakes winners we have examined were all good, we have to declare Sunline to be our “What was she doing in this race?” horse for the Kewney Stakes.
There is really not another to compare to her as far as Kewney Stakes winners are concerned, so here are the rest, randomly selected for the edification of ourselves and our readers.
The 2002 winner was Elegant Fashion.
She won over $6.8 million from just 29 jumps for 8 wins and 13 placings. Her first major win was the 2002 Angus Armanasco Stakes, backed by the win in the Kewney Stakes, followed by another Group 2 win in the Moonee Valley Oaks. Her next jump suppled a second to Republic Lass in the 2002 Group 1 ATC Oaks.
After three jumps without placings, she headed to Hong Kong and made a fortune, beginning with the Group 1 Honk Kong Derby, where she won over $1.8 million from that race alone.
She was served by the better stallions. Her best was the 2010 filly Star Fashion by Street Cry. Star Fashion won almost $350,000.
The winner in 2013 was Flying Snitzel.
A 2009 filly by Snitzel, it might be said that she did not live up to her pedigree, but she won over $300,000 in the span of 19 jumps for 3 wins and 2 placings. The Kewney Stakes was her best win.
We suspected a connection from the name of the 2017 winner, I Am A Star, and we had it her sire, the great I Am Invincible.
She won above $1.5 million from 31 jumps for 10 wins and 6 placings.
She won the 2016 Group 1 Myer Classic and had high finishes in quite a few major races. She made her last jump in 2019 and has to date supplied one colt in 2020.
Starelle, a 2017 filly by More Than Ready from Star Of Giselle, had the Kewney Stakes as her sole win to date. She is currently spelling, as of mid-April 2023, following a third place run in a Listed grade race at Morphettville.
Barb Raider was the 2022 Kewney Stakes winner.
She is spelling at the moment, after 17 jumps for 5 wins and 7 placings for above $935,000 in prizemoney.
The A. V. Kewney Stakes is a lessor-heralded race, but it has certainly managed to line up some of the better three-year-fillies.
We found ourselves in the uncomfortable position of skipping multiple jumps of the race and we will sleep fitfully tonight out of the anxiety that we ignored something fabulous, but we will call time tomorrow for a nap and move on.
A.V. Kewney Stakes Past Winners
|2017||I Am A Star|
|2011||Do Ra Mi|
|1998||Rose Of Danehill|
|1989||Pray For Colleen|
|1987||Send Me An Angel|
|1985||Love A Kiss|
|1981||Deck The Halls|