The Ottawa Stakes is a Group 3 race for two-year-old fillies that is run at Flemington Racecourse.
The race is run over a distance of 1000 metres under set weight conditions.
Ottawa Stakes Race Details
Race Distance: 1000m
Prize Money: $200,000
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When Is The Ottawa Stakes: 7/11/24
What Time Is The Ottawa Stakes: TBA
Where Is The Ottawa Stakes: Flemington Racecourse
How To Live Stream The Ottawa Stakes
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More Details About The Ottawa Stakes
The prizemoney pool for the race is $200,000 as of late 2022, just prior to the running of the race for this year.
The 2021 winner was See You In Heaven, a handy filly that apparently hails from South Australia. She is doing well to this point, with three wins and two placings from seven jumps for almost $300,000.
Her Ottawa Stakes win was her first official jump. Her only previous racing experience was a barrier trial. She subsequently won another Group 3 race when she took the Breeders’ Stakes at Morphettville, followed by a second in the David Coles Stakes at the same course. She went east and had jumps at Caulfield and Flemington, but she did not win or place.
See You In Heaven collected $120,000 for the win.
History of the Ottawa Stakes
The race made its debut in 1978, the first and only time it was necessary for the race to be run in divisions, with Stage Hit winning one and Specify the other.
There was a five-year stretch from 1986 through 1990 when the race was not staged, so we are willing to speculate that Thoroughbred racing went from an excess of two-year-old fillies in the late 70s to a shortage in 1986 – 1990.
The race is presented by the Victorian Racing Club and has moved around on the calendar at the whim of the VRC board. Before 2005, the race was run on the third day of the VRC Carnival. Run at the meeting that offers the Melbourne Cup at one time, the race is currently run two days after the Melbourne Cup.
The name of the race suggested to us that there had been a top galloper by that name. We did find quite a few horses by that name, a mix of stallions, mares and geldings, but none that appear to have left any impact or even any that were of Australian origin.
We could conclude that an Australian race was named in honour of a city in Canada, where we once spent a long and bitter winter there one day.
Being a minor race, it is not only moved around to different meetings, but it has had many different names due to sponsorship considerations, but it began as the Ottawa Stakes. It has been called something different every year since and there may not have been a willing sponsor for certain years, so the name reverted to Ottawa Stakes in 2016 and for the final time in 2019.
All that aside, the race is registered as the Ottawa Stakes.
The trip was 1000 metres for the first two years and was lengthened to 1100 metres for 1980. It was stretched again from 1981 through 1985 to 1200 metres.
It is rare to see a race not run for five years, but the Ottawa Stakes supplies that rarity.
The race grade began as Principal. Right after the 1978 first jump, the Group grading system came into play and the race was assigned Listed grade from 1979 through 2012, becoming Group 3 in 2013.
Venue for the Ottawa Stakes
The Ottawa Stakes jumps at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne.
Flemington needs no introduction in Australia and all of the rest of the racing world knows of it too, as horses from other countries often come down to compete in the Melbourne Cup.
There were races being held in the area as early as 1840. The land on which the current track sits was leased to the Victoria Turf Club in 1848.
Since those early years, the history of the track has been one of continuous upgrades, including a new grandstand for the members in 2018.
These days, Flemington hosts 14 Group 1, 9 Group 2 and 14 Group 3 races, along with numerous Listed grade and lower races.
The Ottawa Stakes uses the famous Flemington Straight Six, harkening back to the days when races were measured in furlongs. It is possible to have races of as long as 1200 metres on this straight, which makes for wide-open, flat-out racing where the simple racing tactic is to go faster than any of the other horses.
Racing History of the Ottawa Stakes
The list of winners of the Ottawa Stakes had only a few names we recognised, which was not unexpected, as the better two-year-olds would be running in races such as the Magic Millions provided they were eligible as alumni of the Gold Coast Yearling Sale, or the Blue Diamond Prelude, the Silver Slipper Stakes, the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes, one of the Produce Stakes, or the Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes.
Races for two-year-olds are quite popular, with many open to either gender and some restricted to colts and geldings or fillies.
The first jump of the race was in 1978 and the race was run in divisions that year.
One of the winners was Stage Hit. She won at Group 2 grade on three occasions and had seconds in the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes and the Group 2 Wakeful Stakes.
She was a productive breeder that supplied 13 named foals. Her best was Encores by Marscay, a colt that would win over half a million dollars from 19 jumps.
The winner of the other division in 1978 was Specify.
She was by Wilkes, but she proved that not everything that Wilkes produced was top echelon. She won only $25,000 and as best we could determine, the Ottawa Stakes was the only notable race she won.
Specify supplied nine named foals, including three by Luskin Star, but none even equaled Specify’s modest stakes earnings.
We examined all the subsequent winners, finding nothing other than from 1979 through 1983, the biggest entry on any of the winners’ racing resume was the Ottawa Stakes when it was a Listed grade race.
Ditto for offspring – nothing remarkable.
Beach Gown won in 1984.
She was better or luckier than her predecessors that won the Ottawa Stakes. She won a couple of Group 3 races – the Reisling Slipper Trial and the Autumn Stakes and three listed races that have since been promoted.
A productive breeder, Beach Gown supplied nine named foals, including one by Marscay, two by Bletchingly including the 1987 mare Wrap Around that won over half a million dollars and two by Danehill, the best of which was Rose Of Danehill. Rose Of Danehill won nearly $1 million, with several wins at Group 2 level. She did not fare as well when lined up for Group 1 races, but she came close in the 1997 Group 1 Caulfield Guineas.
After the five-year hiatus during which the Ottawa Stakes was not run, the first winner when the race resumed was 1991’s Chingquillo.
Chingquillo was by Bletchingly that was by Biscay that was by Star Kingdom, if we can be forgiven for going Old Testament and using the lineage found in the Book of Genesis. She won at Listed level and had third placings in the 1992 Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes and the 1992 Group 2 Reisling Trial.
When it came time for her to do some begetting, she supplied seven named foals, none of which made any significant impact.
Lady Jakeo from 1992 is the head of the class to this time.
She brought good lines to the track, with predominantly northern hemisphere ancestors, such as Last Tycoon and Northern Dancer.
She earned over $600,000 from 12 jumps for five wins and five placings.
Her win in the Ottawa Stakes was her first race. She then won the Blue Diamond Prelude and the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes. Her final win was the Group 1 Australia Stakes at Moonee Valley.
A top breeder, she supplied 13 foals, 10 of which earned stakes by racing in Australian and Hong Kong. The best of the Aussie offspring was 2002’s gelding Go To Go by More Than Ready.
The winner from 1995 was Bright Light.
She won the Ottawa Stakes in her first start, followed by a handicap win at Moonee Valley. In 13 subsequent jumps, she finished second once and third twice.
She supplied 10 foals and nine of them won money. The best was a 2005 filly by Exceed And Excel named Over Exposed that won just above $100,000.
A filly named Tennessee Midnight won the Ottawa Stakes in 1999.
She made only three jumps and the Ottawa Stakes was her only win.
Tennessee Midnight had lines to die for. Or, as our spelling and grammar checker is going to tell us, lines for which to die. She was by Danehill, as were more than a few of the earlier winners of the race. The northern hemisphere connections include Danzig, Northern Dancer, Nearctic and Nearco, while the distaff lines offered names such as Bletchingly, Biscay, Star Kingdom, Nijinsky and Vain.
Her best progeny was a 2006 filly by Encosta De Lago name Aloha that won over $800,000.
True Jewels was the winner from 2000.
She was another Ottawa Stakes winner with a northern hemisphere sire. She won just above $986,000 from 15 jumps for three wins and three placings. Her zenith was the win in the 2001 Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes at Caulfield.
She produced six named foals from sires such as Encosta De Lago and Redoute’s Choice, but none of those offspring excelled as racers.
The winner in 2001 was Flashed.
She made just three jumps and her other win was a 2YO filly maiden at Bendigo.
All seven of Flashed’s progeny won money and the best was a 2009 filly named Angelic Light by Holy Roman Emperor that won more than $660,000.
We found a Group 1 winner in 2002’s Rinky Dink.
She made 30 jumps for six wins and eight placings. Her Group 1 win came in 2004 when she took out the Schweppes Oaks at Morphettville.
Seven named foals out of Rinky Dink by top sires supplied four stakes earners, the best being a 2008 colt by Redoute’s Choice named Galah that won over half a million dollars. The combined winnings of Rinky Dink’s offspring surpassed $1 million.
Red Hot Mama was the winner in 2004.
The Ottawa Stakes was her only win from 12 jumps and we were tempted to overlook her, except that after racing, she supplied three named foals by Redoute’s Choice and one by High Chaparral that all won money. The best was a 2011 gelding by High Chaparral named Island Flyer that won $885,000.
Hips Don't Lie, the winner from 2007, earned over $526,000 from 13 jumps for five wins and two placings. Her best win was the Group 2 Reisling Stakes at Canterbury. When she retired to stud, she was the exclusive consort of Fastnet Rock, supplying six foals, all of which won money. The best was the 2012 filly Lake Geneva that won over $600,000, but three of the others won over or well over $100,000 to combine for almost one-and-a-quarter million in prize money.
Another Group 1 winner appears in 2008 in the form of Rostova.
Her Group 1 win was the Robert Sangster Stakes at Morphettville.
She won about $750,000 from 18 jumps for five wins and three placings.
Her best progeny was Anaheed by Fastnet Rock that won over that won over $1.5 million from 15 jumps for five wins and three placings without winning above Group 2.
She's Got Gears was the winner in 2009.
She had just the one gear when it came to racing, with the Ottawa Stakes being her only win.
Ah, but what a mother she was. All five of her offspring won money, with 2016’s Masked Crusader by Tornado racing to earn more than $4 million.
Oakleigh Girl by Snitzel from Miss Kournikova was the winner in 2013.
She looked impressive at first glance, with above $828,000 in earnings, but $625,000 of her total came from running second in the 2014 magic Millions 2YO Classic.
Invincible Star by I Am Invincible was the winner of the Ottawa Stakes in 2016.
Unlike her sire, she was completely vincible. She won three races and earned above $540,000 without any notable wins. She did come within a head of Merchant Navy in the 2017 Group 1 Coolmore Stud at Flemington and she was often well placed.
Finally, to come full circle, the winner from 2020 was Dosh.
After winning the Ottawa Stakes, she won the Group 3 Blue Diamond Preview for fillies at Caulfield and had two placings, including a second to Savatoxi in the Group 2 Schillaci Stakes by the narrowest of margins.
The Ottawa Stakes could be moved to Canada and very few would notice.
Many of the winners won this race only and it appears that any that lined up for the race were just marking time until they could switch to breeding.
There were only a few Group 1 winners and none of the winners won above $1 million, even those winners from the 21st century, where winning $1 million is not as challenging as it was in earlier years.
The race was elevated from a Listed Race to a Group 3 race in August 2013. Prize money for the event is worth $200,000.
Ottawa Stakes Past Winners
|2021||See You In Heaven|
|2009||She's Got Gears|
|2007||Hips Don't Lie|
|2005||Follow The Till|
|2004||Red Hot Mama|
|1998||Dance Baby Dance|
|1979||Our Ranee Sahib|