The Group 2 VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes is a Group 2 mixed gender race of 1400 metres run by two-year-olds under set weight conditions every March at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne.
Prizemoney for the race as of 2023 is $300,000.
VRC Sires Produce Stakes Race Details
Race Distance: 1400m
Prize Money: $300,000
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When Is The Sires Produce Stakes: 9/3/24
What Time Is The Sires Produce Stakes: TBA
Where Is The Sires Produce Stakes: Flemington Racecourse
How To Live Stream The Sires Produce Stakes
To live stream the Sires Produce Stakes, TAB Account Holders can watch the race live.
More Details About The VRC Sires Produce Stakes
The 2023 winner, Veight, is having a spell after winning the race, and then running fourth in his next jump, which was the Group 1 ATC version of the race by the same name.
Veight is just getting started and has made only three jumps for two wins, with earnings of just over $277,000. He jumped as favourite in the VRC race, although with his only prior jump producing a win in a maiden at a country track, it is hard to imagine how the handicappers arrived at their numbers, which is truly part of what makes races for two-year-olds so fascinating.
It is truly necessary to include VRC, as in Victoria Racing Club, when describing the race, as there are Sires’ Produce Stakes all over the world. The above example of Veight winning the Flemington version and then making the Randwick version his next jump.
We feel confident though, that if we refer to the race simply as Sires’ Produce Stakes, or simply Produce Stakes, our readers will made the differentiation without VRC being used in every instance.
The race is staged, as of 2023, on the Saturday Flemington meeting that features the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap.
The other top races on the day are the Group 2 A. V. Kewney Stakes, along with three Group 3 races – the Shaftesbury Avenue Handicap, the Matron Stakes and the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes.
The set weight conditions for the Sires’ Produce Stakes find the colts and geldings assigned to carry 56.5 kg, while the fillies receive 54.5 kg.
History of the VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes
This is one of Australia’s legacy races. It has been run since 1862, the year following the first Melbourne Cup.
As might be imagined, the race has been modified over the years
In the days prior to metrication, the trip was a mile for the first two jumps. It was shortened to six furlongs (1200 metres) from 1864 all the way through 1919. From 1920 forward, the race has been seven furlongs and then 1400 metres from 1973 forward.
It went by the name of Flemington Stakes for the years of 1866 and 1867. It was run as the Sapling Stakes for the 1868 jump. There was a brief span from 1869 through 1873 when the race was called the Ascot Vale Stakes. Later, the Ascot Vale Stakes would become the Coolmore Stud Stakes.
The race grade offers something that is not exactly rare, but comes under the category of seldom seen, in that the race grade was reduced from Group 1 to Group 2 in 2005. It was Principal grade from inception through the start of the Group grading system, when it was made a Group 1 event in 1979 through 2004.
The thinking by those who think extensively about this sort of thing is that the Sires’ Produce Stakes lost its Group 1 status as other races challenged for recognition, such as the Golden Slipper Stakes and the Blue Diamond Stakes.
Venue for the VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes
The race has jumped at Flemington throughout its entire history, except for 2007, when it was relocated to Caulfield while Flemington was getting a freshen.
Flemington is quite possible the one venue people from around the world would mention if asked to name a famous Australian racecourse, with all apologies to Royal Randwick in Sydney.
The primary reason for this is the Melbourne Cup, one of the greatest staying races in the world.
Flemington is host to 14 Group 1, 9 Group 2 and 14 Group 3 races as of 2023. While we doubt the Melbourne Cup would ever lose ins Group 1 status, there is every possibility that a Listed grade will be elevated to Group 3, or a Group 3 elevated to Group 2, but we do not make those calls, so it is mere speculation for us to write that.
For a 1400 metre race, the barriers are set in a chute off the course proper. After 200 metres to wind up and find track position, the horses then run the long sweeping turn that connects Flemington’s two straights, and then on to the home straight to the finish line in front of the stands.
Racing History of the VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes
The race inception was 1862. Following the 2023 edition, the Produce Stakes has jumped 154 times. The quick-witted amongst you will immediately notice that math suggests that the race should have had 162 jumps.
The discrepancy lies in the fact that the race was not held in 1866 through 1873.
The true notables to win the race were Patron in 1893, Young Idea in 1935, Gold Rod in 1936, and High Caste in 1939.
Then came Tulloch (1957), Wenona Girl (1960), Storm Queen (1966) and Vain (1969).
Patron won the 1894 Melbourne Cup.
Young Idea was winner of the Cox Plate in 1936 and 1937. He was third the following year, finishing the race on the wrong side of Ajax. He was beaten into second in the 1935 Hill Stakes by Peter Pan.
Gold Rod won the VRC and then the ATC version in 1936.
High Caste won practically everything, including three Linlithgow Stakes and three C.B. Fisher Plates, with two Caulfield Stakes victories.
Tulloch won many times, with his major wins being the Caulfield Cup in 1957 and the Cox Plate in 1960.
Wenona Girl was another to win the Victoria and the New South Wales versions of the Sires’ Produce Stake, and more races that we care to mention. Storm Queen’s big win was the 1966 Golden Slipper Stakes.
Storm Queen had a big win in the 1966 Golden Slipper Stakes.
Vain was a Golden Slipper Stakes winner in 1969 that made just 14 jumps for 12 wins and 2 placings for a 100 per cent win/place strike rate.
We and others have written and said much about that group of racers, so we will not detail them here, choosing instead to focus on others with less name recognition.
The very first winner of the race in 1862 was a mare named Musidora.
Her other good win was the VRC Queen’s Plate. After racing, she was dam to a certain mare named Briseis that won the Victoria Derby the Melbourne Cup and the VRC Oaks – all three wins in the span of one week – as a three-year-old.
Winner in 1863, Aruma was also a mare.
The first stallion to win the race was 1864’s Freestone.
Frolic, the winner in 1865, was a stallion.
Next came the eight year period when the Sires’ Produce Stakes was not run, but we came up with no explanation, despite a modicum of effort.
From this point forward, we freely admit that we are randomly selecting winners for examination, because we could not possibly examine each one without spending a healthy slice of the little time we have remaining.
The years 1900 and 1901 appealed to us because the winner in the first of those two years was named Finland, while the winner in the second year was named United States.
Finland was pretty good. He had a major win in the 1899 Maribyrnong Plate. Following his 1900 win in the Sires’ Produce, he won the Good Wood Handicap and the VRC St. Leger Stakes in 1901. He was a respectable sire after racing.
As for the United States, he shared the same sire, Bill Of Portland, with Finland. He was a stallion that served La Carabine, a daughter of Carbine.
Winner in 1914, Woorak was a better type.
He had major wins in the 1916 All Aged Stakes and the 1915 Epsom Handicap. In 1914, he won the Champagne Stakes, Craven Plate, Chelmsford Stakes, the AJC Derby and the Ascot Vale Stakes. His first major win was the 2013 Gimcrack Stakes.
The next we selected for a closer look was the 1937 winner Hua.
He is one of the two horses to win the Sires’ Produce during that remarkable five year run when Young Idea, Gold Rod and High Caste were the winners.
Hua was by the champion Heroic.
Other good wins by Hua were the C. F. Orr Stakes, the William Reid Stakes, the St. George Stakes and the VRC St. Leger Stakes. When he won the Victoria Derby in 1937, he crossed in front of Ajax, a claim not many gallopers could make.
He was a successful sire after racing, at least in terms of quantity; as to the quality, we have nothing conclusive.
The other racer between the wins by Young Idea, Gold Rod and High Caste was the 1938 winner, Nuffield.
Here we find one of those serendipitous connections we find so intriguing about Thoroughbred racing, because Nuffield shared Heroic with Hua as their sire.
Nuffield had the quality to win, along with the 1938 Sires’ Produce, the Victoria Derby, the AJC Derby, Caulfield Guineas, AJC Sires’ Produce and the Champagne Stakes. He had a nice win in 1937 when he won the Maribyrnong Plate.
He was not as prolific at stud as his brother Hua, but he supplied 18 named foals.
In the span of years between High Caste in 1939 and Tulloch in 1957, we are taking a look at the 1945 winner, Nestor.
Unfortunately, there is not much to see with Nestor, so we are having a go with the winner just ahead of Tulloch with the 1956 winner, Starover.
We would say that we chose Starover at random, which is partially true, but something about the name suggested something and that something turned to be out precisely what we expected.
Starover’s sire was Star Kingdom, the stallion we encounter so often when researching Australian pedigrees.
Starover had win in the 1956 Canterbury Stakes and another in the AJC version of the Sires’ Produce. Another good win in 1956 was the Merson Cooper Stakes. He won the Maribyrnong Plate and the AJC Breeders’ Plate in 1955.
The 1963 winner was Pago Pago.
His name comes up often, despite the fact that he made just 10 jumps. He won nine of those, though, and placed in the other. Not just any races, either, his wins came in the Golden Slipper Stakes, the SAJC Breeders’ Stakes and the Merson Cooper Stakes.
Pago Pago beat a mare named Ripa to win the Golden Slipper Stakes. Ripa set time records in wins in the Sandown Guineas, the Toorak Handicap and the Newmarket Handicap, which does burnish Pago Pago’s reputation to some extent.
It was through standing stud, however, that Pago Pago made the bigger impact. He was sire to a U.S. galloper named Island Whirl that won above $1.1 million. Twenty-six of his offspring won above $100,000, with three in the neighbourhood of $500,000.
We are skipping over some truly good racers, but we will mention by name Imagele (1973), Might Kingdom (1979), Grosvenor (1982), and Canny Lad (1990).
The 1994 winner was Blevic.
He won above $1.3 million from 26 jumps for 8 wins and 12 placings - racing tips
Blevic won the Sires’ Produce at Group 1 grade, along with the Group 1 VRC Derby. During his time racing, he beat the likes of Baryshnikov and his win in the Victoria Derby was over Danewin.
He was sire to a 2008 mare named Avoid Lightning that won just under $1 million. Fifty-one of his progeny won above $100,000, with four of those winning between $500,000 and $1 million.
Jumping forward again, we are skipping Testa Rossa from 1999 so we can look into the 2006 winner, De Lago Mist and the 2008 winner, Von Costa De Hero.
As the names suggest, both were sired by Encosta De Lago.
De Lago Mist was a modest mare as a racer, but as a breeder served by top stallions such as Pierro, Exceed And Excel, Redoute’s Choice and Snitzel, she supplied three good stakes winners.
Von Costa De Hero was a 2005 colt that won above $1.1 million.
He made just 19 jumps, with the Sires’ Produce supplying his lone victory. He had five placings, one of which boosted his bank when he was a head behind Sebring in the 2008 Golden Slipper Stakes.
He has been a solid sire so far, with eight offspring that have won above $100,000.
Now, we are jumping over All Too Hard (2012) and Jameka (2015), all the way to the 2022 winner, Let'srollthedice.
He is currently an active three-year-old colt by New Zealand’s Dundeel. He has made eight jumps for two wins and two placings.
The Sires’ Produce was the second of his two wins, following a win in a maiden at Bendigo. His last jump was in the Geelong Classic in October of 2022, so his racing days may be concluded.
Despite being demoted from Group 1 to Group 2 grade in 2005, the VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes has continued to attract good racers, as the presence of All Too Hard and Jameka in the race seems to demonstrate. We were unable to look at each and every winner, but those we found suggest that this is a prestige race and one that is on the target for many connections and trainers.
VRC Sires Produce Stakes Past Winners
|2018||Not A Single Cent|
|2012||All Too Hard|
|2008||Von Costa De Hero|
|2006||De Lago Mist|
|2004||Barely A Moment|
|1998||Coup De Grace|
|1993||Pride Of Rancho|
|1981||Full On Aces|
|1875||Maid Of All Work|
|1874||The Flying Fox|