Spring Champion Stakes History
The Spring Champion Stakes is a Group 1 race for three-year-olds run at Randwick during the Sydney Spring Carnival. It is run over 2000m at Randwick at set weights and carries prizemoney of $500,000.
First run in 1971 as the Australasian Champion Stakes, the inaugural running saw the great Gay Icarus win the event.
The Spring Champion Stakes was first run as a Group 1 affair in 1979 when the legendary Kingston Town won the race.
Kingston Town went on to fulfil an amazing career after his Spring Champion Stakes victory, becoming a triple Cox Plate winner (1980-82), dual George Main Stakes winner (1981-82) and also took out the Australian Derby (1980), Sydney Cup (1980), Queensland Derby (1980) and ran a gallant second in the 1982 Melbourne Cup.
The race usually attracts some of the country’s best three-year-olds who go on to bigger challenges.
Past winners include great names such as Stylish Century (1989), St Jude (1990), Nothin’ Leica Dane (1995), Tie The Knot (1997). More recently, Savabeel (2004), It’s A Dundeel (2012), Yankee Rose (2016) and Ace High (2017) have all won.
The Champion Stakes has proven to be a good lead-up race for the Victoria Derby which is run a few weeks later at Flemington. Therefore, looking at horses who come from a ‘staying’ background is usually a good start when trying to find the winner.
Monaco Consul won the Spring Champion Stakes in 2009 before going on to win the Victoria Derby just three weeks later.
Rarely does a horse who hasn’t run over at least the 1600m distance or more goes on to win this illustrious event, so past performances over middle distances usually play a part in finishing up the front of the field.
The best lead-up races to focus on for the Spring Champion Stakes are the Group 2 Gloaming Stakes (2000m) run at Rosehill and the Listed Dulcify Quality (1800m) run at Randwick prior to the Spring Champion Stakes. Both races have produced Spring Champion Stakes winners.