Throughout the history of horse-racing around the world, Australian venues have hosted some of the most important turf sprints on an annual basis. These exciting races, ranging from 100-1400 meters, have time and again produced the most exciting contests in the sport of horse-racing. Punters will certainly recognize names like Weekend Hustler, Apache Cat, Kingston Town, Takeover Target, Scenic Blast, Gold Edition, Black Caviar and current sprint stars such as Brazen Beau, Lankan Rupee, Terravista and Deep Field.
The following is a list of some of the most prestigious Group 1 sprint races currently run in Australia on an annual basis. For purposes of this list, races will be restricted to 1400 meters or less.
A J Moir Stakes - 1200 metres on turf, Moonee Valley Racecourse in Melbourne with a purse of A$450,000. The race is run in late September and was named after prominent Melbourne solicitor and former Moonee committee Chairman Alan John Moir. Former winners include Buffering (twice), Apache Cat and Spartacus.
Black Caviar Lightning - 1000 meters on turf, Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne, Australia with a purse of A$500,000. This race, formerly referred as The Lightning, added the name of one of Australia's all-time great sprinters, a three time winner of the race. Other former winners include Scenic Blast and Takeover Target.
Blue Diamond Stakes - 1200 metres on turf, Caulfield Racecourse in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia with a purse of A$1,000,000. This race is restricted to two-year olds, but represents one of the most prominent races for juveniles in all of the world.
Darley Classic - 1200 meters on turf, Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, Australia with a purse of A$1,000,000. This race is the featured event on the last day of the VRC Spring Carnival. Former winners include Miss Andretti and Black Caviar (twice).
Manikato Stakes - 1200 metres on turf, Moonee Valley Racecourse in Melbourne, Australia with a purse of A$1,000,000. The race is run in late October and was named after the crack sprinter that won this race twice and the William Reid 5 times. Other former winners include Hay List, Gold Edition and Spinning Hill.
Newmarket Handicap - 1200 metres on turf, Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne, Australia with a purse of A$1,000,000. This race forms one of the centerpieces for the March VRC Autumn Racing Carnival. It is one of only two Group 1 races on the continent to allow up to 24 runners (Melbourne Cup is the other). Former winners include Lankan Rupee, Black Caviar and Scenic Blast.
T J Smith Stakes - 1200 meter on turf, Randwick Racecourse, Sydney, Australia with a purse of A$2,500,000. The race is run during the ATC Championships, which are held during autumn. The race is named after legendary trainer Thomas John Smith (1916-1998) and represents the premiere sprint race in all the land. Former winners include Black Caviar (twice), Apache Cat and Spinning Hill.
William Reid Stakes - 1200 metres on turf, Moonee Valley Racecourse, Melbourne with a purse of A$400,000. The race is run during autumn and was named after a former Moonee Valley Racing Club committee member. From 2005-2007, the race was part of the prestigious Global Sprint Challenge series. Formers winners include Manikato (5 times) and Black Caviar.
Be sure to stay tuned to this site for more information regarding Cox Plate odds and Cox Plate results. The Cox Plate is Australia's richest weight-for-age race at A$3,000,000. Both Cox Plate odds and Cox Plate results should be available in October.