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Melbourne Autumn Carnival 2015 Group 1 Racing Write Ups

Melbourne Autumn Carnival 2015 Group 1 Racing write up’s – 
Group 1 $400,000 CF Orr Stakes 1400m – Caulfield, Saturday 14th February 2015

The CF Orr Stakes is a weight-for-age race that attracts above average gallopers and has seen many top class horses on the winner’s list, including champion mares Black Caviar (2012) and Typhoon Tracy (2009-10). Other top class gallopers to win the CF Orr Stakes include the All Too Hard (2013), El Segundo (2007), Lonhro (2004), Redoute’s Choice (2000), Saintly (1997) and three-time winner Vo Rogue (1988-90). The 2014 winner was moment of change. 


Group 1 $500,000 Lighting Stakes 1000m – Flemington, Saturday 21st February 2015

The Lightning Stakes is a Group 1 weight-for-age race at Flemington during the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival and is run over 1000 metres with prize money of $500,000. The 2014 Lightning Stakes was won by Snitzerland and is one of the strongest weight-for-age sprint races of the autumn. The race was renamed the ‘Black Caviar Lightning’ in 2013 in honour of champion mare Black Caviar, who became the first galloper to win the Lightning Stakes race three years in a row during 2012/2013. 

The Lightning Stakes is the premier weight-for-age 1000m sprint of the Autumn. Australia’s best sprinters have won this race over the years including Black Caviar (2011-13), Scenic Blast (2009), Apache Cat (2008), Miss Andretti (2007) and Takeover Target (2006). The Lightning is run down the Flemington ‘1000m’ straight course with no turns involved that suits horses with a love for the Flemington.

Group 1 $1,000,000 Blue Diamond Stakes – Caulfield, Saturday 28th February 2015

The Blue Diamond Stakes is a Group 1 race for two-year-olds that takes at Caulfield racecourse during the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival and is Victoria’s premier 2 yo race. The race is run under set weight conditions over a distance of 1200 metres and is worth $1,000,000 in prize money. The race was first run in 1971 and has grown in prestige along with that of two year old races generally since inception. Blue Diamond Stakes day is Caulfield racecourse’s premier race day of the autumn. It also features Group 1 races Futurity Stakes and the Oakleigh Plate. Top class gallopers such as Sepoy (2011), Alinghi (2004), Bel Esprit (2002), Redoutes Choice (1999) Courtza (1989) and Zeditave (1988) have all won this race. The 2014 Blue Diamond Stakes was won by Earthquake.

The Blue Diamond has become in many ways the prelude to the Golden Slipper two year old race in the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival but is still a very important race. Brilliant two-year-old Sepoy (2011) was the most recent galloper to win the Blue Diamond Stakes and then win the Golden Slipper.

Group 1 $500,000 Futurity Stakes – Caulfield, Saturday 28th February 2015

The Futurity Stakes is a Group 1 weight-for-age race held at Caulfield racecourse during the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival. The race is run over a distance of 1400 metres and has prizemoney of $500,000. The Futurity Stakes is a prominent weight-for-age race and the 1400m distance is attractive to a variety of gallopers, including strong sprinters and quality middle distance types, which assures a top field is assembled each year. 

In recent years Moment Of Change (2014), All Too Hard (2013) & Typhoon Tracy (2010) have both taken out the CF Orr Stakes & Futurity Stakes double. Some quality thoroughbreds have saluted in this event over the years including More Joyous (2011), Fields Of Omagh (2006), Testa Rossa (2000), Encounter (1998), Schillaci (1993 & 1995), Redelva (1991) and Zeditave (1989). 
The 2014 Futurity was won by Moment of Change.

Group 1 $400,000 Oakleigh Plate – Caulfield, Saturday 28th February 2015

The Oakleigh Plate is a Group 1 Open Handicap race held at Caulfield racecourse during the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival. The race is run over a distance of 1100 metres and worth $400,000 in prizemoney. The Oakleigh Plate is the premier handicap sprint event of the Caulfield autumn racing carnival and always attracts a classy field of sprinters. Classy gallopers Starspangledbanner (2010), Weekend Hussler (2008), Fastnet Rock (2005) and Schillaci (1992) have all won this event in recent times.
Those running in this race may then go onto the Newmarket Handicap down the Flemington straight. Weekend Hussler (2008) was the most recent galloper to take out the Oakleigh Plate & Newmarket Handicap double. Lankan Rupee (2014) won the Rubiton Stakes over 1100m at Caulfield before winning this event and recent Oakleigh Plate winners include Mrs Onassis (2013) and Woorim (2012).

Group 1 $500,000 Australian Guineas – Flemington, 7th March 2015

The Australian Guineas is a Group 1 race for three-year-olds held at Flemington racecourse in the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival. The race is run over a distance of 1600 metres under set weights. The Australian Guineas is the premier mile event for three-year-old gallopers during the autumn racing carnival and always assembles the best 3yo gallopers around at the time. Since its inception in 1986, the Australian Guineas has grown to become a prestigious event on the racing calendar for three-year-olds. There is generally a strong track record for horses who perform well in this event having the potential to go onto bigger and better things. The 2014 Australian Guineas was won by Shamus Award.

Group 1 $1 million Newmarket Handicap – Flemington, Saturday 14th March 2015

The Newmarket Handicap is a Group 1 Open Handicap race held annually each March at Flemington racecourse in Melbourne during the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival. The race is run over a distance of 1200. The 2014 Newmarket Handicap was won by Lankan Rupee.
The Newmarket Handicap is the premier handicap sprint event held at Flemington and is run down the 1200m straight. The race has been won by many of our finest sprinters over the years, such as Black Caviar (2011), Miss Andretti (2007), Takeover Target (2006), Alinghi (2005), General Nediym (1998), Schillaci (1992) and Special (1998).
The Flemington ‘Straight Six’ 1200m course is a straight track with no turns and horses with proven records at the course and distance are ones to look as strong chances. The Lighting Stakes and Oakleigh Plate are the lead up races as form guide for this race. Lankan Rupee (2014) won the Oakleigh Plate over 1100m at Caulfield before taking out this event and recent Newmarket Handicap winners include Shamexpress (2013) and Hay List (2012).

Group 1 $1 million Australian Cup – Flemington, Saturday 14th March 2015

The Australian Cup is a Group 1 Weight-for-age race held at Flemington racecourse in the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival. And is held over 2000m The 2014 Australian Cup was won by Fiorente.
The Australian Cup is a race for elite gallopers and has a long history of producing winners who quite often go on to be stars of the Australian turf. Some of those gallopers that have won the Australian Cup include Zipping (2010), Makybe Diva (2005), Lonhro (2004), Northerly (2003 & 2001), Octagonal (1997), Saintly (1996), Better Loosen Up (1991) and Vo Rogue (1990-89). The St George Stakes held at Caulfield on Blue Diamond day 28th February is a great guide in recent years with Fiorente (2014), Lonhro (2004), Northerly (2001), Dane Ripper (1998), Let’s Elope (1992) & Vo Rogue (1989) all taking out the St George Stakes & Australian Cup double.

Group 1 $400,000 William Reid Stakes – Moonee Valley Saturday 27th March 2015

The William Reid Stakes is a Group 1 Weight-for-age race held at Moonee Valley racecourse in the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival and is run over 1200 metres. The 2014 William Reid Stakes was won by Spirit of Boom.
The William Reid Stakes is a good horse’s race and attracts high quality weight-for-age sprinters who normally come through the Newmarket Handicap , Oakleigh Plate of the Lighting Stakes. For example, Spirit Of Boom (2014) finished second behind Lankan Rupee in both the Oakleigh Plate and the Newmarket Handicap before winning the William Reid Stakes.
Over the years Black Caviar (2011 & 2013), Redelva (1991) and Zeditave (1989) have saluted in this. Champion sprinter Manikato won this race five years in succession from 1979-1983 in a magnificent feat of performances.