The Robert Sangster Stakes at Morphettville Racecourse, Adelaide
The Robert Sangster Stakes is a Group 1 fillies and mares race held each year in April at Morphettville racecourse in Adelaide, South Australia. The race is held during the occasion of the Adelaide autumn racing carnival. The race, itself, is a weight-for-age event for females only and run over a distance of 1200 metres with $400 000 in prizemoney.
Held on the same day as the Group 1 Australasian Oaks, the Robert Sangster Stakes has been run as the Sportingbet Classic in recent years and is held alongside the Group 2 Queen Of The South Stakes and the Group 3 DC Mckay Stakes.
Sangster Stakes History
The first Robert Sangster Stakes was run in 1983 when it was won by a horse named Ranee’s Place. In 1983 the Robert Sangster Stakes was known as a Special Race, and became a listed race a year later. The Robert Sangster Stakes became a Group 3 in 1986 before it was elevated to Group 2 status in 2004. The race spent just one year as a Group 2 race before it was given Group 1 status in 2005.
From 1983-2004 the Robert Sangster Stakes was known as the Swettenham Stud Stakes, but was named after the prolific owner and breeder Robert Sangster after he died in 2004. Robert Sangster was the principal of Swettenham Stud and the race was re-named to pay tribute to his contribution to the racing industry. In 2010, and although still registered as the Robert Sangster Stakes, was known as the Sportingbet Classic from 2010 to 2014. In 2015 the race became known as the William Hill Classic.
Sangster Stakes Future
The Robert Sangster Stakes in 2016 is scheduled to be run on Saturday 30 April. The information regarding the race remains the same; the event will be run at the Morphettville racecourse, Adelaide over 1200 metres, and is for fillies and mares, with the weight for age handicap. The race is a Group 1 event, with prize money of $400 000.
A Top Class Pedigree
The Robert Sangster Stakes is the premier sprint event for females during the Adelaide autumn racing carnival and typically attracts good class interstate gallopers searching for group one glory. The race tends to assemble a field of mostly local gallopers and some above average types from other states. Notable horses that have won the Robert Sangster Stakes include Suzy Grey (2002), Alinghi (2005) Bel Mer (2009) and Response (2011). Champion mare Black Caviar, and Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock mare Platelet (2013) went on to win the Group 1 Goodwood at their next outing after winning the Sangster Stakes. Platelet returned the following year to finish runner-up behind Driefontein, following a second place finish in the Irwin Stakes beforehand.
Quite often a top class horse will make the trip to Adelaide for this race, such as Black Caviar (2012) and Miss Andretti (2008), and the Robert Sangster Stakes has been won by some more than handy types over the years. The Group 3 RN Irwin Stakes is a good lead-up event to the Robert Sangster Stakes at Morphettville racecourse and Driefontein (2014) was the last horse to be victorious in both races in the same year.