Spring Champion Stakes

The Spring Champion Stakes is a $400 000 Group 1 set weights race for three year olds. It is run over 2000m at Randwick every October.

The Spring Champion Stakes is the first opportunity for three year olds to gain black type at 2000m.

It was first run in the autumn of 1971 as the Australasian Champion Stakes, when it was won by Gay Icarus. Others to win it in the autumn include Latin Knight (1972), Asgard (1974) and Taras Bulba (1975).

It was switched to the spring in 1978 to replace the Group 1 AJC Australian Derby (2400m), which until 1977 was run in the spring. From 1979, the Derby was run in the autumn.

Since then, it has proven to be a good guide to horses who are likely to feature in the numerous Derbies across the coming season. It has also been known to produce horses that run in the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups in later seasons.

Notable winners since 1978 have included Kingston Town (1979), Best Western (1981), Sir Dapper (1983), Beau Zam (1987), Stylish Century (1989), Kinjite (1991), Danewin (1994), Nothin’ Leica Dane (1995), Tie The Knot (1997), Fairway (1999), Universal Prince (2000), Savabeel (2004) and Monaco Consul (2009).

In 2011, it was Doctor Doom who held on from Darci Be Good and Sangster, while 2012 saw a stirring battle between It’s A Dundeel and Proisir, with the former emerging victorious.
Horses that come through the Spring Champion Stakes have numerous options as they continue their campaigns. Logically, they head to the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m), either via the Group 3 Norman Robinson Stakes (2000m) or the Group 2 Mitchelton Wines Vase (2040m). However, other options include the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m), the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) or even the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m).

In 2004, Savabeel won the Cox Plate after winning the Spring Champion Stakes, while both Kingston Town (fourth) and Beau Zam (second) ran well in the Caulfield Cup after the Spring Champion Stakes.