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Flight Stakes

Held at Royal Randwick racecourse, Sydney, on the same day as the famous Epsom Handicap.  The Flight Stakes is a Group 1 race for three year old fillies and is a set weight race run over 1,600 metres. It is the only Group 1 race for three year old fillies held in the Sydney Spring Carnival. Total prize money is $500,000.

The Flight Stakes was named after the champion mare Flight and was first held in 1947. Flight had previously won the Cox Plate in 1945 and 1946. The first Flight Stakes race was won by Nizam’s Ring. The race was a Principal race until 1978 when it was upgraded to Grade 2, and then Group 1 in 1984.

Lead up races

Good lead up races for the Flight Stakes are the Group 2 Furious Stakes and the similar Tea Rose Stakes. Out of the last nine winners of the Flight Stakes, seven of them have either won or been placed in the Tea Rose Stakes. A further lead up is the Shannon Stakes held at Warwick Farm. This race is held in August which is a Group 3 race over 1,200 metres.

There have been a number of horses which have won the Tea Rose Stakes/Flight Stakes double in recent years. Unworldy (2000), Ha Ha (2001), Cheeky Choice (2006), Samantha Miss (2008), and More Joyous (2009) have all achieved the double.

Even more surprising is the fact that the Furious Stakes/Tea Rose Stakes/Flight Stakes treble has been achieved by no less than four fillies since 1998 when it was done by Sunline. Danglissa (1999), Unworldy (2000), and Samantha Miss (2008) all managed the treble.

Epsom Handicap day is one of the major events held at the Randwick racecourse, with not only the Flight Stakes, but the Group 1 Metropolitan Handicap run over 2,400 metres. In addition there is the Group 3 Craven Plate (2,000 metres), along with two Group 2 races – the Roman Consul Stakes and the Premiere Stakes both run over 1,200 metres. This is really a great day’s racing all round.