The Lexus Stakes is a Group 3 race staged under Quality Handicap conditions, with a maximum of 60kg and a minimum of 52kg. Raced on Victoria Derby Day during the Melbourne Spring Carnival, it is run over a distance of 2500m and favours the best stayers in the field. It may not have the clout of other races on the day such as the AAMI Victoria Derby or the Myer Classic, but it has grown in leaps and bounds since its inception in 1869, going from a Principal Race to a Group 2 in 1981, and then finally dropping back to a Group 3 in 2004. Like most races these days, it has gone through numerous name changes over the years. The Hotham Handicap (1869 – 1978), The Dalgerty (1979 – 1993) and the Saab Quality (1998 – 2008) are a few examples. The Lexus Stakes is one of the only features in Australian racing history to have a triple dead-heat between Fighting Force, Ark Royal and Pandie Sun back in 1956.
Historically it has been a traditional lead up to the Melbourne Cup just three days later. The winner is exempt from any ballot for the Cup and this race is often used for one last throw of the dice to make the ‘great race’ the following Tuesday. In 2009, Shocking posted an impressive win in the Lexus before taking out the Cup, while a year later Maluckyday missed the ‘distance double’ after finishing second to overseas raider Americain in the Melbourne Cup. Bart Cummings’ Kingston Rule was runner up in the Lexus in 1990, before taking out the Melbourne Cup.
|2015||EXCESS KNOWLEDGE||DWAYNE DUNN||GAI WATERHOUSE||02:36.8|
|2014||SIGNOFF||JOAO MOREIRA||DARREN WEIR||02.37.8|
|2013||RUSCELLO||KERRIN MCEVOY||ED WALKER||02.39.8|
|2012||KELINNI||NASH RAWILLER||CHRIS WALLER||02.37.6|
|2011||NIWOT||DEAN YENDALL||JOHN HAWKES||02.37.5|
|2010||MALUCKYDAY||JIM CASSIDY||JOHN HAWKES||02.35.1|
|2009||SHOCKING||MICHAEL RODD||MARK KAVANAGH||02.38.3|
|2008||MOATIZE||MICHAEL RODD||BART CUMMINGS||02.37.7|
|2007||SCULPTOR||LISA CROPP||PETER MCKENZIE||02.35.4|
|2006||MAYBE BETTER||STEVE ARNOLD||BRIAN MAYFIELD-SMITH||02.35.8|