First held in 1895, the Chelmsford Stakes has featured in many distance and venue changes since the inaugural edition was taken out by Newman. Originally conducted at 9 furlongs or the equivalent of 1800m it has never been held further than that distance, but has been run as short as 1400m. Since 2008 the race has been held at 1600m and is held at weight-for-age conditions.
The race was a principal race from 1895 up until 1979 and in 1980 it was granted Group 2 status, a level it has maintained since. In 2016 the race will be held at Randwick, with Sydney’s premier track hosting the race since 2013. Randwick has hosted the race across various years, with Warwick Farm and Rosehill having also held the race.
Total prizemoney on offer in 2017 will be $250,000 with the winner to receive $150,000. The 2016 winner was the John O’Shea trained Hartnell, ridden by Sam Clipperton. Other winners throughout the history of the race include Complacent, Theseo, Intergaze, Might And Power, Filante and the dual winners Hawkspur, Lonhro and Kingston Town.
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Click here for last year's picks for the Chelmsford Stakes.
|Date:||Saturday 2nd September 2017|
|Race Type:||Weight for Age|
|2016 Chelmsford Stakes Results|
|4||GRAND MARSHAL||2ND||$6.70 (pl)|
|5||STORM THE STARS||3RD||NTD|
Is the best mare we have seen since Black Caviar able to be beaten? In this race at this distance, at weight-for-age conditions against these opponents it would appear unlikely. The wonder-mare resumed in the G2 Warwick Stakes over 1400m and after racing close to the speed throughout she toyed with her rivals as Hugh Bowman only just tickled her up slightly at the 250m and she bounded clear to ease down to the line as a 3.5 length winner, running her closing 600m in a slick 32.89. She steps up to the 1600m for this race where she is a four time winner, will be second-up where she is a three time winner from five attempts and has her fifth start at Randwick where she has won six and placed second three times from ten attempts. Where does she rank in the all-time great mares?
The only 3YO in the field, he will have to carry just 50.5kg under the weight-for-age scale and should appreciate the lightest weight he has ever had on his back. He resumed this preparation in the G3 Up & Coming Stakes where he was lumped with 61kg under the handicap conditions. Sitting mid-field in the run he tried to launch a run at the 300m but laboured away under the weight as Divine Prophet swooped from the rear of the field to take the win. His Up & Coming performance was the first time he has missed a place in his 8 start career. He should appreciate getting to the distance of this race, being a two time winner over the Randwick 1600m after rounding out his 2YO season with wins in the Listed Fernhill Handicap and the G1 Champagne Stakes.
The John O’Shea trained 6YO will be running in this second-up from a break after resuming in the Warwick Stakes and finishing in 2nd place behind Winx. He is slightly further ahead of where he was in 2015 where he resumed in this race when finishing 4th behind Complacent. That effort was after wins in the G3 Sky High Stakes and the G1 The BMW and his Autumn concluded with a 4th in the Sydney Cup. His 2016 Autumn saw the gelding start just once when finishing in fifth position in the G1 Chipping Norton Stakes behind Winx. From six attempts at 1600m he is a two time winner and two time second placegetter and when second-up has the figures of 4: 1-2-0. If the sting is out of the ground it should prove no issue as a four time winner on soft going from seven attempts.
Outside of the top three in the market, the remaining five runners are all trained by Chris Waller and all are more renowned as stayers that will be looking for further distance than the 1600m that this race offers. Who Shot Thebarman will be second this preparation after resuming in the G2 Warwick Stakes where he found the 1400m far too sharp when finishing 10 lengths from Winx. He will still be looking for further than the 1600m, however he has the best record at the mile of the outsiders. He has won twice at 1600m at his first two career starts in New Zealand and will be storming home late off what should be a steady tempo at the top that will favour Winx and make it hard for everything else in the race.
The Chelmsford Stakes is a Group 2 weight for age race held at the famous Royal Randwick Racecourse. It takes place during the Sydney Spring Racing Carnival on the Chelmsford Stakes Day. It is staged alongside other prominent races such as the Group 2 Furious Stakes and the Group 2 Tramway Quality Handicap. It covers a distance of 1600m and offers $175,000 in prize money. First run as a Principal Race back in 1895, it reached Group 2 status in 1980.
The Chelmsford Stakes is considered a good lead up race for the Group 1 George Main Stakes and the Group 2 Hill Stakes. Some of Australia’s equine greats have won this event including; Lonhro (2002/03), Might And Power (1998), Filante (1996), Emancipation (1983), Kingston Town (1980/81), Ming Dynasty (1978), Roman Consul (1967/68/69), Tulloch (1960), Delta (1950/51/52), Bernborough (1946), Rogilla (1933/34), Phar Lap (1930), Limerick (1926/27/28) and Gloaming (1918).
|2016||HARTNELL||JAMES MCDONALD||JOHN O'SHEA||01:39.1|
|2015||COMPLACENT||SAM CLIPPERTON||JOHN O'SHEA||01:37.6|
|2014||HAWKSPUR||JIM CASSIDY||CHRIS WALLER||01:39.3|
|2013||HAWKSPUR||JIM CASSIDY||CHRIS WALLER||01:34.7|
|2012||DANLEIGH||HUGH BOWMAN||CHRIS WALLER||01:36.2|
|2011||TRUSTING||JOAO MOREIRA||JOHN THOMPSON||01:37.1|
|2010||THESEO||NASH RAWILLER||GAI WATERHOUSE||01:39.6|
|2009||O'LONHRO||JAY FORD||JOHN HAWKES||01:34.5|
|2008||GALLANT TESS||JEFF LLOYD||DAVID PAYNE||01:39.3|
|2006||EREMEIN||GLEN BOSS||ALLEN DENHAM||01:35.1|
* Race was not held in 2007 due to outbreak of equine influenza