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The BMW Stakes

Morphettville Race Track

The BMW Stakes was known by different names in the past such as the H.E. Tancred Stakes, the Tancred Cup and the Mercedes Classic. However, the race distance of this Group 1 Thoroughbred race has not changed much. Prior to 1973, the race distance was at 12 furlongs or about 2400 metres. Since 1973, the race distance is at exactly 2400 metres to follow Australia’s conversion to the metric system.

The BMW Stakes was first held in 1963 with Maidenhead winning the inaugural race. Back then, the race was classified as a Principal one and it would be elevated to Group 1 status in 1980 with Kingston Town winning the inaugural Group 1 BMW Stakes. Throughout the history of this race, only two race horses have won it more than once: Octagonal in 1996 and 1997 and Tie The Knot in 1999 and 2000.

R.S Dye is the most successful jockey in BMW Stakes history for he has won this race five times. He first won it with Dr. Grace in 1991 then with Stony Bay in 1995, Octagonal in 1997 and Tie the Knot in 1999 and 2000. With a prize pool of AUD$2.3 million, trainers are eyeing to compete in this weight-for-age race which is held every April during the Golden Slipper Stakes day.

The Rosehill Gardens Racecourse, the home turf of the BMW Stakes, is a grass track which has a circumference of 2048 metres and a home straight of 408 metres. The racecourse features sweeping turns and all races here are staged clockwise. Races at the Rosehill Racecourse are governed by the Sydney Turf Club.

Due to the race distance of the BMW Stakes, it favors stayers rather than sprinters. To prepare for this race, thoroughbreds usually compete at the 2000-metre, Group 1 Ranvet Stakes and a number of race horses have achieved the Ranvet Stakes-BMW Stakes double. Since 1970, Blutigeroo is the heaviest winner of the race at 59 kilograms while Major Battle is the lightest at 47 kilograms.

In the 2000 BMW Stakes, Tie the Knot won the race in 2 minutes, 30.8 seconds with Arena and Showella coming in at second and third place respectively. The 2001 BMW Stakes was won by Curata Storm in 2 minutes, 27.7 seconds while Kaapstad Way and Giovana finished at second and third place respectively. The 2002 BMW Stakes was won by Ethereal in 2 minutes, 29.3 seconds.

Finishing behind Ethereal is Universal Prince while Rain Gauge finished third. In the 2003 BMW Stakes, Freemason won the race in 2 minutes, 26.8 seconds while Northerly took home the runner-up spot. Republic Lass came in at third. The 2004 BMW Stakes was won by Grand Zulu in 2 minutes, 25.7 seconds while Mummify and Makybe Diva finished in second and third place respectively.

Makybe Diva won the 2005 BMW Stakes in 2 minutes, 26.9 seconds with Grand Armee and Vouray finishing in second and third place respectively. The 2006 BMW Stakes went to Eremein in 2 minutes, 27 seconds while Railings and Our Smoking Joe finished in second and third place respectively. Blutigeroo won the 2007 BMW Stakes in 2 minutes, 26.5 seconds with Railing finishing second.

Tuesday Joy won the 2008 BMW Stakes in 2 minutes, 35.8 seconds while Fiumicino won the 2009 BMW Stakes in 2 minutes, 34.2 seconds. In the 2010 BMW Stakes, Littorio dominated the opposition by winning in 2 minutes, 29.38 seconds in front of Zavite which finished second and No Wine No Song which finished third.

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