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Friday 29 March 2024

Caulfield Racecourse: Sir John Monash Stakes

Who was Sir John Monash (1865 - 1931)?

Caulfield Racecourse, is one of Melbourne’s most popular tracks and commonly known as ‘The Heath’. Situated in Caulfield, Victoria, a state in southeastern Australia. It’s the home of the Melbourne Racing Club which is one of three metropolitan horse racing clubs in Melbourne. It is officially called Caulfield Racecourse Reserve in which a 2017 Act outlined future plans for the reserve to be set aside for three purposes a racecourse, recreation and public park.

Historically, it dates back to 1875 although the racing of the Caulfield Cup was inaugurated in 1879.

The Caulfield Racecourse is triangle shaped with a circumference of just over 2 kilometres. It has three straights, 30 metres wide. To help horses travel at speed, the turns are banked from 4-6%. This left-handed course is run on turf. Spectators enjoy a panoramic view of the racecourse from the Rupert Clarke Stand which is totally glazed. It also has provisions for disabled parking, and access to the racecourse grandstand and toilets.

Caulfield has 25 meetings a year and features a number of high-profile races including the Caulfield Cup, Caulfield Guineas, Blue Diamond Sakes, C F Orr Stakes, Oakleigh Plate, Underwood Stakes & Futurity Sakes.

The racecourse is ideally located less than 100m from Caulfield Railway Station, which is on the Frankston, Cranbourne and Pakenham. You can catch a train from Flinders Street Station from Melbourne Central Business District. They run every 10 minutes. Alternatively, you can get to the Reserve via tram, route 3, which takes about 35 minutes from Melbourne.

The Sir John Monash Stakes is a horse race, titled in this solid man’s memory from 1998. He is one of greatest Australians. In fact, he wasn’t only knighted, but a General and commended for his military leadership as commander in the First World War. A decorated hero, he fought campaigns in Gallipoli, France.

An exceptional man.

The Sir John Monash Stakes takes place on the 8th July 2023. Part of the Melbourne Winter Racing Carnival it is one of the final Group 3 races of the season. This sprint is raced over 5 1/2f (1100m). It features total prize money of $200,000. This is a weight for age race where maidens are ineligible.

It is often a good lead-up to the Bletchingly Stakes Group 3 which take place in August.

Recent winners of the Sir John Monash Stakes include: 

• 2022 – Mileva 
• 2021 – Red Can Man 
• 2020 – Jungle Edge 
• 2019 – Oak Door 
• 2018 – Voodoo Lad 
• 2017 – Supido 
• 2016 – Wild Rain 

This year’s Sir John Monash Stakes will be a race to savour. It is best suited to fit winter sprinters. It is often a stepping stone to other quality races including the Bletchingly Stakes and Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival such as the Group 2 McEwen Stakes which is run over 1000m in September.

Winners often go on to achieve Group 1 status as was seen with 2018 winner Voodoo Lad who tasted victory in the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes at Perth.

Who will win this year?

If these horses and jockeys are as gallant as General Sir John Monash they will be held in very high regard.

Good luck to all.

Photo: Canva (free)