The 2017 Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) will be held at Flemington Racecourse on Saturday, November 4.
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Three-year-old fillies and mares aged four and upwards are eligible to contest the Myer Classic which is a weight-for-age race. It is held on day one of the four-day Melbourne Cup Carnival at Flemington.
Three other Group 1 races are staged on the same day, known as Derby Day, with the Victoria Derby (2500m) for three-year-olds, Cantala Stakes (1600m) for the milers and Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) for the three-year-old sprinters.
Concordance won the inaugural running of the Myer Classic back in 1988 when it carried Listed status. It has slowly been upgraded with the race also being run as a Group 3 and Group 2.
It was upgraded to Group 1 status in 2004 when taken out by Miss Potential.
The Myer Classic has gone through a number of name changes with the race having been run as The Honda Legend, Hong Kong Bank Stakes, Hardy Brothers Classic, Nestle Peters Classic and finally the Myer Classic from 2005 onwards.
Carrying $500,000 in prizemoney, the race attracts some of the best mares in the country and the added incentive is the increased value to the mare when she retires from the racetrack and becomes a broodmare.
One aspect that hasn’t changed about the race is that it has always been contested over 1600m since its inception.
The most recent winner of the race is the Shane Nichols-trained three-year-old filly I Am A Star who carried just 49kg to victory in the 2016 edition. She was runner-up in the Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) and third in the Group 2 Fillies Classic (1600m) prior to her triumph in the Myer.
It was the first Group 1 win for Nichols who created history with his filly becoming the first three-year-old to win the Myer Classic.
Generally, the key lead-up race into the Myer Classic is the Group 2 Tristarc Stakes (1400m) held at Caulfield two weeks prior to the Myer Classic.
Other winners of the event have come through the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley one week earlier; Lotteria finished second in the Cox Plate before winning the Myer Classic in 2005.
Notable winners of the Myer Classic include Bonanova (1998), Noircir (1999), Miss Zoe (2002), Divine Madonna (2007), Forensics (2008), Typhoon Tracy (2009), Sacred Choice (2010), Appearance (2012) and Red Tracer (2013).
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