The 2017 Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) will take place at Royal Randwick in October.
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Held during the Sydney Spring Racing Carnival, the Spring Champion Stakes is a set-weights event for three-year-olds.
It was first run in 1971 as the Australasian Champion Stakes when won by Gay Icarus before changing to the Spring Champion Stakes in 1978 when Lefroy won the event.
From 1979 onwards, the year that champion racehorse Kingston Town won the race, it was upgraded to Group 1 status.
It has been staged at Royal Randwick for all bar two editions of the event; Sir Dapper won the race at Warwick Farm in 1983 over 2100m and Viking Ruler claimed the 2001 edition when run on the Kensington track (inner track at Randwick) over 1800m.
Due to an outbreak of Equine Influenza, the Spring Champion Stakes and many other races for that matter, were not staged during 2007.
It was most recently won by the David Vandyke-trained filly Yankee Rose who charged home to claim the 2016 edition.
The key lead-up race to the Spring Champion Stakes is the Group 3 Gloaming Stakes (1800m) held at Rosehill Gardens two weeks earlier. Five of the past seven winners contested the Gloaming prior to the Spring Champion; three of them won it and two finished runner-up.
Yankee Rose was second in the Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) held at the same venue one week prior to the Spring Champion Stakes.
Carrying $500,000 in prizemoney, the Spring Champion Stakes attracts a number of star three-year-old stayers who have gone on to win some of Australia’s greatest races.
Following Kingston Town’s 1979 victory in the Spring Champion Stakes, he would go on to create a legendary career by winning the Cox Plate in 1980, 1981 and 1982. He would also win the AJC Derby (1980), Sydney Cup (1980), Queensland Derby (1980) and George Main Stakes (1981-82) amongst other feature wins. He is also in the Australian Racing Hall of Fame.
Tie The Knot would go on to dominate racing in Sydney following his win in the three-year-old feature in 1997. He would claim the Rosehill Guineas (1998), Sydney Cup (1998-99), Chipping Norton Stakes (1999, 2000-02), The BMW (1999 & 2000) and Ranvet Stakes (2000-01) in Sydney.
Notable winners of the Spring Champion Stakes include Taras Bulba (1975), Cheyne Walk (1976), Kingston Town (1979), Best Western (1971), Sir Dapper (1983), Beau Zam (1987), Stylish Century (1989), Danewin (1994), Nothin’ Leica Dane (1995), Tie The Knot (1997), Dignity Dancer (1998), Universal Prince (2000), Niello (2003), Savabeel (2004), Monaco Consul (2009), It’s A Dundeel (2012) and Complacent (2013).
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