The Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) takes place at Moonee Valley Racecourse annually in January during the second week of the Melbourne Autumn Carnival and is weight-for-age race for sprinters.
The Australia Stakes generally attracts quality sprinters who are targeting the bigger races of the autumn carnival such as the Group 1 Lightning Stakes a couple of weeks later at Flemington or the Group 1 William Reid Stakes in late March at Moonee Valley.
In 2010, the Group 1 William Reid Stakes held later during the Autumn Racing Carnival and previously called the Australia Stakes (between 1996 – 2009) was changed back to be called the William Reid Stakes.
The Group 3 Rubiton Stakes or CF Orr Stakes at Caulfield may also be on the agenda for horses contesting this event and winners and placegetters of this race have plenty of feature race options ahead during the upcoming Autumn Carnival.
The Australia Stakes was first run in 1988 and was won by Special when it was known as the Norman Carlyon Stakes.
With $220,000 in prizemoney, it attracts some high quality sprinters and is the feature race on the Moonee Valley Friday night meeting.
Some of the country’s best sprinters have won the race during its short history, including Redelba (1990), Schillaci (1993), Hareeba (1995), All Our Mob (1996), Clang (1997), El Segundo (2007) and Black Caviar (2010 & 2012).