The Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) takes place at Melbourne’s Moonee Valley Racecourse annually in March during the Melbourne Autumn Carnival and is weight-for-age race for sprinters.
With a $400,000 prize fund, the race attracts the country’s best sprinters and is accompanied by the Group 2 Sunline Stakes (1600m); making the race meeting Mooney Valley’s most significant night meeting on the racing calendar.
From 1996 to 2010 the race was named the 'Australia Stakes', but reverted back to its original name of the 'William Reid Stakes' in 2010.
In 1995, the race had its only running away from Moonee Valley when it was transferred to Flemington Racecourse.
First run in 1925, the race was won by The Night Patrol when the race was a Principal race and run over six furlongs.
Night Patrol returned the following year and became the first of many back-to-back winners of the William Reid Stakes.
Horses that compete in the William Reid Stakes may have contested the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) or the Group 1 Lightning Stakes (1000m) at their previous start.
Being a weight-for-age race, the William Reid gives some horses a distinct advantage after being heavily weighted in the Newmarket Handicap.
The illustrious honour roll lists the who’s who of Australian sprinters and in recent times William Reid Stakes winners such as Black Caviar and Miss Andretti have travelled to the UK to compete at Royal Ascot.
Other former winners of the William Reid Stakes include Heroic (1927), Comic Court (1951), Manikato (1979-83), Vo Rogue (1988), Redelva (1991), Hareeba (1995), Regimental Gal (2004), Miss Andretti (2007), Apache Cat (2008-09) and Black Caviar (2011 & 2013).
The William Reid Stakes was named after William Reid, a former committee member of the Moonee Valley Racing Club, but for a brief period it was named the Australia Stakes.