The $500,000 Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) is Perth’s most prestigious sprint race and is open to all horses three-years-old and above.
The feature event is held alongside the Group 1 Railway Stakes on Perth’s Super Saturday of racing in November and is a major drawcard for some of the country’s top sprinters.
It was first run in 1952 and was won by Raconteur when the race was run over 1400m.
In 1994 the Winterbottom Stakes was installed at its current distance of 1200m and in 2011 the Australian Racing Board Pattern Committee recommended its elevation to Group 1 status.
In 2003 the race ran its only renewal away from Ascot Racecourse when it was held at Belmont Park Racecourse.
Since its inception, three horses have managed to go back-to-back, with La Trice (1970-71), Belinda’s Star (1975-76) and Hadrada (2002-03) achieving the rare feat.
Internationally-travelled mare Ortensia managed to win two Winterbottom Stakes twice (2009 and 2011) and so did Asteroid (1953 and 1955), but not in consecutive years.
The Winterbottom Stakes has been won by some outstanding sprinters with Placid Ark (1987), Miss Andretti (2005), Takeover Target (2008) and Ortensia being the most popular winners.
And who could forget the epic battle between modern-day sprinting stars Takeover Target and Apache Cat going neck and neck down the Ascot straight with Takeover Target prevailing by the narrowest of margins.
The sprinting duo were two of the most popular sprinters of their time with fairytale story of Takeover Target being purchased for $1200 and Apache Cat displaying an almost all white face which made him a sentimental crowd-favourite.
The race, which was upgraded to Group 1 status in the 2011/12 season, and attracts the best from across the country. Key lead up races include the Group 2 Lee Steere Stakes (1400m) and Group 3 Colonel Reeves Stakes (1100m) while a natural progression sees runners head to the A.J. Scahill Stakes (1400m) in December.