The Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) takes place at Royal Randwick Racecourse annually in April and is Sydney’s premier staying event.
The Open Handicap race takes place on the second to last week of the Sydney Autumn Carnival and is one of four Group 1 races on the card.
Other races include the Group 1 AJC Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m), Group 1 AJC Australian Oaks (2400m), Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m), Group 2 Royal Sovereign Stakes (1200m), Group 2 Sapphire Stakes (1200m) and the Group 3 Princess Stakes (1200m).
Odds on favourite Talleyrand won the inaugural Sydney Cup in 1862 when the race was known as the Jockey Club Handicap.
The following year the race was named the Randwick Grand Handicap and in1865 the name was changed to the Randwick Grand Handicap Sweepstakes.
In 1866, with the influx of money being offered in the Melbourne Cup the race name was changed to the Sydney Gold Cup and later on dropped the ‘Gold’ to be known as the Sydney Cup.
The Sydney Cup is the longest race at Randwick and first received Group 1 status in 1980 when won by Kingston Town.
With $1 million in prizemoney the Sydney Cup attracts the country’s best stayers in the autumn, with many set to tackle the Melbourne Cup later in the spring.
The Group 2 Chairman’s Handicap (2600m) held at the same track one week earlier and the Group 1 BMW (2400m) are the most reliable guides to the Sydney Cup, with 22 of the last 28 winners coming through those two races.
Some of Australia’s most talented stayers have won the premiere set-weights event with the most recent being Mourayan (2013).
Winners of the Sydney Cup have generally gone on to compete in feature staying races during the Melbourne Spring Carnival with the Melbourne Cup high on the agenda of most winning trainers.
Other notable winners of the Sydney Cup include: The Barb (1868-69), Carbine (1889-90), Wakeful (1902), Rogilla (1933), Galilee (1967), Apollo Eleven (1973), Kingston Town (1980), Tie The Knot (1998-99) and Makybe Diva (2004).