The Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) is a set weights event for three-year-old fillies. It is a Group 1 feature worth $500,000 which sees runners carry 56kg.
The Flight Stakes is run during the Sydney Spring Racing Carnival. It is held the same day as the $1 million Epsom Handicap (1600m) and Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) on a day which is known as “Super Saturday.”
Dating back to 1947, the Flight Stakes was first won by Nizam's Ring.
It has always been contested over the mile but was upgraded to Group 2 status in 1979 when won by Snowing before receiving Group 1 status in 1985 as Tingo Tango won the first running held at the elite level.
Royal Randwick has played host to the Flight Stakes for all bar two editions of the race with Warwick Farm hosting the 1983 and 2001 version.
Champion trainer Gai Waterhouse is the most successful trainer in the history of the feature race having saddled up the winner on eight occasions. Her winners are Assertive Lass (1996), Danglissa (1999), Ha Ha (2001), Lotteria (2004), Fashions Afield (2005), Cheeky Choice (2006), More Joyous (2009) and Speak Fondly (2015).
Form students will be looking at the Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes (1400m) held at the same venue two weeks earlier as the key lead-up race with 27 of the past 33 winners of the Flight Stakes coming through the Tea Rose Stakes. Speak Fondly bucked the trend after finishing second in the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) held at Rosehill Gardens three weeks earlier.
In recent years favourites have had an excellent record in the Flight Stakes with six of the past eight winners starting as favourite in the event.
Notable winners of the Flight Stakes include Wenona Girl (1960), Cap D’Antibes (1974), Bounding Away (1986), Research (1988), Triscay (1990), Assertive Lass & Dashing Eagle (deadheat in 1996), Sunline (1998), Ha Ha (2001), Lotteria (2004), Samantha Miss (2008), More Joyous (2009), Streama (2011) and First Seal (2014).
The Flight Stakes is named in honour of Australian Racing Hall of Fame mare Flight. She is best known for winning back-to-back Cox Plates in 1945 and 1946, along with the Champagne Stakes (1943), CF Orr Stakes (1946) and Mackinnon Stakes (1946).