Captain Cook Stakes

Captain Cook Stakes

Group One Betting Guide
Date: Saturday, December 4, 2021
Location: Trentham Racecourse
Prize Money: NZ$220,000
Distance: 1600m

The Group 1 Captain Cook Stakes is a 1600m thoroughbred race held at Trentham in early December each year under weight-for-age conditions.

The race has been taken out by some of the greatest horses in New Zealand racing history, such as Copper Belt (1977), Solveig (1986) and Rough Habit (1992).

The race was moved from early October to the first week of December to avoid clashing with the Hawkes Bay Carnival in October, in order to attract some of the best milers in New Zealand.

Connections have often run their horses in the Captain Cook Stakes en route to the Levin Classic in Wellington in January.

Rock On Wood wins the 2020 Captain Cook Stakes

Best Captain Cook Stakes bookmakers

All of our top-ranked online bookmakers offer Captain Cook Stakes betting odds, including all-in and fixed-odds markets. Check out the bookies below to find the best available prices for the 2021 Captain Cook Stakes.

United States Sport Table

Sport Table

Captain Cook Stakes betting guide

Over the years, some of New Zealand’s best milers have won the Captain Cook Stakes. Danzdanzdance (2018), Kawi (2017), Shuka (2013/14), Mufhasa (2011), Dorabella (2007), Penny Gem (2003), Cinder Bella (2000), Cent Home (1999), Foxwood (1998), Marquise (1996), Allegro (1995), Rough Habit (1992) and Solveig (1986) are all notable winners of the Group 1 feature.

Gary Grylls is the most successful jockey in the 44 years that the race has been run, having won the event on four occasions – including three in the space of four years during the ’90s (1994, 1995, 1997).

Remarkably, only three trainers have won the race twice: Karen Zimmerman (2000, 2004), the Peter & Dawn Williams team (2013, 2014) and Fraser Auret (2015, 2016). So when looking to place your bet, it may pay to follow trainers who are yet to taste victory in the race.

2020 Captain Cook Stakes result


1stRock On Wood ($4.30)
2ndConcert Hall ($1.50)
3rdDeerfield ($4.60)

Recent Captain Cook Stakes winners

  • It was a family affair when the Leanne Elliot-trained Rock On Wood took out the 2020 Captain Cook Stakes. Leanne’s son Ryan Elliot took the ride aboard the enigmatic six-year-old and with a sweeping run from the rear of the field, Rock On Wood brought up a deserved Group 1 victory. Having finished third and fourth on two occasions at the highest level, the maiden Group 1 tag was shirked in impressive fashion.
  • Having gone back in the upon jumping, the John Benner & Hollie Wynyard-trained Wyndspelle needed a perfect steer from Jason Waddell to claim Group 1 glory and a perfect steer is what he got. The six-year-old son of Iffraaj had six Group 1 placings in races like the Tarzino Trophy and Cantala Stakes, but he finally broke his Group 1 maiden tag with a grinding victory in the Captain Cook Stakes. Considering he was three pairs back on the fence when cornering, Waddell needed to bully his way off the fence and once Wyndspelle saw clear air, he never looked like getting beaten.
  • Despite needing to travel three wide throughout the race, the Australian-bred Danzdanzdance put some four lengths on her rivals in what was a truly dominant display. Having made her run with 1000m to go, the mare needed to sustain a long run, but when presented at the top of the straight, she simply never looked like getting beaten. Having finished third in the New Zealand Derby, been beaten a lip in the Group 2 Avondale Stakes and on the back of a third-place finish in the Livamol Classic, there is little doubt that Danzdanzdance deserved her Group 1 moment. The flashing grey loomed up inside the final 300m and with a sharp turn of foot quickly put a substantial gap on her rivals in one of the more comfortable wins in the race’s history.
  • Following his win in the 2017 Captain Cook Stakes, powerhouse Taranaki performer Kawi edged closer to a significant slice of New Zealand racing history. The win handed the NZ icon a seventh Group 1 success and sat just one behind the former two-time New Zealand Horse of the Year Mufhasa, with eight domestic Group One wins. Kawi was back and wide in the Captain Cook before he was urged around the field a long way from home. He was prominent on straightening and held a strong gallop in the closing 350m to trump Consensus and Sofia Rosa.
  • Trainer Fraser Auret managed to defend his Captain Cook Stakes success following Julinsky Prince’s success 12 months prior, but he did it in a way not many expected. His mare Aide Memoire produced a stunning turn of foot to claim Group 1 glory whilst paying $11.90 on the local tote. Auret had targeted the race for Aide Memorie, but it was easy to see in post-race interviews that the result did surprise him. Julinsky Prince’s defence could not have gone any worse, finishing a disappointing last in the 2016 Captain Cook Stakes.
  • Following a positive ride from Jonathan Parkes, the Fraser Auret-trained Julinsky Prince managed to outstay his opponents over the mile in a driving finish. Julinsky Prince and runner-up Authentic Paddy quickened stride for stride over the final furlong with Soriano arriving in a flurry for a blanket finish. The win handed the Prince his second Group 1 success following a win in the Windsor Park Plate two starts prior.

Captain Cook Stakes past winners list

Captain Cook Stakes Past Winners
Year Horse Jockey Trainer
2020 Rock On Wood Ryan Elliot Leanne Elliot
2019 Wyndspelle Jason Waddell Johno Benner & Hollie Wynyard
2018 Danzdanzdance Opie Bosson Christopher Gibbs & Michelle Bradley
2017 Kawi Jason Waddell Allan Sharrock
2016 Aide Memoire Robert Hannam Fraser Auret
2015 Julinsky Prince Jonathan Parkes Fraser Auret
2014 Shuka Danielle Johnson Peter & Dawn Williams
2013 Shuka Danielle Johnson Peter & Dawn Williams
2012 Final Touch Chris Johnson John Parsons
2011 Mufhasa Sam Spratt Stephen McKee
2010 We Can Say It Now Lisa Allpress Murray & Bjorn Baker
2009 Ekstreme Opie Bosson Bryce Revell
2008 Dezigna Troy Harris Vanessa Hillis
2007 Dorabella Hayden Tinsley Howie & Lorraine Mathews
2006 Jurys Out Michael Coleman David Haworth
2005 Hurrah Hayden Tinsley Shane Kennedy & Ricky Carston
2004 Rodin Darryl Bradley Karen Zimmerman
2003 Penny Gem Michael Coleman Mike Moroney & Andrew Scott
2002 Eleveneses (DH) Leith Innes Bill & Graham Sanders
2002 Tit For Taat (DH) Michael Walker Wayne Herbert
2001 Hello Dolly Bruce Herd Debbie Wills
2000 Cinder Bella Lance O’Sullivan Karen Zimmerman

Captain Cook Stakes past winners (pre-2000)

Captain Cook Stakes Past Winners Pre 2000
Year Horse
1999 Cent Home
1998 Foxwood
1997 Ballroom Babe
1996 Marquise
1995 Allegro
1994 Lord Tridan
1993 Calm Harbour
1992 Rough Habit
1991 Mickey’s Town
1990 Race Not Held
1989 Straight Order
1988 Steely Dan
1987 Magnitude
1986 Solveig
1985 So Dandy
1984 Idaho’s Gift
1983 Clear Gold
1982 Hikotere
1981 The Twinkle
1980 Mellseur
1979 Brutus
1978 March Legend
1977 Copper Belt
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