THE Let’s Elope Stakes is a group two race for mares which features during the Melbourne spring carnival at Flemington.
Run over 1400m for a stake of $200,000, the Let’s Elope Stakes is held in mid-September under set weight and penalty conditions. It is typically won by classy mares which have good form coming into the race and punters often find a good price for the winner.
One of the most famous wins came in 2011 when the ill-fated Pinker Pinker won the Let’s Elope Stakes before winning the Group 1 Cox Plate at Moonee Valley later that spring.
Best Let’s Elope Stakes bookmakers
The Let’s Elope isn’t one of the star races of the spring carnival, so bookmakers won’t open early all-in markets. Bookmakers will open markets for the Let’s Elope throughout the week of the race, but punters will still get great odds and the best value.
All of our recommended bookmakers offer betting on the Let’s Elope and bookmaker bonuses will also be available in the days leading up to the race.
Recent Let’s Elope Stakes winners
2018: It was back-to-back double figure priced winners in the Let’s Elope Stakes after I Am A Star gripped on to win in a photo finish. Similar to the year before the winner and the second placed runner Bella Martini looked to be fighting out the finish, but it was the $10 I Am A Star that prevailed in a head bobbing finish.
2017: It was a huge upset in the 2017 Let’s Elope Stakes as Sword Of Light raced away to win at odds of $17. Racing on the pace for the majority of the contest, co-leader Lovani and the eventual winner looked to be the only two chances coming into the latter stages of the race but it was the Matthew Ellerton and Simon Zahra-trained runner which delivered when it mattered most.
2016: Don’t Doubt Mamma scored the biggest win of its career in the 2016 Let’s Elope Stakes. The mare defied a track bias at Flemington by winning along the fence, which was playing off throughout the day. Thames Court and Manageress filled the placings. Read the full report here.
2015: The first four positions were filled with horses paying double figures odds and it was the Chris Waller-trained Amicus which came out on top. The four-year-old settled back and produced a big finish with Craig Newitt in the saddle. The $500,000 sales purchase paid $15 to win over Precious Gem ($41) and May’s Dream ($13). Race favourite Noble Protector finished 13th.
2014: Commanding Jewel made it back-to-back wins in the Let’s Elope Stakes with a narrow victory. The five-year-old was the race favourite at $2.62 and held off the late challenge from Dear Demi to record a short-neck margin. It carried 59kg to victory and beat quality runners such as Gregers, Solicit and Lorna May.
2013: Commanding Jewel won its first Let’s Elope Stakes in 2013 by seeing off the always-consistent Catkins by a half-length. It carried a lighter weight of 57kg on this occasion and paid $9 for the win. Bookmakers couldn’t decide on a firm favourite which ended up being A Time For Julia at an incredible $8. Three New Zealand-bred runners were entered with the best result coming with the John Sargent-trained Quintessential in fifth place.
2012: Zurella was another upset winner at odds of $10. The four-year-old mare by Zabeel didn’t jump well, but jockey Craig Newitt showed his class by picking a path through the field and shooting away in the final 100m. The Kiwi runner trained by Shaune Ritchie carried a nice weight of only 55kg to victory and although it wasn’t the strongest field in history, it did manage to beat Hi Belle, Yosei and race favourite Lady Melksham.
2011: Pinker Pinker won the Let’s Elope Stakes in 2011 prior to winning the Cox Plate at massive odds later in the year. The Greg Eurell-trained mare was respected in the market at $6.50 and it showed its fighting qualities by holding off Mid Summer Music by a neck. Race favourite and the highly-touted Parables finished a length back in third. The win gave three-time Melbourne Cup-winning rider Glen Boss another memorable win during the spring carnival.
Let’s Elope Stakes form guide
The Cockram Stakes is a good form guide for the Let’s Elope Stakes. Held two weeks prior, the Cockram Stakes hasn’t produced any recent winners of the Let’s Elope, but there has been some quality placings recorded.
Mid Summer Music won the Cockram in 2011 before finishing second in the Let’s Elope behind subsequent Cox Plate winner Pinker Pinker. That was followed by Lady Melksham in 2012 which won well in the Cockram and wasn’t entirely disappointing when running third behind Zurella.
Commanding Jewel used the Cockram as a warm-up for the Let’s Elope and in 2014 it finished third before running two weeks later and winning its second Let’s Elope Stakes. It’s a race punters should definitely look at as a good form guide.
Amicus entered the race on the back of winning the Toy Show Quality at Randwick. Held in mid-August, the Toy Show is a group three over 1300m and the likes of Hidden Kisses and Red Tracer have been winners, so it could pay to follow form out of that race.
Horses that run in the Let’s Elope have also performed well later in the spring. We have mentioned Pinker Pinker winning the Cox Plate, but Dear Demi finished seventh in 2013 before running third in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes and the Group 1 Caulfield Cup.
Mid Summer Music ran second in the Let’s Elope in 2011 before running third in the Group 2 Caulfield Sprint and the Group 1 VRC Sprint Classic at Flemington. It would later win a Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap at Eagle Farm which is form that should be respected.
Let’s Elope past winners list
2018 – I Am A Star
2017 – Sword Of Light
2016 – Don’t Doubt Mamma
2015 – Amicus
2014 – Commanding Jewel
2013 – Commanding Jewel
2012 – Zurella
2011 – Pinker Pinker
2010 – No Evidence Needed
2009 – Cats Whisker
2008 – Mimi Lebrock
2007 – Devil Moon
2006 – Rewaaya
2005 – Dea
2004 – Beautiful Gem
2003 – Ain’t Seen Nothin’
2002 – Purple Groove
2001 – Flushed
2000 – Tickle My
1999 – Zapeace
1998 – Skyrocket
1997 – Derobe
1996 – Rose Of Portland
1995 – Tolanda
1994 – Amuse Us
1993 – Rose of Marizza
1992 – Mannerism
1991 – Shavano Miss
1990 – Natural Wonder
1989 – Rancheetah
1988 – Riva Gleam
1987 – Take My Picture