THE Group 2 McEwen Stakes is a sprint race over 1000m held at Moonee Valley in September. A key lead-in race for the Melbourne spring carnival sprinters, the McEwen Stakes has a rich history of quality winners and remains one of Australia’s most exciting races.
The $200,000 weight-for-age feature takes place on the same day as the Dato Tam Chin Nam Stakes and although it’s not worth big prizemoney, it only recently got upgraded to group two status and the race’s popularity is rising in the thoroughbred industry.
Many of Australia’s top class sprinters have taken out the McEwen Stakes and this year punters should be seeing some great talent on display. The globetrotting Chautauqua is among the past winners list and it shows just how good you need to be to win this race.
Last five McEwen Stakes winners
2016: Wild Rain showed its toughness when winning the 2016 McEwen Stakes over Furnaces and race-favourite Heatherly. Wild Rain was well-backed at each way odds in the market and it came in a fresh up state having not raced for seven weeks. Read the race report here.
2015: Chautauqua signalled its spring intentions with a demanding win in 2015 at odds of $2.60. The Hawkes-trained gelding assumed its usual back-marker role before improving deep around the outside. It quickly turned on the afterburners and put 1.5 lengths on the likes of group one winner Flamberge and Furnaces which carried only 52kg. Chautauqua won the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes at Flemington following this win.
2014: Angelic Light caused a boilover in 2014 when winning at odds of $21. The Robbie Griffiths-trained mare sat just off the speed and narrowly defeated Lankan Rupee on the line. Lankan Rupee was the $1.22 favourite to win the Moonee Valley feature, but had to settle for second on this occasion. Quality three-year-old Eloping tried hard in third with only 50kg, but Angelic Light was too strong in the finish.
2013: Another upset winner came in 2013 with Kuroshio which won paying $16. The Peter Snowden-trained three-year-old took advantage of carrying only 52kg and it easily defeated race-favourite Moment of Change ($2.50) by 1.8 lengths. It wasn’t the strongest McEwen Stakes field ever seen, but it shows punters that the light weight three-year-olds can take this race out.
2012: Bel Sprinter saluted for loyal punters in 2012 when it won paying $2.88. The enigmatic gelding trained by Jason Warren had its fair share of issues, but on this occasion it did everything right and the punters were celebrating. It was another runner which landed on the speed at Moonee Valley which is a big asset to have and it kicked away to beat Platelet by a half-length. The disappointment of the race was Golden Archer which finished fourth, but only a length behind the winner.
2011: One of the most popular winners of the McEwen Stakes, Buffering edged out the victory in one of the closest finishes in history. The Robert Heathcote-trained champion beat the talented Crystal Lily and Atomic Force by a nose in a finish which was quite incredible. Buffering just lasted from the pair which were coming home hard and it showed punters just how good Buffering was. It would later win many more races in Australia and also in Dubai.
Betting on the McEwen Stakes
Betting on the McEwen Stakes has become more popular since Miss Andretti won in 2006. Miss Andretti was a sprinting superstar which put the McEwen Stakes on the map and it has since been a major sprinting feature during the spring carnival.
Since Miss Andretti won as the favourite in 2006, there has been four favourites win (Kaphero, Nicconi, Hay List, Chautauqua) with 2007 favourite Gold Edition running second.
The future stars can be bet on at all our recommended bookmakers which will open McEwen Stakes betting markets in August.
McEwen Stakes betting tips
The McEwen Stakes is generally a race for the favourites, but there has been the odd long-shot winner which included 2014 winner Angelic Light.
The winner will likely have to break the one-minute barrier in order to win the McEwen Stakes. The last horse to win in a time slower than a minute was Edgeton in 2004, but the increase in the quality of runners has seen much quicker times recorded since.
Bel Sprinter went quickest in a time of 57.3 seconds which was the same time Sequalo won with in 1995.
It’s a key lead-in race to the Group 1 Manikato Stakes and also the Group 1 AJ Moir Stakes later that month. Lankan Rupee followed up its placing in the McEwen Stakes with another placing in the AJ Moir Stakes at Moonee Valley, which is a real horses-for-courses track.
Punters won’t see big betting fields as the Moonee Valley track requires a maximum field limit of 15. This means the markets are heavily centred around the favourites and punters can get big prices for the lesser-fancied chances.
McEwen Stakes past winners list
2016 – Wild Rain
2015 – Chautauqua
2014 – Angelic Light
2013 – Kuroshio
2012 – Bel Sprinter
2011 – Buffering
2010 – Hay List
2009 – Nicconi
2008 – Kaphero
2007 – Here De Angels
2006 – Miss Andretti
2005 – Strikeline
2004 – Edgeton
2003 – Yell
2002 – Mistegic
2001 – Strategic Image
2000 – Testa Rossa
1999 – Theatre
1998 – Flavour
1997 – Another Excuse
1996 – Red Hope
1995 – Sequalo