Spring Classic

Spring Classic
Date: Saturday, October 6, 2018
Location: Hastings Racecourse, New Zealand
Prize Money: $250,000/td>
Distance: 2,040m

THE Spring Classic is the final leg of the Hawke’s Bay Triple Crown, which also features the Tarzino Trophy (Challenge Stakes) and the Windsor Park Plate.

New Zealand’s richest weight-for-age race at $250,000, the Spring Classic used to be worth $1.2 million when it was the Kelt Capital Stakes, but the sponsorship fell through and the fields haven’t changed in quality since.

The Spring Classic always adds plenty of excitement as it is the last leg of the Triple Crown and it’s also the last chance in spring for the quality thoroughbreds to show what they’ve got before heading over to Australia.

Run in the first Saturday of October, the Spring Classic is the feature on a bumper card which also includes the Hawke’s Bay Guineas. Due to the timing of the race, the weather typically plays its part and is considered one of the must-attend race days on the New Zealand calendar.

With the New Zealand Punter of the Year competition being held on Spring Classic day, there’s plenty of punting interest on both sides of the Tasman and bookmakers offer great value odds across the board.

Some of the past winners include Castletown, Veandercross, Xcellent, Princess Coup and Jimmy Choux – with the race being a great guide to the Melbourne Cup run a month later.

2018 Spring Classic result


1stSavvy Coup ($1.90)
2ndLizzie L’Amour ($1.80)
3rdDanzdanzdance ($2.50)

Best Spring Classic bookmakers

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All of our recommended bookmakers offer markets for the Spring Classic which includes futures, fixed odds and tote betting.

2018 Spring Classic market

Check closer to the race date for detailed Spring Classic odds.

Recent Spring Classic winners

  • After a heartbreaking race the year prior in the Classic for punters, the favourite did the business in consummate ease. Settling in the ideal position just behind midfield, and under Chris Johnson the champ was eased to the outside just after the 800m and the horse did the rest. Savvy Coup won by two lengths on the line ahead of a game Lizzie L’Amour.
  • The pride of New Zealand racing Gingernuts was set to walk over the field on home soil in the Spring Classic but it was Wait A Sec who delivered on the big stage. Gingernuts delivered a powerful run as the line approached but Wait A Sec snuck up the inside to pinch the win in a bobbing finish.
  • Willie Cazals caused an upset in 2016 with a narrow win. The O’Sullivan/Scott training combination continued their good success at Hastings with Willie Cazals, which was an outsider in the betting at $16.10. The nine-year-old imported runner defied its age in lasting from a short neck over subsequent Group 1 Australian Cup Humidor and the highly talented Hasselhoof. Given the quality of the field, Humidor still paid $2 to place despite running as the race favourite.
  • Addictive Habit was a popular winner for punters at $6.80 and it was given a great ride by Sam Spratt. The Lee Somerville-trained six-year-old had always been a popular runner with New Zealand punters and it finally scored its big group one victory. The field was mostly comprised of the more staying types which included Benzini and Nashville, but the win was still a credit to a tough and consistent horse.
  • Favourite punters were left deflated after the win of Costume in 2014. Race favourite Shuka had attracted some massive bets from the New Zealand public and it looked the winner for most of the straight, but the Rogerson-trained Costume finished strongly down the outside to down them all at odds of $52. The well-bred daughter of Savabeel had been out of form for awhile leading into the race, but it pulled out all the stops when it needed to. The come from behind win came on a day where the leaders were going well, so the win deserved even more credit. Finishing in behind was the likes of 2015 winner Addictive Habit, multiple group one winner Nashville and New Zealand Derby winner Puccini.
  • The Spring Classic has been known to throw in the odd upset and Ransomed was a key example of this. The Gary Vile-trained stayer was more suited to wet tracks and not the good 3 surface which they raced on, but it proved too good to score by a nose over Nashville. The son of Handsome Ransom didn’t quite live up to expectations in subsequent Spring Classics, but the $30 shot had its time in the sun. Nashville and Survived rounded out the placings.
  • Shez Sinsational was one of New Zealand’s best thoroughbreds in its time and it scored a popular victory in 2012. The Allan Sharrock-trained stayer entered the race having won twice at group one level that year and it also went to Australia and won the Group 2 Hollindale at Gold Coast. It was able to turn around a poor showing in the Windsor Park Plate where it finished 11th and win at odds of $8.60. The Spring Classic was the first of three consecutive wins in New Zealand before retiring in the Group 1 Zabeel Classic at Ellerslie where it finished second behind Veyron and ahead of Shootoff.

Past Spring Classic winners list

Spring Stakes past winners
Year Spring Classic Past Winner
2018 Savvy Coup
2017 Wait A Sec
2016 Willie Cazals
2015 Addictive Habit
2014 Costume
2013 Ransomed
2012 Shez Sinsational
2011 Jimmy Choux
2010 Wall Street
2009 Vosne Romanee
2008 Princess Coup
2007 Princess Coup
2006 Legs
2005 Xcellent
2004 Balmuse
2003 Distinctly Secret
2002 Prized Gem
2001 Cinder Bella
2000 The Message
1999 Cent Home
1998 Just Call Me Sir
1997 Moss Downs
1996 Love Dance
1995 Italian Saint
1994 Solvit
1993 Calm Harbour
1992 Veandercross
1991 Castletown

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