TAB Classic/Robert Sangster Stakes Race Information

The Robert Sangster Stakes, also called the TAB Classic, is a 1200 metre weight-for age race for fillies and mares run by the South Australian Jockey Club. It is held in March, April or May each year at Morphettville.

  • Race Type: Group 1
  • Distance: 1200 metres
  • Conditions: WFA, Fillies and Mares
  • Track: Morphettville Racecourse, Adelaide, South Australia
  • Prizemoney: $1,000,000
  • Date: Saturday 27 April 2024

Robert Sangster Stakes Race History

See the 2024 Robert Sangster Stakes Preview and results.

See the 2023 Robert Sangster Stakes Preview and results.

See the 2022 Robert Sangster Stakes Preview and results.

See the 2021 TAB Classic Preview and results.

The Robert Sangster Stakes is one of the younger races in Australia. It began in 1983 when it was won by Ranee’s Palace, was a listed race from 1984 to 1985, a Group 3 from 1986 to 2003, a Group 2 in 2004 and a Group 1 from 2005. It has always been run over 1200 metres and was held at Cheltenham in 2002.

Originally known as the Swettenham Stud Stakes, the race was renamed in 2005 to honour legendary thoroughbred owner and breeder Robert Sangster. He was the principal of Swettenhan Stud and passed away in 2004.

Interstate fillies and mares, particularly from Victoria, often target the Robert Sangster Stakes in search of a Group 1 win, as it is a prestigious event for females. Local horses may use the Group 3 RN Irwin Stakes over 1100 metres as a lead-up race.

Useful Facts

Last 3YO filly  to win: Instant Celebrity (2021)

Multiple winners: none

Fastest time (1200m): Dantelah (1999) 1:07:9

Interesting trivia: Lee Freedman won the first three runnings at G1 level.

Past winners of the Robert Sangster Stakes

No horse has won the race on more than one occasion although some have placed more than once. 2005 winner Alinghi was second behind Fastnet Rock in the Lightning Stakes before winning the Robert Sangster and then went on to win the Newmarket Handicap. Other notable winners are Spright (2019), Shoals (2018), Miracles Of Life (2015), Black Caviar (2012), Our Egyptian Raine (2004), Dantelah (1999) and With Me (1991).

Year Winner Second Third
2024 Climbing Star Learning To Fly Benedetta
2023 Ruthless Dame Another Award Zapateo
2022 Snapdancer Away Game September Run
2021 Instant Celebrity Subpoenaed Rubisaki
2020 Bella Vella Lyre Bam’s On Fire
2019 Spright Cool Passion Bella Martini
2018 Shoals Secret Agenda Mica Lil
2017 Secret Agenda Viddora I Am A Star
2016 Precious Gem Sheidel I Love It
2015 Miracles Of Life Gregers I Love It
2014 Driefontein Platelet Gregers
2013 Platelet Angelic Light Yosei
2012 Black Caviar Sistine Angel Power Princess
2011 Response Beaded Miss Octopussy
2010 Rostova Velocitea (NZ) Sister Madly
2009 Bel Mer Hidden Energy Impressive Eagle
2008 Juste Momente Zipanese Serious Speed
2007 Universal Queen Media Flying Object
2006 Ellicorsam Social Glow Truly Wicked
2005 Alinghi Glamour Puss (NZ) Solar Antiquity
2004 French Bid Fly For Me Social Glow
2003 Our Egyptian Raine Brief Embrace Dama De Noche
2002 Suzy Grey Regal Kiss Lady Belvedere
2001 Umaline Fayrouz Crixia
2000 Rain Dance Lady Tapalinga Daninkling
1999 Dantelah My Millennium Speedy Kids
1998 Spirit Of Love Will Fly Rose Of Danehill
1997 Apple Danish Bionic Bess Zeya
1996 Mad Shaviri Twilight Precieux Viminaria
1995 Viminaria Peebinga Princess Procrastinate
1994 Tarare Gatana Bourverie Mist
1993 True Spirit Kibaha Star Tarare
1992 Western Chorus In The Bahamas Take The Road
1991 With Me Beachside Dunyasha
1990 Leica Western Heavenly View Tropine Queen
1989 Tree Of Renown Iolani Bay Mardisi
1988 Even True Strawberry Fair Spirit Of Emily
1987 Wicked Smile Godessa Rebecca Gay
1986 Lost Art Gypsy Alert Rebecca Gay
1985 Showport Entrancing Ellen Laura
1984 Vatican Lass Montrose Lass Lochmilin
1983 Ranee’s Palace Taj Bell Miss Dallas

From the archives:

Robert Sangster Stakes Preview & Tips 2020

Track: Heavy    Weather: Overcast

The $400,000 2020 TAB Robert Sangster Classic has a field of 16 runners plus 2 emergencies. There is one two-year-old, one three-year-old, 9 four-year-olds, 6 five-year-olds and one seven-year-old. The clear favourite is Sunlight who was 2nd in the RN Irwin Stakes last start when resuming after 24 weeks. Second favourite is two-year-old Away Game who won the G2 Percy Sykes Stakes last start and only carries 47kg here. Third favouritism is shared between I Am Excited, Savatiano who ran 5th and 6th  in the G2 Sapphire Stakes last outing, and Lyre who was 4th in the Listed Bel Esprit Stakes.

Bam’s On Fire  was a solid winner of the G3 Victoria Handicap over 1400m. Humma Humma was 2nd in the Bel Esprit Stakes. Teleplay was 3rd in the VOBIS Gold Sprint after two wins in Melbourne. Madam Rouge was 7th in the Sapphire Stakes and this is her best distance. Bella Vella has won her last two starts. All of the other runners are currently at 30 to 1 or longer. Mystery Love has been scratched early Friday morning.

Robert Sangster Stakes Runner by Runner 2020

1. Sunlight

This Zoustar mare is the quality runner of the field who already has three Group 1 wins and has earned prizemoney of $6.6 million. She has won 11 of her 22 starts, and 7 of those wins have been over this distance. She was 2nd in the G3 RN Irwin Stakes when resuming and has won 3 of her 4 second-up starts. She looks the hardest to beat.

2. I Am Excited

She won the Group 1 The Galaxy two starts ago then kept chasing for 3.1 lengths 5th in the Group 2 Sapphire Stakes on a heavy track last outing when she was wide and covered a lot of ground. She is capable of placing here.

3. Savatiano

When resuming this campaign she was an impressive 2.8 length winner of the G2 Millie Fox Stakes , and followed that with 2nd in the G1 Canterbury Stakes, 7th in The Galaxy and 6th in the Sapphire Stakes. She seems to do her best racing when fresh.

4. Madam Rouge

In December she won the Listed Christmas Classic over 1200m at Randwick, then she won the $1m Magic Millions Sprint over 1200m. She resumed for 9th in The Galaxy then 7th in the G2 Sapphire Stakes. Not the worst.

5. Teleplay

One of 2 runners for Mick Price, she won successive Group 2 races in the Spring and resumed for 3rd over 1200m at Caulfield last start. she has drawn well in barrier 2 and could make her presence felt.

6. Bam’s On Fire

This mare has only been out of the trifecta once in her last 9 starts and always runs a good race. She followed 2nd in the G2 Sunline stakes over 1600m with a 1.25 length win in the G3 Victoria Handicap over 1400m. This is her first attempt at a Group 1 race and she will go well..

7. Spanish Whisper

She has drawn wide and does not have a good record on slow on heavy going. My money won’t be on her even though she has three Group 2 wins under her belt.

8. Humma Humma

Last outing she ran 2nd in the Listed Bel Esprit Stakes over 1100m. She has not won beyond 1100m and will find this race too difficult..

9. Embrace Me

This mare has not won since February 2019 when she won the G3 Typhoon Tracy Stakes over this distance. At her latest start she finished 8th in the G1 William Reid Stakes. She has drawn barrier 17 and I don’t think she can place here..

10. Bella Vella

She is in fine form with a 2.5 length win over 955m at Moonee Valley followed b a 1.7 length win over 1000m in the Listed Hills Railway Stakes. She can handle heavy going but she is another runner who has not won beyond 1100m and will find the rise in grade too challenging.

11. Amberdi

The rank outsider of the field, this mare was 2nd in the Listed Matrice Stakes at this track and distance 2 starts ago. She is a very honest mare but this is a massive rise in class for her.

12. Everyday Lady

Another runner at triple figure odds, this mare only beat two runners home in the G3 Irwin Stakes and will find this race too tough.

13. Street Icon

She won a fillies and mares BM70 over 1200m at Sandown Lakeside on 1 April, then ran 2nd in the VOBIS Gold Sprint over 1200m at Caulfield on 18 April. This is her first try at Group 1 level and I don’t expect her to be in the finish. although she always tries hard.

14. Beautiful Flyer

At seven years of age she is the oldest horse in the race and has won 4 races at this track and distance. Her last win was in a BM78 at Bendigo and this looks beyond her.

15. Lyre

This three-year-old followed 4th in the G1 Surround Stakes with 4th in the Bel Esprit. She is a quality filly who could place, but I don’t expect her to win..

16. Away Game

The baby of the field, this two-year-old has won 4 of her 7 starts. She ran 2nd in the Golden Slipper in March then won the Group 2 Percy Sykes Stakes over 1200m by 1.5 lengths on a heavy track at Randwick on 11 April. She carries 9kg less than she did there and is a genuine winning chance with her light weight and good barrier.

17. Mystery Love – 1st Emergency  SCRATCHED 7am May 1st

With 4 wins and a place from 6 starts, this mare has a great strike rate but she is having her first run in a Group race and will likely find the class rise too tough.

18. Kenyan Wonder – 2nd Emergency

This loccally trained mare is one of 3 by Zoustar in this race (the others are Sunlight and Madam Rouge). She has won 3 races at hi strack and distance and was 5th in the G3 Irwin Stakes. Has drawn the inside barrier if she gets a run, bit will find this too tough.

The following are the top 4 selections from our tipster panel for this years race.

Jo’s Tips
1 Sunlight
16 Away Game
6 Bam’s On Fire
2 I Am Excited