The race was first held as a Listed race over 1200m at Morphettville in 1985 and was won by a horse called Seiger trained by John Kennedy and ridden by Darren Gauci. It was upgraded to a Group 3 race in 1987. At various times it has been known as the National Stakes, The Jansz, the Stilwell Stakes and the SGIC Stakes. 2021 was the first year it was called the David Coles AM Stakes.
In July 2020, Thoroughbred Racing South Australia (TRSA) and the South Australian Jockey Club (SAJC) unveiled the new race names of six black-type South Australian races following a joint decision to honour some of South Australian racings greatest icons. The change of race name requests were voted on by the pattern committee and presented to Racing Australia for approval. Industry figure the late David Coles, former jockeys Clara Lindop and John Letts, trainer Leon Macdonald, galloper Tobin Bronze and stallion Without Fear now all have races named in their honour.
Last filly to win; Heresy (2021)
Fastest time (1200m): Li’l Kontra (2019) 1:09:91
Interesting trivia: In 2001 Russian Caravan was first past the post but was later disqualified after it was discovered that she should have carried a 1.5 kg penalty.
Past winners of the David Coles AM Stakes
Winners of past David Coles AM Stakes include horses that go on to win major spring races.