The Missile Stakes was first held as a Principal Race at Rosehill over 1100m in 1978 and was won by a horse called Idol. In 1980 the race became a Group 3 race, it was not run in 1981 and from 2010 onwards the distance was increased to 1200m. In 2012 it was moved from Rosehill to Warwick Farm, but was only run there for one year. From 2013 it was run at Randwick and it became a Group 2 race from 2014 onwards. In 2019 the race returned to its original home of Rosehill, where it currently remains. In 2020 it was changed from weight-for-age to set weights plus penalties.
Taking place at the start of the racing year, this race usually attracts horses that are starting their spring campaign off. Many horses run in the Missile Stakes first-up and many continue on to the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.