The Missile Stakes is a 1200 metre set weights plus penalties race run by the Australian Turf Club. It is held at Rosehill in August for horse aged three years and older and is the first Group race in the NSW racing calendar. Prior to 2020 it was a weight-for-age race.
Race Type: Group 2
Distance: 1200 metres
Conditions: Set weights plus penalties, 3YO & upwards
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 to set weights plus penalties for the first time, as all previous races were at weight-for-age. In 2021 it was moved from Rosehill to Randwick due to Covid-19 lockdowns in Sydney.
Taking place at the start of the racing year, it is the first Group race in Sydney and usually attracts horses that are starting their spring campaign off. Many horses run in the Missile Stakes first-up and continue on to tougher assignments in the Sydney and Melbourne Spring Racing Carnivals Some horses are finishing a successful winter campaign.
The Missile Stakes is the main race of the meeting which also includes the Listed The Rosebud which is a 1200m race for three-year-olds leading up to the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes over 1400m. Horses that run well in the Missile Stakes may go on to contest the Group 1 1400m Winx Stakes at Randwick two weeks later, the Group 2 1600m Chelmsford Stakes in September or the Group 2 1200m Premiere Stakes in early October.
Missile Stakes Facts
Last mare to win; Alizee (2019)
Multiple winners: Rain Affair (2013 and 2011); Klokka (1993 & 1994); Joanne (1991 & 1992); Campaign King (1987 & 1988)
Fastest time (1100m): Guineas (1997) 1:02:68
Missile Stakes & Premiere Stakes: German Chocolate (2007); Spark Of Life (2004); Legal Agent (1996); Klokka (1993); Joanne (1991-92}; Campaign King (1987)
Interesting trivia: It was previously run at the end of the racing season and two-year-olds could run. Lonhro ran in the 2001 and 2002 Missile Stakes but because of the dates it was as a 2YO and a 4YO. In 1999 Commands came home 2nd behind Padstow but won the race on protest. The following year (2000) Padstow won. In 1984 it was run with a flag start and first-starter Plus Vite won at 100-1 for Bart Cummings. 2011 Missile Stakes winner Rain Affair was sired by Commands who won in 1999.
Past winners of the Missile Stakes
Winners of past Missile Stakes include horses that go on to win major spring races.