The premier sprint in South Australia each year, the Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) has been won by some of Australia’s greatest ever horses since its inception in 1881.
Names like Aurie’s Star (1940), Royal Gem (1946) and Matrice (1956) have all made their way into The Goodwood winner’s stall and the race has continued to go from strength to strength since the turn of the century.
In anticipation of what is set to be another outstanding edition of the race at Morphettville on Saturday afternoon, we have revisited the ten most-recent winners of The Goodwood, including the likes of Black Caviar and Takeover Target!
The Darren Weir-trained Black Heart Bart will seek to defend his crown in The Goodwood on Saturday and will be the first horse since Musket Belle in 1911/12 to complete the feat, if successful.
Black Heart Bart – 2016
Black Heart Bart has stepped up in class and ability since transferring to the care of master trainer Darren Weir and broke through for a maiden win at the highest level in last year’s edition of The Goodwood. Having finished in the minors in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) and Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) earlier in the autumn, the Blackfriars gelding started The Goodwood as a $2.80 favourite and was able to justify the quote when he beat Under The Louvre by half a length. Black Heart Bart has continued to impress through two subsequent preparations and has added wins in each of the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m), Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m), Group 1 Ladbrokes CF Orr Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) to his glittering CV. Leaving Winx out of the equation, there is a serious case to be made for Black Heart Bart being the best racehorse currently in work in Australia and he will take plenty of beating in his title defence on Saturday afternoon.
Flamberge – 2015
Flamberge was a strong and consistent performer from his debut in the winter of 2012, but always appeared to be a step below Group 1 company until her returned to racing in 2015. With form around Chautauqua leading into The Goodwood, Flamberge took an ideal position on the heels of the early leaders of the race, before mustering a scintillating turn of foot to beat Lord Of The Sky by a length. The Exceed And Excel gelding was the final Group 1 winner for trainer Peter Moody, who retired from racing after the horse posted consecutive wins in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) and Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) in 2016.
Smokin’ Joey – 2014
Smokin’ Joey was an enigma of Australian racing and made a habit of performing in races where he was given virtually no chance of success. Case in point: the 2014 edition of The Goodwood, whereby the son of Encosta De Lago was settled at the tail of a talented field of 12 before swooping home on the outside of the field, as a $41 long-shot. The gelding was trained by Lee Freedman, Anthony Freedman and Mick Price before becoming the stable star of Mornington-based Wez Hunter and was last seen at the races as recently as the 2016 Spring Carnival. Smokin’ Joey went close to Group 1 success several times during his sixty-three start career, but secured his place in the history books largely as a result of his impressive win in The Goodwood.
Platelet – 2013
Consistent mare Platelet was one of the first real standout performers for master trainer Darren Weir and she found her best form during the 2013 Adelaide Autumn Carnival. Having made her South Australian debut for second in the Group 3 RN Irwin Stakes (1100m), the Strategic mare was too good for a smart field of mares in the Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) and managed to repeat the effort when a half-length winner over Conservatorium in The Goodwood a fortnight later. Platelet relished racing in Adelaide and returned in 2014 to finish second in both the Robert Sangster Stakes and The Goodwood.
Black Caviar – 2012
Equine superstar Black Caviar famously won each of her twenty-five career starts, including the 2012 edition of The Goodwood at Morphettville. Having won each of the Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m), Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 Lightning Stakes (1000m) without being tested, Black Caviar arrived in Adelaide for a five-length win in the Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m). Starting an unbackable favourite in The Goodwood, Black Caviar never appeared in doubt and cantered to the line; beating We’re Gonna Rock by just over a length. Throughout her illustrious career, the Bel Esprit mare won more than $6.8 million in prize money, highlighted by no fewer than fifteen triumphs at Group 1 level.
Lone Rock – 2011
2011 The Goodwood winner Lone Rock performed admirably amongst fields of the country’s best sprinters throughout her entire racing career and was a fitting winner of the Morphettville feature. Having not contested a race at Group 1 level prior to taking her place in the 2011 edition of the race, the Fastnet Rock mare left a $31 chance; a quote which was clear overs when the mare jogged away in the final straight to find the line two lengths ahead of closest rival Crystal Lily. While unable to produce another Group 1-winning performance, Lone Rock was far from disgraced in fields including the likes of Black Caviar, Foxwedge and Hay List and was retired into the breeding barn after the 2013 Autumn Carnival.
Velocitea – 2010
New Zealand-bred mare Velocitia was a strong and consistent performer at black type level throughout her entire racing career, but posted a career-best performance at result in the 2010 edition of The Goodwood. Transferred to the care of Brian Mayfield-Smith after just three starts under the guidance of Shane Kennedy in her homeland, Velocitea arrived at Mick Price’s Caulfield stables ahead of her 2010 campaign and reacted to the move with a sharp surge in form. After posting consecutive wins in the Listed Hyderabad Racing Club Stakes (1200m) and Listed JRA Stakes (1200m) in Melbourne, the daughter of Volksraad arrived in South Australia for a close second to Rostova in the Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m). Responding in the best way possible, Velocitea flew home to beat a smart field to the line in The Goodwood; registering a valuable Group 1 win before retiring into a career as a broodmare.
Takeover Target – 2009
Champion sprinter Takeover Target won a total of eight Group 1 feature races throughout his outstanding career, including the 2009 edition of The Goodwood. An impressive winner in Australia, The UK, Singapore and Japan, Takeover Target returned to the track in 2009 for dominant three-length win the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m), but faced a big task in overcoming the likes of I Am Invincible and leading local Augusta Proud in The Goodwood. Jockey Jay Ford was understandably confident aboard the Celtic Swing gelding and the pair never appeared in doubt, extending to win the race by a length; his final at the highest level. Having left at a $1.40 quote, Takeover Target was the second-shortest priced favourite to win The Goodwood throughout the last decade, after Black Caviar ($1.10).
Shadoways – 2008
Country Victorian trainer Gwenda Johnstone has saddled several great horses throughout her career including Shadoways – brilliant winner of the 2008 edition of The Goodwood. Shadoways ran against some of the country’s best sprinters throughout his entire career and was unlucky not to have broken through for his first Group 1 win prior to taking out The Goodwood; having finished within a length of the winner on three occasions. The Encosta De Lago gelding had experienced a tumultuous autumn campaign in 2008 and was sent off a $31 shot in The Goodwood, but made the most of his 54kgs and ideal draw to savage the line for a two-length win over Cargo Cult. Shadoways was unable to beat a single runner home in his defence of The Goodwood, but ended his career with more than $650,000 in prize money.
Let Go Thommo – 2007
Perth galloper Let Go Thommo was a strong and consistent performer throughout his entire racing career, but produced his best performance at Morphettville to win The Goodwood in 2007. The Laranto gelding was settled behind the speed by jockey Steven King and produced in the final straight to pip Tesbury Jack and Royal Ida on the line and deliver trainer Steven Ryan and connections the $201,000 winner’s check. Let Go Thommo was unable to return to winning form at the highest level through his three subsequent seasons, but continued to perform well amongst smart company under the care of Michael Ryan, Simon Zahra and Mathew Ellerton, before being retired from racing in 2010.