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The Gilgai Stakes is a Group 2 set weights and penalty race for three-year-old & upward horses held each year in early October at Flemington racecourse during the Melbourne spring racing carnival. The race is run over a distance of 1200 metres and worth $200,000 in prizemoney. The 2016 Gilgai Stakes was won by The Quarterback from We've Got This with Durendal third.
Taking place on the same day as the Gr1 Turnbull Stakes, the Gilgai Stakes is run down the 1200 metre straight course at Flemington.
The Gilgai Stakes tends to attract more than handy sprinters rather than topliners and suits horses who have a preference for straight track racing. It pays to study previous track and distance form to look for horses who have form down the Flemington straight, as not all horses handle the straight track after racing around turns.
The Gilgai Stakes is an above average sprint race and winners and placegetters will most likely head towards the Gr2 Salinger Stakes on Derby Day or Gr1 VRC Sprint Classic on Emirates day which are both run down the straight course.
The Quarterback (2016) resumed from a spell to win this event with a very strong finish and recent Gilgai Stakes winners have been Chautauqua (2014-15) and Platelet (2013).
Spring Carnival Guide
Classy sprinter Chautauqua (2015) headed to Moonee Valley at his next start to score an outstanding victory in the Gr1 Manikato Stakes.
Spirit Of Boom (2nd in 2013) won the Gr2 Caulfield Sprint after his second placing in the Gilga Stakes. The previous year he ran third in this race before running second in the Gr2 Salinger Stakes at Flemington. He then travelled to Perth to finish third in the Gr1 Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot.
Hallowell Belle (2012) went on to finish 3rd behind Mental in the VRC Sprint Classic and King's Rose (2nd in 2012) finished runner-up in the Gr3 Moonga Stakes at Caulfield.
Temple of Boom (2011) managed to run 3rd in the Salinger Stakes at Flemington after winning this race while Response (3rd in 2011) finished third in the Gr2 Tristarc Stakes at Caulfield. Sistine Angel (2nd in 2011) went on to run second in the Gr3 Sandown Stakes at Sandown.
Chasm (3rd in 2010) went on to run third in the Salinger Stakes and Gr1 Emirates Stakes at Flemington during the four-day VRC carnival.
In the past few years the Gilgai Stakes has been a reasonable guide to the VRC Sprint Classic on Emirates Day with both All Silent (2009) and Swick (2008) winning the major sprint event later in the spring, while Stanzout (2007) ran 3rd in the VRC Sprint Classic.
First Command (2nd in 2009) managed to win the Gr2 Caulfield Sprint on Caulfield Cup day while Eagle Falls (5th in 2009) won the Salinger Stakes on Derby day.
2016 Gilgai Stakes result
1. $6.50 The Quarterback 57.0 Matthew Allen
2. $7.50 We've Got This 55.0 Damien Oliver
3. $14.00 Durendal 56.0 Damian Lane
4. $16.00 Generalife 56.0 James McDonald
5. $3.70 Under The Louvre 57.0 Dwayne Dunn
6. $2.90 Faatinah 57.0 Michael Walker
7. $31.00 Saint Valorem 55.0 Brian Higgins
8. $16.00 Stratum Star 57.0 Craig Williams
9. $81.00 Spy Decoder 55.0 Brenton Avdulla
Margins: 0.75 len, 0.50 len Time: 1:09.07
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