The HDF McNeil Stakes is a Group 3 event for three-year-olds raced under set weight and penalty conditions at Caulfield racecourse in Melbourne each August during the Melbourne spring racing carnival. The race is run over a distance of 1200 metres and worth $125,000 in prizemoney. The 2012 HDF McNeil Stakes was won by Lady Of Harrods from Kabayan with Shamexpress third.
The HDF McNeil Stakes is held on Memsie Stakes day and is an above average 3yo event that attracts a wide variety of three-year-olds who may go on to the bigger sprint or distance races over the spring against their own age.
This McNeil Stakes can often produce winners who go on to become outstanding racehorses and horses such as Starspangledbanner (2009), Scenic Blast (2007), Miss Finland (2006), Bel Esprit (2002), Theatre (1998), Gold Ace (1995) and Sequalo (1993) have all won this race.
More often than not the winner is just a more than handy galloper who will go on to be more than competitive in stronger or similar type events.
Lady Of Harrods (2012) finished unplaced in the listed Quezette Stakes over 1100m at Caulfield on her way to success in this event and recent HDF McNeil Stakes winners include Golden Archer (2011) and Sistine Angel (2010).
Spring Carnival Guide
The HDF McNeil Stakes has proven to be an interesting form guide to future spring events over the past few years. Satin Shoes (8th in 2011) ran third behind classy colt Sepoy in the Gr1 Coolmore Stud Stakes at Flemington and Sistine Angel (2010) ran second in the Gr3 Thousand Guineas Prelude at Caulfield before taking out the Gr2 Edward Manifold Stakes at Flemington.
Both Yosei (4th in 2010) and Shamrocker (7th in 2010) went on to Group 1 success, with Yosei winning the Thousand Guineas at Caulfield later that spring, while the following autumn Shamrocker won the Australian Guineas at Flemington and the AJC Oaks at Randwick.
Starspangledbanner (2009) claimed the Gr1 Caulfield Guineas later in the spring, while Scenic Blast (2007) went on to have a great spring of that year with a second in the Danehill Stakes before a top third in the Gr1 Coolmore Stud Stakes.
2012 HDF McNeil Stakes result
1. $26.00 Lady Of Harrods 54.0 Michael Walker
2. $4.60 Kabayan 56.0 Luke Nolen
3. $13.00 Shamexpress 56.0 Craig Williams
4. $2.00 Elite Elle 56.0 Mark Zahra
5. $61.00 Sheer Talent 56.0 Glen Boss
6. $26.00 About Square 56.0 Luke Currie
7. $17.00 If I Could 56.0 Michael Rodd
8. $8.00 Amorino 57.0 Steve Arnold
9. $31.00 Underestimation 58.5 Vlad Duric
10. $51.00 Cheyenne Warrior 58.0 Daniel Moor
11. $20.00 Force Command 56.0 Chris Symons
Margins: Head, head Time: 1:10.20
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