, Empire Rose Stakes - Flemington Racecourse - Spring Racing Carnival
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Empire Rose Stakes

The Empire Rose Stakes is a Group 1 weight-for-age race for fillies & mares only that takes place on Derby Day each year at Flemington racecourse in Melbourne, Victoria. This year's race falls in November and it's run over a distance of 1600 metres with $1,000,000 in prize money up for grabs. The 2019 Empire Rose Stakes was won by Melody Belle from Aristia with Spanish Reef third.

Known as the 'Myer Classic' in recent years, it reverted back to the Empire Rose Stakes in 2019 following Myer's decision to remove sponsorship from the race. Empire Rose was a high class mare who captured the 1988 Melbourne Cup at Flemington.

Derby Day is the opening day of the four-day Melbourne Cup Carnival and lands just three days before the time-honoured Melbourne Cup. All Derby Day events are group races attracting top class fields, featuring three more Group 1 events on the card, the Cantala Stakes, Victoria Derby and Coolmore Stud Stakes.

Empire Rose Stakes info

Date: Saturday 30th October 2021
Track: Flemington racecourse, Melbourne
Distance: 1600 metres
Race Type: Fillies & Mares - Weight for age
Status: Group 1
Prize Money: $1,000,000
2019 Winner: Melody Belle
empire rose stakes odds Empire Rose Stakes odds

The Empire Rose Stakes has had a number of name changes over the years and has been known as the 'The Honda Legend' and 'Hardy Brothers Classic' amongst a few others. In 2003 the race became Group 2 level and the race conditions were changed from 'set weights & penalties' to 'weight for age' and three-year-old fillies were allowed to run. The Empire Rose Stakes obtained Group 1 status in 2004 which gave Derby day four group one races for the day. It's the most prestigous race day of the Melbourne spring racing carnival in Victoria.

Australia and New Zealand's best mares generally contest this event, as it's a classic mile race for females, widely considered the premier mares event of the Melbourne spring.

Races like the Gr2 Rose Of Kingston Stakes and Gr2 Tristarc Stakes have proven great guides to this event, with the classier fillies or mares having distinct advantage over their rivals, due to the level weight conditions of the race.

Mares from this race tend to race in similar mares events or quality open handicaps over a mile to middle distance and are capable of winning or being very competitive.

Shillelagh (2018) ran fourth in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap over 1600m at Caulfield before scoring a classy victory in this event for the Chris Waller stable.

Recent Empire Rose Stakes winners include Shoals (2017) and I Am A Star (2016).

Spring Carnival Guide

The Empire Rose Stakes attracts the best 1600 metre fillies & mares from around the country and the race has been won by some more than handy females, although no winner in the past twenty years has gone on to win either the Caulfield Cup, WS Cox Plate or Melbourne Cup.

Darren Weir trained mare Kenedna (unp in 2018) captured the Gr2 Matriarch Stakes at Flemington at her next start.

The better class gallopers tend to go on to the bigger mile races to come, such as the Group 1 Emirates Stakes at Flemington or the Group 1 Railway Stakes at Ascot in Perth.

Smart mare Fire Up Fifi (3rd in 2013) headed west to finish third in the Railway Stakes, while Divine Madonna (2007) won this race after winning the Group 1 Emirates stakes the previous spring, as did Bonanova (1998) who took out the 1997 Emirates Stakes.

2019 Empire Rose Stakes result

1. $3.80 Melody Belle 57.0 Opie Bosson
2. $17.00 Aristia 57.0 Craig Williams
3. $20.00 Spanish Reef 57.0 Mark Zahra

then followed
4. $14.00 Princess Jenni 57.0 Damien Oliver
5. $21.00 Baccarat Baby 57.0 Micheal Hellyer
6. $41.00 Noire 57.0 Michael Walker
7. $4.40 Pohutukawa 57.0 Hugh Bowman
8. $26.00 Miss Siska 57.0 Ms Linda Meech
9. $16.00 Nettoyer 57.0 Brad Rawiller
10. $19.00 Fidelia 57.0 Jamie Mott
11. $26.00 Angelic Ruler 57.0 Brett Prebble
12. $21.00 Invincibella 57.0 John Allen
13. $8.50 Savatiano 57.0 James Doyle
14. $41.00 Spanish Whisper 57.0 Dwayne Dunn
15. $31.00 Amphitrite 57.0 Luke Nolen
16. $201.00 Naivasha 57.0 Rhys McLeod

Margins: 1.5 len, 1.75 len
Time: 1:37.78

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Empire Rose Stakes winners & placegetters

Year Winner 2nd 3rd Time
2019 Melody Belle Aristia Spanish Reef 1:37.7
2018 Shillelagh Bring Me Roses Fundamentalist 1:34.8
2017 Shoals Eckstein Dixie Blossoms 1:35.2
2016 I Am A Star French Emotion Denmagic 1:35.5
2015 Politeness Fenway Azkadellia 1:37.7
2014 Bonaria Sweet Idea Catkins 1:36.5
2013 Red Tracer Catkins Fire Up Fifi 1:36.4
2012 Appearance Soft Sand Secret Admirer 1:34.9
2011 Hurtle Myrtle Sacred Choice Dysphonia 1:37.5
2010 Sacred Choice Typhoon Tracy Hot Danish 1:38.9
2009 Typhoon Tracy Lady Lynette Zarita 1:35.3
2008 Forensics Absolutely Fabulous Mimi Lebrock 1:35.9
2007 Divine Madonna Translate Red for Lou 1:36.1
2006 Lyrical Bid Sea Change Kosi Bay 1:37.6
2005 Lotteria Miss Potential Shania Dane 1:35.4
2004 Miss Potential Alinghi Infinite Grace 1:37.5
2003 Zanna Infinite Grace Mrs Tendulkar 1:38.4
2002 Miss Zoe Purple Groove Ramanos Star 1:35.8
2001 Market Price Pernod Calm Smytzer 1:34.2
2000 Super Sequel Its Platonic Nova Claus 1:37.8
1999 Noircir Veil Our Erin 1:36.4
1998 Bonanova Lucys Way Graceful Encounter 1:37.1
1997 Prairie On A Swing Spectrum 1:36.8
1996 Rose Of Portland Gold City Miss Margaret 1:36.0
1995 Aunty Mary Our Marquise Tolanda 1:34.8
1994 Sedately Centisle Bon Precieux 1:37.6
1993 Mingling Glances Excited Angel Jon Jons Pet 1:39.8
1992 Excited Angel Something Wicked Beach Charm 1:38.5
1991 Western Chorus Marinella Holiday Lover 1:35.5
1990 Natural Wonder Ice Cream Sundae Our Grey Invader 1:36.9
1989 Echo Lass Modesty On Ice Dowager Empress 1:37.6
1988 Concordance Knightly Glimmer Lady Marita 1:35.8