, Hotham Handicap - Flemington Racecourse - Spring Racing Carnival
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Hotham Handicap

The Hotham Handicap is a Group 3 quality handicap race held in November each year at Flemington racecourse in Melbourne, Victoria. The race is run over a distance of 2500 metres and worth $300,000 in prize money. The 2019 Hotham Handicap was won by Downdraft from Carif with Azuro third.

This race has previously been known as 'The Dalgety' & 'SAAB Quality' and has been run as 'The Lexus Stakes' since 2009.

It's held on Derby day, on the first day of the four-day Melbourne Cup Carnival, featuring four prestigious Group 1 races. These are the AAMI Victoria Derby, Coolmore Stud Stakes, Cantala Stakes and Empire Rose Stakes.

Hotham Handicap info

Date: Saturday 30th October 2021
Track: Flemington racecourse, Melbourne
Distance: 2500 metres
Race Type: Quality Handicap
Status: Group 3
Prize Money: $300,000
2019 Winner: Downdraft

Hotham Handicap is the last handicap race over a distance further than 2000m to be held for open horses before the running of the Flemington carnival's major race, the Melbourne Cup on the following Tuesday. The Saab is a good event to give horses a final hit out before contesting the 3200m of the Cup.

More often than not the race will be taken out by more than handy staying types rather than the upper echelon, although every now and then a quality type can find his way into the race and make his presence felt.

A Prince Of Arran (2018) ran third in the Gr2 Herbert Power Stakes over 2400m at Caulfield before pulling out all stops to win this event for UK trainer Charlie Fellowes.

Recent Hotham Handicap winners include Cismontane (2017) and Oceanographer (2016).

Spring Carnival Guide

The Hotham Handicap has been a more of a moderate guide to the Melbourne Cup over recent years. Prince Of Aarran (2018) ran third to Cross Counter three days later in the Melbourne Cup, while Maluckyday (2010) ran second to Americain. Shocking (2009) scored an authoritiave win before going on to win our most famous two mile race the following Tuesday.

Jaameh (3rd in 2018) won the Gr3 VRC Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Flemington on Emirates Stakes day after finishing third in this event..

Exceptionally (3rd in 2012) went on to run second in the Gr2 Sandown Classic at Sandown before running third in the listed Ballarat Cup at Ballarat.

Moatise (2008) ran sixth in the Melbourne Cup the following Tuesday, while Cape Cover (3rd 2008) and Light Vision (2nd 2008) ran the quinella in VRC Queen Elizabeth Stakes on the final day of the carnival.

Maybe Better (2006) ran third in the Melbourne Cup that year, while Brew (2000) went on to win the Melbourne Cup in the same year. Kingston Rule (2nd 1990) managed to take out the race that stops the nation the following Tuesday and Tawriffic (2nd in 1988) went on to win the Cup the following year in 1989.

2019 Hotham Handicap result

1. $5.50 Downdraft 59.0 John Allen
2. $9.50 Carif 54.5 Jamie Kah
3. $9.50 Azuro 54.5 Dean Yendall

then followed
4. $9.50 Sir Charles Road 57.5 Dwayne Dunn
5. $6.00 The Chosen One 57.5 Mark Zahra
6. $7.00 Hush Writer 57.5 Tim Clark
7. $14.00 Wall Of Fire 54.0 Jye McNeil
8. $8.00 Haky 57.5 Ms Linda Meech
9. $26.00 Valac 54.0 Craig Williams
10. $9.50 Patrick Erin 57.5 Hugh Bowman

Margins: 1.5 len, 4 len
Time: 2:38.85

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Hotham Handicap winners & placegetters

Year Winner 2nd 3rd Time
2019 Downdraft Carif Azuro 2:38.8
2018 A Prince Of Arran Brimham Rocks Jaameh 2:37.4
2017 Cismontane Vengeur Masque Pentathlon 2:35.4
2016 Oceanographer Tom Melbourne Tally 2:35.6
2015 Excess Knowledge Zanteca Havana Cooler 2:36.8
2014 Signoff Big Memory La Amistad 2:37.8
2013 Ruscello Let's Make A Deal Araldo 2:39.8
2012 Kelinni Dare To Dream Exceptionally 2:37.6
2011 Niwot Macedonian Anudjawun 2:37.5
2010 Maluckyday Linton Once Were Wild 2:35.1
2009 Shocking Hume Irazu 2:38.3
2008 Moatise Light Vision Cape Cover 2:37.7
2007 Sculptor The Fuzz Desert Master 2:35.4
2006 Maybe Better Irazu Vanquished 2:35.8
2005 Strasbourg Bush Honey Mr Celebrity 2:40.3
2004 Don Raphael Catchmeifyoucan Winning Belle 2:36.6
2003 Big Pat Fawaz Dance On Wood 2:39.4
2002 Requiem Miss Meliss Piachay 2:35.3
2001 Maythehorsebewithu Spirit Of Westbury Touch The Groom 2:35.8
2000 Brew Mr Nelson Yammer 2:37.1
1999 The Warrior Rose O War Seasquill 2:35.2
1998 Star Binder Second Coming Prince Iluka 2:34.6
1997 Backslapper Grandmaster Buzzoff 2:39.0
1996 Few Are Chosen Centico My Kiwi Gold 2:35.6
1995 Coachwood Dupain Sir Kingi 2:34.8
1994 Pindi Starstruck Coachwood 2:35.7
1993 Tennessee Jack Maraakiz Notwithstanding 2:34.0
1992 Big Barron Val D Arno Sir Winston 2:38.4
1991 Rasheek Dr Grace Alhabel 2:33.4
1990 Mount Olympus Kingston Rule La Tristia 2:33.6
1989 Coshking Gopak Sea Legend 2:33.3
1988 Copatonic Tawrrific Centose 2:35.0