Australia’s most famous thoroughbred horse races are categorised into Group 1, Group 2 and Group 3. These race categorisations are approved by the Australian Racing Board, which oversees racing in Australia. Only the best horses race in “Group” races as they are known.
While not as prestigious as Group 1 and Group 2 races, Group 3 races are much sought after by owners and trainers. Over 100 Group 3 races run annually in Australia with prizemoney more than $100,000 per race. Below are ten of the more popular Group 3 races:
1. Asian Beau Stakes
The Asian Beau Stakes (also known as the Kankama Quality Stakes) is a Group 3 sprint race. It is named after champion galloper Asian Beau and is run in either late October or early November. It provides an excellent guide to how horses will fair in the summer months and is open only to horses aged three years and older. With total prize money of $150,000, the Asian Beau Stakes is well worth winning
2. Cameron Handicap
Inaugurated in 1937, the Cameron Handicap is a Group 3 race run in the Newcastle two-day Carnival. As it is affectionately known, the Cameron is run over 1500m and attracts a quality field from all of Sydney’s major stables.
3. Dark Jewel Classic
The Dark Jewel Classic was inaugurated in 1996 and is open to fillies and mares. The race is run under Handicap conditions, over 1400m at the Scone racecourse in regional NSW. The race attracts talented sprinters and experienced mile runners.
4. Kingston Town Stakes
Formerly known as the STC Cup, The Kingston Town Stakes is a Group 3 race conducted at Randwick Racecourse in September each year. This race is an excellent lead-up race for Group 1 can also lead into Group 1 Tancred Stakes. The race has a total purse of $160,00 and is run under set weights plus penalties conditions.
5. Magic Night Stakes
Magic Night Stakes is a Group 3 sprint for the fillies. A notable thoroughbred racing event that takes place in March every year. It is usually the final lead up race for the female horses as they head into the Group 1 Golden Slipper. The winner gains automatic entry into the “Slipper”.
6. Newcastle Gold Cup
Known for its extensive history of prestige, the Newcastle Gold Cup is a staying event that attracts a quality field. Held at Newcastle Racecourse in mid-September, the race is an excellent test of stamina and ability
7. Spring Stakes
Run at Adelaide’s Morphettville Racecourse; the Spring Stakes is a Group 3 sprinting event raced as part of the Spring Racing Carnival in Adelaide. The spring stakes boast of an exciting weight-for-age field of the best gallopers in South Australia, with interstate horses quite often making the journey across the border.
8. Toy Show Quality
The Toy Show Quality is one of the early Group 3 races in the Spring Racing Carnival. Run over 1100m. The Toy Show is a great place for horses to kick off their Spring campaigns.
9. VRC Queen Elizabeth Stakes
Formerly known as the Queen’s Cup, the Queen Elizabeth Stakes is a 2600m quality handicap race run at Flemington. It is an old race, seven years older than the Melbourne Cup, and therefore it has been through many name changes since its inception.
1o. Prince Of Wales Stakes
The Prince of Wales Stakes is a 1000m sprint run at Perth’s Ascot race track. Run in October each year; the race features the fastest racehorses in Western Australia. Blink, and you will miss it!