The event was first to run in 1947 and was won by Gay Lass. It was originally known as the AJC Oaks Trial Stakes and was contested over 14 furlongs (2800m). In 1971 it was renamed to honor one of Australia’s greatest race mares, Flight, who won an incredible 29 races from just 32 starts between 1943 and 1946. The Flight was also the damsire of two-time Melbourne Cup winner Comic Court.
The Flight Stakes have been won by some of Australia’s greatest follies, including Wenona Girl (1959), Leilani (1974), Triscay (1991), Sunline (1999) and More Joyous (2011). In recent years, it has been a key lead-up race to the VRC Oaks, with both Mosheen (2012) and Oaks winner Fancy Nicky coming through the Flight Stakes.
The current record time for the 1600m distance of the Flight Stakes is 1:33.3, set by Sunline in 1999.
The Flight Stakes is one of two Group 1 races on the card at Randwick Racecourse on the first Saturday in October, alongside the Spring Champion Stakes, the premier staying race for three-year-olds held during the Sydney spring carnival. There are also many other black-type races on the card, including the Group 3 Gloaming Stakes, Group 3 Angst Stakes and Listed Premier’s Cup.
With $1 million in prize money, the Flight Stakes attracts some of the best three-year-old fillies across Australia and New Zealand. It is often used as a lead-up race to either the VRC Oaks at Flemington or the Queensland Oaks at Eagle Farm, with many fillies contesting all three events.
The 2020 Flight Stakes will take place on Saturday, 3 October, at Randwick Racecourse.
Plenty of betting options are available for the Flight Stakes, with bookmakers offering a range of markets on the race.
The most popular bet type is the win bet, where you pick the horse you think will cross the line first. If your selection is successful, you’ll collect your winnings as determined by the odds available when placing your bet.
Another popular option is the place bet, which pays out if your horse finishes in either first or second place. The odds for place bets are usually lower than for win bets, but this varies depending on the bookmaker you’re betting with.
For those looking for a bit more value, many exotic betting options are available on the Flight Stakes. These include the quinella, where you pick two horses to finish first and second in any order, and the trifecta, which requires you to select the first three horses past the post in the correct order.
Exotic betting options usually offer much higher payouts than more straightforward bets like win and place, but they’re also more difficult to win. As such, they’re best suited to those who have a good understanding of horse racing and are confident in their ability to pick winners.
The Flight Stakes will be broadcast live in Australia on Channel 7.
Those without a TV can still catch all the action by streaming the race online via 7live.com.au. This service is free for those with a valid Australian TV license, but those without one will need to sign up for a 7-day free trial.
Racegoers can also follow all the action from the Flight Stakes on the radio via RSN 927 or Racing.com. Both of these services will provide live commentary of the race as it unfolds, so you won’t miss a moment of the action even if you cannot watch it live.
The Flight Stakes is one of the most popular races on the Australian racing calendar, and there are sure to be plenty of betting options available both on course and online. So whether you’re a seasoned punter or just looking to have some fun, check out the Flight Stakes and get your bets early to take advantage of the best odds.