2021 Levin Classic: Race History

The 3yos begin a trek to the Derby in the Levin Classic run at Trentham on Saturday.

O'Reilly Picture: Trish Dunell

Many great kiwis are winners of this race including Bonecrusher. Is there another good one in the 2021 Levin Classic (1600m) at Trentham on Saturday?


The Levin Classic is a Group 1 race run under set weights conditions for three year olds at Trentham race course conducted by the Wellington Racing Club.

The Levin Classic is run over 1600m. It was first run in 1981 and won by Altitude.

The Levin Classic is one of the early lead ins to the New Zealand Derby run a couple of months later.

Previously known as the Bayer Classic, it had been run at Levin racecourse until 1990 and then at Otaki until 2012 when moved to Wellington.

Initially it was run in later November but with the Guineas races just before that, it was moved to the Wellington carnival in January to provide some space between the feature classic races.

Some former grand stayers like Veandercross and Eagle Eye won in the 90s but the most famous winner has to be Cox Plate and Derby hero Bonecrusher with Jimmy Cassidy in the saddle.

On the breeding side O'Reilly would go on to become a top sire of winners on both sides of the Tasman and 1993 winner Al Akbar's claim to fame is being the damsire of the champ Winx.

The Levin Classic was worth NZ$225,000 in 2021.

Notable winners of the Levin Classic include Madison County (2019), Wahid (2005), Russian Pearl (2003), Tit For Taat (2000), O'Reilly (1996), Al Akbar (1993), Nimue (1992), Veandercross (1991), Eagle Eye (1990), Krona (1988) and Bonecrusher (1985).

The 2020 Levin Classic was won by Travelling Light from Harlech and Riodini.

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