2021 PETER YOUNG STAKES - RACE HISTORY AND BACKGROUND
The Peter Young Stakes is a Group 2 race run over 1800m under Weight For Age conditions at Caulfield by the Melbourne Racing Club.
The race was established as the St George Stakes in 1900 and is one of Melbourne's most historic weight-for-age events with a reputation as a major autumn lead-up to the G1 Australian Cup over 2000m at Flemington.
The race carried the name of the St George Stakes from 1900 until 2012 when it was renamed in honour of former Melbourne Racing Club chairman Peter Young.
Peter Young played a leading role in the transformation and rebranding of the Victoria Amateur Turf Club to the Melbourne Racing Club and the construction of the Sir Rupert Clarke Grandstand at Caulfield racecourse.
Caulfield has been the traditional venue of the St George/Peter Young Stakes since 1900 with the exception of the war years from 1941-1945 when it was transferred to Flemington. The St George Stakes was also run at Flemington in 1996 due to construction work at Caulfield.
The St George Stakes was not run in 1921 due to an embargo on racing by the Victorian Government.
The St George Stakes was first run at Caulfield in 1900 over one mile (1600m) when the winner was Parthian. The race remained at that distance until 1904 when it was extended to nine furlongs (1800m) and that has been its traditional distance to the current day.
However the St George/Peter Young Stakes has had several distance changes in the last 40 years, being run over 1200m in 1979, 1600m in 1982, 1984, 1985, 1986 and 1987 and 2000m in 1995.
Since 1979 the St George Stakes/Peter Young Stakes has been a Group 2 race on the Blue Diamond Stakes program at Caulfield in February.
It was worth $200,000 in 2021.
The Peter Young Stakes traditionally follows the CF Orr Stakes, run over 1400m at Caulfield, in the progression of weight-for-age races leading up to the Australian Cup in March.
There have been 15 winners of the CF Orr Stakes/Peter Young Stakes double including Flight (1946), Comic Court (1951), Lord (1959 and 1960), Aquanita (1963), Tobin Bronze (1967), Winfreux (1968), Leilani (1975), Vo Rogue (1988 and 1989), Let's Elope (1992), Lonhro (2004) and Elvstroem (2005).
There have been 12 winners of the Peter Young Stakes/Australian Cup double which include Gay Icarus (1971), Leilani (1975), Hyperno (1981), Vo Rogue (1989), Let's Elope (1992), Dane Ripper (1998), Northerly (2003), Lonhro (2004) and Fiorente (2014).
Other notable winners of the Peter Young Stakes include Wakeful, Eurythmic, Amounis, Phar Lap, Ajax, Delta, Redcraze, Light Fingers, Tobin Bronze, Rain Lover, Leilani, Vo Rogue, Let's Elope, Durbridge, Istidaad, Dane Ripper, Northerly, Lonhro, Elvstroem, Fiorente and Avilius.
The 2020 Peter Young Stakes was won by Miss Siska from Kings Will Dream and Mirage Dancer.