Some of Western Australia’s best sprinters will contest this weekend’s Listed Cyril Flower Stakes (1200m), a race with a rich history.
The honour roll of the Cyril Flower Stakes over the past decade is a ‘who’s who’ in the sprinting ranks of WA racing, with names like Great Shot, Black Heart Bart and Watermans Bay winning this race before going on to bigger and better wins.
The inaugural running of the race took place in 1974, where five-year-old Cambana Lad was victorious.
The race was run over 1200m in 1974, before it was run over 1800m in its second year, where Comet Again was successful.
From 1978 to 1981 as well as 1983 and 1985, the race was run over 1400m, every other edition of the race has been over the 1200m.
Fillies and mares have been successful in the race on just three occasions; Pure Gamble in 1980, Even Row in 1986 and Bumbelina in 2001.
Four-year-olds have the best record in the race having won it on 20 occasions, Great Shot, Black Heart Bart and Watermans Bay were all at that age when they were successful.
Heron Bridge, at nine-years-old, is the oldest winner of the race back in 1987, while Pure Gamble (1980) and Dark Beau (1986) are the youngest winners of the race as three-year-olds.
Dream Lifter, who was successful in 2016, is looking to become just the third dual winner of the race, Corporate Gun and On Target are the only other gallopers to have achieved that feat.
Mark Sestich and Rod Kemp have both won the $100,000 event on three occasions, no jockey will be able to join them this year on that feat, as Patrick Carbery and Paul Harvey are the only active jockeys on two wins and both of them don’t have rides in this weekend’s race.
Daniel Staeck, William Pike and Mitchell Pateman can join Carbery and Harvey on two wins this weekend, when they ride North Ridge, Royal Missile and Dream Lifter respectively.
Neville Parnham can become the first trainer to win the Cyril Flower Stakes on three occasions, after he trained Irish Pride (2002) and Tarzi (2009) to success.
Barriers one and five are the most successful winners in the race’s history with seven winners each, the most recent was Dream Lifter in 2016 when he came from the inside gate.
Battle Hero will have to re-write the record books on Saturday, where he has been allotted 60kg, Herron Bridge (59.5kg) has the record for the most weight carried to victory in the sprint feature.