Darley and Australian Turf Club extend partnership for Princess Series

A series that rewards the winning breeder with a nomination to a Darley stallion

A vibrant and prosperous breeding industry is vital to Australian racing and that’s why Darley has confirmed its commitment to Australia’s best race series for three-year-old fillies at Royal Randwick.

The prestigious four-leg Darley Princess Series, which started in 1985, covers four pedigree building Group races at the beginning of spring, specifically targeted by trainers and owners chasing Group glory.

The additional incentive, Darley will reward the winning breeder of each leg of the series with a nomination to one of the world-class Darley stallions. Ultimately enticing breeders, owners and trainers to target the series.

The Darley Princess Series at Royal Randwick consists of:

  • G2 Darley Silver Shadow Stakes over 1,200m on Saturday, 20 August;
  • G2 Darley Furious Stakes over 1,200m on Saturday, 3 September;
  • G2 Darley Tea Rose Stakes over 1,400m on Saturday, 17 September;
  • G1 Darley Flight Stakes over 1,600m on Saturday, 1 October.

The winning breeder will receive a nomination to:

  • Ghaiyyath, the highest-rate horse in the world and the best son of Dubawi (for the winner of the G2 Silver Shadow Stakes),
  • Victor Ludorum, the undefeated G1-winning two-year-old by Shamardal (for the winner of the G2 Furious Stakes),
  • Earthlight, the Champion Two-Year-Old and record-breaking son of Shamardal (for the winner of the G2 Tea Rose Stakes),
  • Palace Pier, the World Champion Miler and five-time G1 winner by Kingman (for the winner of the G1 Flight Stakes).

These nominations are available to use for the 2022 or 2023 breeding seasons.

It is a race series with a rich history, each race is named in honour of some of the best fillies to race in Australia last century - Flight, Tea Rose, Furious and Silver Shadow.

Only two fillies have swept the series - Angst in 1993 before Samantha Miss matched her efforts 15 years later.

Sunline, Victory Vein, Streama and Speak Fondly managed to win three of the four races, while Stella Cadente, Cheeky Choice, Guelph, Foxplay and Alizee won two.

This year, the G2 Silver Shadow over 1,200m sets off the series on Saturday, 20 August. Silver Shadow won the 1975 Black Opal Stakes in Canberra and was only just beaten by champion gallopers Leica Lover and Leilani in the Warwick Stakes the following year.      

The G2 Furious Stakes (1,200m), is the second leg and is scheduled for Saturday, 3 September.

Furious beat the colts and geldings in the Sires’ Produce Stakes and Champagne Stakes before winning the VRC Derby and VRC Oaks in 1920.

The fillies step up to 1,400m on Saturday, 17 September for the G2 Tea Rose Stakes.

Tea Rose was the first filly in 46 years to win the AJC Derby (1944) and she also won the Rosehill Guineas and Craven Stakes that year.

The 2022 series culminates with the running of the Flight Stakes at G1 level over 1,600m on Saturday, 1 October.

Flight won 24 races and was beaten only a head by the mighty Bernborough in the 1946 Chipping Norton Stakes.

This deep history honouring our best racing fillies have and will develop into the elite breeding stock of tomorrow. 

Managing director Vin Cox said Darley is proud to join the Australian Turf Club again to turn the spotlight on the fillies, especially at the start of the breeding season.

“We’re keen to support black-type and, specifically, Group racing to reward the breeders who achieve significant milestones,’’ Cox said.

“In supporting the breeders of these horses, not only in sponsorship dollars, the ATC and the breeders get a specific benefit in accessing our highly successful and commercial stallion roster.

“It will be our fourth year in a series which allows us to have a conversation with our breeders and clients, recognising knowledge and rewarding achievement at the highest level.”

Australian Turf Club Executive General Manager Racing and Wagering James Ross said the Darley Princess Series was Australia’s richest and most prestigious event for three-year-old fillies.

“We are delighted to extend our partnership with Darley including for the Darley Princess Series which this Spring sees further increased prizemoney in each of the four legs,’’ Mr Ross said.

“The Darley Princess Series attracts the best fillies in Australia over the four legs culminating with the G1 $750,000 Darley Flight Stakes on a famous day of the Sydney Everest Carnival.

“The Darley Princess Series further enhances the Australian racing and breeding industry through its part of one of world racing’s biggest events.

“The Australian Turf Club looks forward to working further with Darley in growing Sydney and NSW’s world-class racing and breeding industries.’’

Nominations for the Silver Shadow Stakes close at 11am on Monday, 15 August.

Full terms and conditions around the Darley Princess Series can be found here.