|Class||WFA for fillies and mares 3YO and up.|
The Empire Rose Stakes, formally known as the Myer Classic, is the premier mile race for fillies and mares during the spring carnival. As well as its significance to the Melbourne spring, this race is one of the main features on Derby Day, the favourite day of racing purists in Australia.
Inaugurated in 1988, the Empire Rose Stakes has been a Group One race since 2004. In the past decade and a half, the race has boasted a field of some of the best female horses from across the country. This is part of what makes the Empire Rose Stakes such a special and unique race.
The race is named after the champion mare Empire Rose who did the Mackinnon Stakes / Melbourne Cup double in 1988, the same year this race was first run.
The mile start at Flemington is one were an inside draw tends to hold an advantage. This is because the barriers open just over a hundred metres before the long sweeping turn into the home straight. As this bend is so long, the horses that have drawn out wide that don't find cover in the run have to spend more petrol early on, and therefore face a significant disadvantage.
However, due to the long Flemington straight, every horse has their opportunity to win if they are good enough. And it has been some good horses that have triumphed in this race of late, with the likes of Appearance, Red Tracer, I Am A Star and Shoals all saluting in the 2010s.
Last year's edition of the race witnessed a gripping finish. It was the Chris Waller trained filly Shillelagh who prevailed after taking an inside rail position and navigating a passage along the fence.
She edged out Bring Me Roses and Fundamentalist to claim her second Group One scalp.