Wakeful Champion Racehorse
Wakefield Is One Of The Greatest Thoroughbred Mares Of The Australian Turf
The versatile racehorse had a glorious career in which she defeated the top racehorses of the time over varying distances from 5 furlongs up to 3 miles. The bay mare was unplaced in only three races, which is proof of her dominance over the Australian racetrack.
Foaled in 1896, she was by Trenton, an outstanding sire, from Insomnia by Robinson Crusoe. Leslie MacDonald purchased her for 310 guineas in 1900 at the St. Aubins Stud sale.
MacDonald Introduces Wakeful To Racetrack As 4YO
Her delayed start was also due to shin soreness.
Her third race was the beginning of a string of victories. She won the VATC Oakleigh Plate at Caulfield over 5½ furlongs with Fred Dunn in the saddle.
The duo followed it up with another victory in the VRC Newmarket Handicap over 6 furlongs. Jockey S. Angwin stirred the mare to the winning post a month later in the Doncaster Handicap in a race record time of 1:39.75.
As a 5 year old in the 1901-02 seasons with Fred Dunn at the reins, the bay mare ran home much ahead of Hymettus in the Caulfield Stakes at Caulfield.
Caulfield Cup Roles Reversed
However, the roles were reversed in the Caulfield Cup a week later. Another victory followed in the 1901 Melbourne Stakes while she remained unplaced in the prestigious Melbourne Cup a few days later.
She was back with a bang in Feb 1902 with a victory in the St. George Stakes over 9 furlongs and then went on to win the Essendon Stakes and All Aged Stakes at Flemington. Moving onto Randwick she conquered the 12 furlong distance in style winning the Autumn stakes and then went on to win the Sydney Cup, All Aged Stakes and AJC Plate.
All these wins came carrying 60kg. She then went on to win other major races, which included the AJC Plate and VRC Champion Stakes over a distance of three miles.
Wakeful’s deadly form continued as a six-year-old in the 1902-03 seasons. She defeated Sir Leonard in the Spring Stakes and Craven Plate and then picked up the 1902 Randwick Plate defeating Blue Metal over a distance of 2 miles and 2 furlongs.
The Caulfield Stakes was her next triumph over 9 furlongs where she beat Abundance. Victories in the Eclipse Stakes and Melbourne Stakes followed after which she went on to win the CB Fisher Plate on the Flemington track. The St. Hellier Stakes at Caulfield and Essendon Stakes and Champion Stakes were next in line.
As a six year old in the 1903-04 seasons, Wakeful finished second in the Spring Stakes and Randwick Plate. Her first victory as a 6yo came in the October Stakes over 19 furlongs.
She continued her form in the Eclipse Stakes and Melbourne Stakes, and then finished second in the 1903 Melbourne Cup carrying 64kg. This was her last race in which she ended with a career best evident of a champion.
25 Wins From 44 Starts
She won 25 races from just 44 starts, was placed second in 12 races and finished third on 4 occasions. She retired and after going to stud produced 10 foals that included Melbourne Cup winner Night Watch, Blairgour, and Baverstock.
Wakeful earned her place in the Australian Racing Hall of Fame in 2002. She also has the Group 2 Wakeful Stakes in her honour. 13 winners have gone on to win the Oaks.