The Lexus Stakes, also known as the Hotham Handicap, is a 2500m Group 3 race held at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne. It has a total prize pool of $300,000 and the winner gains a ballot exemption for the Melbourne Cup. In 2020, the race will be run on Saturday, October 31, the same day as the Victoria Derby.
Joseph O’Brien’s Downdraft won the 2019 edition of the Lexus Stakes. Carif finished a length and a half back in second place, while Azuro was over five lengths back in third. Downdraft did go on to compete in the Melbourne Cup, however, finished towards the back of the field.
The very first running of the Lexus Stakes was way back in 1869, with Aurora claiming victory. Some top horses have since crossed the line first in the race, including Foxzami, Think Big and Prince Of Arran.
Gai Waterhouse has had solid success in the race over recent times, winning it twice over the last five years. The first of those was with Excess Knowledge in 2015 before training 2017 winner Cismontane alongside Adrian Bott.
Downdraft clocked 2:38.85 to win the 2019 edition of the Lexus Stakes, however, the fastest time in the race over the last 20 years belongs to Maluckyday. In 2010, he ran 2:35.10 to claim victory.
LEXUS STAKES WINNERS
2019 – Downdraft (2:38.85)
2018 – Prince Of Arran (2:37.46)
2017 – Cismontane (2:35.41)
2016 – Oceanographer (2:35.68)
2015 – Excess Knowledge (2:36.89)
2014 – Signoff (2:37.85)
2013 – Ruscello (2:39.87)
2012 – Kelinni (2:37.67)
2011 – Niwot (2:37.53)
2010 – Maluckyday (2:35.10)