The Chipping Norton Stakes is a race with an all-star honour roll of past champions. First run back in 1925 over a distance of one-and-a-quarter miles, the race has grown in stature ever since. It was upgraded to Group One status in 1986, and from 1980 has been run over the distance of 1600 metres.
The race is named after the suburb of Chipping Norton in South West Sydney, which is within spitting distance of Warwick Farm racecourse. The race has been run at the Farm for most of its existence, and was for a long time the only Group One held there.
But since 2016, the race has been run at Randwick, much to the dismay of Chipping Norton and Warwick Farm residents. This is along with the Group Three Liverpool City Cup, another race with its roots at Warwick Farm that has been moved to Randwick.
The honour roll for the Chipping Norton Stakes reads like a who's who of Australian racing. Amounis, Phar Lap, Bernborough, Carbon Copy, Tulloch, Emancipation, Super Impose, Octagonal and Lonhro have all saluted.
Race legend Tie the Knot won four consecutive editions from 1999 to 2002, and in 2019 the mighty mare Winx will look to equal that record and make it four on thr trot. But no win has been celebrated like those who backed the roughie He's No Pie Eater in 2007, sending Warwick Farm locals into delirium.
The Chipping Norton Stakes also unofficially marks the start of the Sydney Autumn Carnival. It's the first Group One in Sydney for the calendar year, and when racing starts to heat up.
Winx absolutely brained them in 2018. The seven-length victory is up there as one of the most dominant wins of her career, as she sped away from placegetters Prized Icon and Classic Uniform.