The Livamol Spring Classic (formerly Kelt Capital Stakes) is a Thoroughbred horse race run at Hastings Racecourse in Hawke's Bay and is New Zealand's richest weight-for-age horse race. It is run at a distance of 2040m and in 2016 carried prize money of NZ$250,000.
|Group I race|
Hawke's Bay, New Zealand
|Race type||Thoroughbred - Flat racing|
|Website||Hawke's Bay Racing|
|Distance||2040m (10 furlongs)|
|Qualification||Three-year-olds and up|
|Weight||Weight for Age|
|Purse||NZ$250,000 (in 2016)|
The race was sponsored by Kelt Capital Limited, and in particular the owner thereof Sam Kelt, a strong supporter of New Zealand and particularly Hawke's Bay racing. The growth in prize money was substantial in the decade up to 2008. In 2000 it was worth $250,000; in 2002 it was the equal richest race in New Zealand at $500,000 and in 2004 it was New Zealand's first million-dollar race for more than a decade. The race was worth $2,000,000 in 2007 and 2008, but the stake had to be reduced to $1,200,000 in 2009 as that level was deemed unsustainable. The 2010 running was worth $250,000, below several major races in New Zealand but still slightly ahead in terms of weight-for-age races. The race has been renamed the Livamol Classic after Kelt Capital pulled their sponsorship.
The race is run on the first Saturday in October, along with two other Group features, the Hawke's Bay Guineas for three-year-olds and a 1400 m handicap formerly known as the G.R. Kelt Memorial. The weather in the Hawke's Bay's means the track conditions are usually excellent.
The race is now regarded as New Zealand's premier weight-for-age race and has attracted interest from overseas, most notably with subsequent world champion miler Starcraft who ran second in 2004.
The race is the part of the Triple Crown raced at Hastings Racecourse, along with:
- (1) the 1400m Challenge Stakes which was previously known as the Makfi Challenge Stakes or Mudgway Stakes and is currently called the Tarzino Trophy - raced on the first Saturday in September, and
- (2) the 1600m Horlicks Plate which was previously known as the Stony Bridge Stakes and is currently called the Windsor Park Plate - raced in late September.
Many of New Zealand's best thoroughbred horses have raced in the various Triple Crown events. A number of horses managed to win two of the three races and some were beaten into second in the third leg. On 5 October 2019 Melody Belle was the first horse to win all three of the Hawkes Bay Triple Crown races.
Winners of the Spring Classic
|2019||Melody Belle||Opie Bosson||Jamie Richards||2:05.45|
|2018||Savvy Coup||Chris Johnson||M & M Pitman||2:04.08|
|2017||Wait a Sec||Jonathan Parkes||Lowry & Cullens||2:05.59|
|2016||Willie Cazals (IRE)||Craig Grylls||Lance O'Sullivan & Andrew Scott||2:09.75|
|2015||Addictive Habit||Sam Spratt||Lee Somervell||2:05.77|
|2014||Costume||Michael Coleman||Graeme & Debbie Rogerson||2:02.66|
|2013||Ransomed||J Parkes||Gary Vile||2:04.21|
|2012||Shez Sinsational||Opie Bosson||Allan Sharrock||2:04.89|
|2011||Jimmy Choux||Jonathan Riddell||John Bary||2:06.24|
|2010||Wall Street||Michael Coleman||Jeff Lynds||2:02.97|
|2009||Vosne Romanee||Buddy Lammas||Jeff Lynds||2:08.42|
|2008||Princess Coup||Opie Bosson||Mark Walker||2:04.58|
|2007||Princess Coup||Noel Harris||Mark Walker||2:04.16|
|2006||Legs||Lisa Cropp||Kevin Gray||2:03.82|
|2005||Xcellent||Michael Coleman||Mike & Paul Moroney||2:03.21|
|2004||Balmuse||Jamie Bullard||Kevin Myers||2:05.03|
|2003||Distinctly Secret||Opie Bosson||Mark Walker||2:03.64|
|2002||Prized Gem||Michael Rodd||Murray Baker||2:04.10|
|2001||Cinder Bella||Lance O'Sullivan||Karen Zimmerman||2:03.31|
|2000||The Message||Linda Ballantyne||John Ralph||2:03.91|
|1999||Cent Home||David Walker||Jim Wallace||2:02.16|
|1998||Just Call Me Sir||Trudy Collett||Moira Murdoch||2:04.06|
|1997||Moss Downs||Michael Coleman||Chris McNab||2:03.63|
|1996||Love Dance||Gary Grylls||Bev & Ken Kelso||2:03.41|
|1995||Italian Saint||Tony Allan||Noel Eales||2.03.41|
|1994||Solvit||David Walsh||Moira Murdoch||2.00.16|
|1993||Calm Harbour||Lance O'Sullivan||Noel Eales||1.59.70|
A list of the winners of all 3 Hawkes Bay Triple Crown events is at
- New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual 2018, 47th Edition, Dennis Ryan, Editor Racing Media Limited