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Conceived in 1981 by the Levin Racing, the Levin Classic - formerly the Bayer Classic - has become one of the most important for any aspiring thoroughbred champion. It is the first opportunity for three year olds to meet at set weights and the Classic has often been the stepping stone to greater things. The race, first run under the name Levin Turf Classic was originally run at Levin Racecourse until that facility was closed in 1990 and the race was transferred to nearby Otaki. For more than a decade the race was sponsored by Bayer (in 1989 for 15 years) a name whcih many people still know the race.


Fillies Our Flight and Philla Rush have defeated the colts and geldings by going on to win champion status. One in three Levin Classics are won by the fair sex. As a progression from the Guineas races held at Riccarton as part of their Cup Carnival, the race has franked the form remarkably well with nine of the guineas winners (as at 2013) having repeated their success in winning the Classic. Four winners have gone on to become stallions: Krona, Bunker, Al Akbar and O'Reilly. Five years after O'Reilly's win, his daughter Final Destination emulated her father in winning the Classic.


This is a race that defines the top racehorse. Over half the winners of the Classic have ranked in the top three horses of their year.  While the stake is seriously large, it's the prestige associated with winning the Levin Classic that owners and trainers seek. For many, a win in the Classic will justify a trip across the Tasman in search of greater spoils. This is a race that makes champions. Horses like Our Flight, Bonecrusher, Veandercross and O'Reilly have won the Classic. 

This great race was transferred to the Trentham Racecourse in Wellington from Otaki where it had its first running of the Levin Classic at Trentham on Saturday 18th January 2014.

LEVIN CLASSIC (1600m )    
Year Horse Owners Sex Jockey Time  Trainer  
1981     Altitude   Colt S R Autridge 1.36.00    B Ford  
1982 Our Flight   Filly M R Campbell 1.36.20  E Skelton  
1983 Burletta   Filly J A Cassidy  1.36.00  FP Campbell  
1984 Princess Dram   Filly M C Lyndon 1.35.90  N Bradley  
1985 Bonecrusher   Gelding  J A Cassidy 1.36.90  F Ritchie  
1986 The Bishop   Gelding M C Lyndon 1.36.78  D Couchman  
1987 Young Indian   Colt P G Tims 1.35.75  N Morgan  
1988 Krona   Colt P G Tims 1.35.53  R McGlade  
1989 Phillipa Rush   Filly L A O'Sullivan 1.36.20  J Campin  
*1990 Eagle Eye   Gelding N G Harris 1.39.64  MP Baker  
1991 Veandercross   Gelding J Walker 1.34.35  C Turner  
1992 Nimue   Filly L A O'Sullivan 1.33.66  D & P O'Sullivan  
1993 Al Akbar   Colt G J Grylls 1.43.97  C Wood  
1994 Avedon   Colt D G Bradley 1.34.81  FP Campbell  
1995 Prussian Blue   Colt S R Udy 1.34.97  Mrs D Waddell  
1996 O'Reilly   Colt L A O'Sullivan 1.35.74  D & P O'Sullivan  
1997 Love De tor   Filly G Childs 1.33.69  M Moroney  
1998 Tobruk   Colt L G Innes 1.37.67  G Richardson  
1999 Buzz Lightyear   Colt O P Bosson 1.35.28  R Priscott  
2000 Tit For Taat   Colt H S Tinsley 1.35.11  W Herbert  
2001 Final Destination   Filly G J Grylls 1.35.88  Mrs V Hillis  
2002 Bunker   Colt O P Bosson 1.37.14  T & SJ McKee  
2003 Russian Pearl   Colt H S Tinsley 1.34.96  B & S Marsh  
2004 Ambitious Owner   Gelding L G Innes 1.34.77  MP Baker  
2005 Wahid   Gelding H S Tinsley 1.36.18  AS Sharrock  
2006 Porotene Gem   Filly D J Walker 1.40.10  K Gray  
2007 Keepa Cruisin   Filly L G Innes 1.34.85  SJ McKee  
2008 Altered Image   Gelding M T Coleman 1.32.50 M Moroney   
2009 Eileen Dubh   Filly JKB Riddell 1.35.43 F Finnegan   
2010 We Can Say It Now   Filly LG Innes 1.34.27  MP Baker  
2011 Distill   Gelding RJ Hannam 1.35.97  RB Bergerson  
2012 Southern Lord   Gelding KA Myers 1.34.63  A Tait  
Although previously run at Otaki in late November, the Levin Classic was transferred to Wellington Cup Carnival in January 2014
2014 Recite The Oaks Stud Filly M Du Plessis 1.36.10 JGG Bary  
2015 Gaultier W Eagles Plumbing Supplies Pty Ltd Gelding MT Coleman 1.36.67 Miss DM Guy  
2016 Dukedom DR & SD Cole Gelding LJ Allpress 1.36.96 SP Cole  
2017 Hall of Fame Te Akau 24/7 Syndicate (Mgr: D C Ellis) Colt OP Bosson 1.35.54 SR Autridge & JW Richards  
2018 Age of Fire Te Akau 2016 Sydney Breeding Syndicate No.2 (Mgr: D C Ellis) Colt OP Bosson 1.36.63 SR Autridge & JW Richards  
2019 Madison County China Horse Club Racing Pty Ltd Gelding
Matthew Cameron

1.35.89 Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman  

* Race transferred from Levin Racecourse to Otaki Racecourse

The 2019 race was the 38th recorded running of the event

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