Kingston Town's potential went totally unrecognised when he failed to reach his reserve of $8,000 at the Melbourne yearling sales.



OWNERS: David Hains

RACE RECORD/STAKE MONEY: 41 starts: 30 wins, 5 seconds, 2 thirds/$1,605,790

Major Wins 

  • AJC and QTC Derbies
  • Rosehill Guineas
  • STC Tancred Stakes
  • Sydney Cup
  • W.S. Cox Plate (three times)
  • George Main Stakes (twice)
  • Caulfield stakes (twice)


Kingston Town had that combination of qualities of the true champion; immense stamina and speed, winning at distances from 1200 to 3200 metres. But none of this was apparent in his early days.

When he failed to reach his reserve price at the yearling sales, breeder David Hains decided to race the black colt himself, and sent him to leading trainer Tommy Smith. His race debut at Canterbury in March 1979 was a disaster when he ran an inglorious last. After a brief spell, when he was gelded, Kingston Town came back a different racehorse and began a six race winning streak, broken only when he tackled a left handed track for the first time at Caulfield.

Tommy Smith considered Kingston Town a three length better horse on Sydney's right handed courses. Race-caller Bill Collins who saw him suffer three consecutive defeats in Melbourne in the spring of 1979, said: "He was lurching round Melbourne courses like a good natured drunk". In Melbourne he was able to win only five of 13 races, while in Sydney he won 22 of 25, including 21 in a row. When he won the STC Cup at Rosehill in September 1981, he became the first horse in Australia to win $1 million in prize money.

Despite his difficulty with Melbourne tracks, he had unprecedented success in Australia's greatest weight-for-age event, the W.S. Cox Plate at Moonee Valley, being the only horse to win it three times, and consecutively, from 1980 – 1982. Tendon troubles were to bring a premature end to a racing career in which Kingston Town had 14 Group 1 wins to his credit.

Kingston Town was inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame in 2001.

Image Source: Australian Racing Museum Collection