The William Reid Stakes was named after William Reid who served as a committee member at Moonee Valley Racing Club in the early 1900’s.
Originally from Morayshire, Scotland, William Reid was a Victorian Banker and racehorse owner who owned dual Caulfield Cup winner Uncle Same, winning in 1912 and 1914 and running third in the 1912 Melbourne Cup.
Reid passed away in 1923, and in 1925 the William Reid Stakes was run for the first time and won by Night Patrol, who also won the following year in 1926.
The race changed name to the Australia Made Stakes from 1994-1995 and then to the Australia Stakes from 1996-2009, before returning to the William Reid Stakes in 2010, not to be confused with the now Group 2 Australia Stakes which was previously called the Norman Carlyon Stakes and Stanley Wootton Stakes.
Run over 1200m at weight-for-age conditions, the William Reid Stakes has been won by some of the Champions of the Australian Turf, but none had a better record in the race than the Mighty Manikato who won five in a row from 1979-1983.
Since then, some other star sprinters that have etched their names on the trophy include Vo Rogue in 1988, Zedative 1989, Hareeba 1995, Cape of Good Hope 2005, Miss Andretti 2007, Apache Cat 2008-2009, and the invincible Black Caviar won in 2011 and 2013.
In 2019 three-year-old filly Sunlight won, taking out her third Group 1 and in 2020 another three-year-old filly Loving Gaby completed the Manikato/ William Reid double.