It is a race that has had many names but right through the changes it has remained a test of stamina at the highest level and this year's running of the $1.5 million Group One BMW has attracted a quality field.
Nine horses, seven Group One winners; talented gallopers who between them have won a Caulfield Cup, a two VRC Oaks, an Auckland Cup, a Doomben Cup, a Ranvet Stakes, an Australian Cup, a Sydney Cup and an Australian Derby.
The two winners of the VRC Oaks - Jameka and Lasqueti Spirit (both daughters of General Nediym) - are the only Australian bred runners in the race but whilst many of our staying races have been dominated by imports in recent years The BMW has been a good hunting ground for locals with ten winners in the last 18 years.
In that same time frame The BMW has been won five times by New Zealand bred horses and there are three Kiwis - Who Shot Thebarman, Humidor an Tavago lining up this year.
Sir Tristram has been a great source of BMW winners, his sire line providing six of its heroes - Preferment, Fiumicino, Might And Power, Kaaptive Edition, Dr Grace and Octagonal.
There is just one representative of the line this year, last year's runner-up Who Shot Thebarman. A grand campaigner who has amassed over $2.3 million in stakes, the son of Yamanin Vital hails from a high class stout family, one which has produced the Group One winners Prized Gem and Nom du Jeu.
The northern hemisphere's most prolific stamina sire line is, of course, Sadler's Wells and that legendary son of Northern Dancer has had two BMW winning descendants; Hartnell and Tuesday Joy.
His line dominates this year's running with four runners - Our Ivanhowe (from a classy German family - and we know how their horses fare in our staying races), Exospheric (a descendant of famed matriarch Pretty Polly), Humidor (from the family of two times BMW winner Octagonal) and Tavago who hails from one of Australasia's finest families, that of the big race winners Lonhro, Grosvenor, Niello, Miss Keepsake, Lankan Rupee, National Gallery and Mahaya.
Only one member of the Danehill line has won the BMW but it was a good one - the mighty mare Makybe Diva. There are three members of the line this year; Grand Marshal (by outstanding stallion Dansili out of the Irish Oaks winner Margarula from the Frizette family that produced Mr Prospector and Seattle Slew), Jameka (by the Prix Morny winner Myboycharlie out of a half-sister to the Canterbury Guineas winner Jymcarew) and Lasqueti Spirit (by the late Beneteau from the family of Doomben Cup winner Mr Bureaucrat).
From another branch of the Danzig sire line is Libran, by Invincible Spirit's French Derby winning son Lawman out of a daughter of the Lancashire Oaks winner State Crystal whose fourth dam Queen Of Light is also Lawman's sixth dam.