From the expertsThe low down from those in the know
It’s the race we’ve been building to for months. The Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Group 1, 2000m, weight-for-age), the crown jewel of the first running of The Championships in Sydney, is finally here.
Victorian trainer Darren Weir has told RSN radio that former Melbourne Cup favourite Puissance De Lune will return to his stables on May 1, after overcoming a tendon issue during the 2013 Group 1 Cox Plate.
Lankan Rupee, the horse with the white heart marking on his head, affirmed his title as the best sprinter in the world with a dominant victory on Day 1 of The Championships at Randwick.
The Championships are here to stay. Sydney’s Autumn Carnival, forever the second-stringer to Melbourne’s Spring Carnival, has risen. The meeting, across two big weeks, has given Sydney racing a focal point again.
The inaugural Championships begin on Saturday at Randwick. The name alone suggests the racing will be great.
The Doncaster Mile is the biggest race on the opening day of The Championships, worth a cool $3M. It always attracts a capacity field, but rarely one of such deep, deep quality.
It’s day one of The Championships, and what a feast of racing awaits us. The TJ Smith has assembled eleven Group 1 winners, nine of which have won this season. Talk about a deep field of quality that is in hot form.
On the first Golden Slipper day in The Championships era, the brightest star was undoubtedly Silent Achiever, who won The BMW (2400m, Group 1, weight-for-age).
Jockeys are the backbone of racing. Every time they jump on a horse they place their life at risk, and their sacrifices should never be forgotten.
The Golden Slipper, a race for two-year-olds under set weights conditions over 1200m at Rosehill, stands as the third-richest race in Australia with a purse of $3.5M, coming in behind only the Melbourne Cup ($6.2M) and the newly-minted feature race of The Championships, the Queen Elizabeth Stakes ($4.0M).
Saturday brings us Golden Slipper day, and while the $3.5M scamper for juveniles will capture most attention, there are some other important Group 1s on the day.
There is a very good chance the 2014 George Ryder (1500m, Group 1, weight-for-age) will go down as a watershed moment in the history of Sydney racing.
Life as a jockey is a mental and physical challenge, and to succeed takes a number of qualities – horsemanship and the ability to read a race are only small parts of a jockey’s success.
We don’t see many Group 1 races over 1500m, but it’s always a fascinating distance and a favourite of mine.
The Rosehill Guineas, despite carrying a purse of $600,000, has been bumped as the feature race on its own day thanks to the massive increase in prizemoney to the George Ryder, and the accompanying move forward a week from Golden Slipper day.
I love racing and I love a great horse. Guelph, one of my all-time favourite fillies, will be retired in the next few days.
The Roar of the crowdYour sports opinion. Write your own article
He is yet to win a Sydney jockeys’ premiership, but Tommy Berry is arguably the new star of the saddle in New South Wales.
With the opening day of The Championships showcasing some great racing in the Doncaster Mile and TJ Smith Stakes, it’s time to look ahead to the two biggest races at this weekend’s meeting.
Day 1 of The Championships certainly lived up to the hype, with top-quality races full of depth and class.
The nine winners on Day 1 of The Championships were all trained by different trainers, with plenty of bargain buys landing big money.
Day 1 of The Championships at Royal Randwick was a mouth-watering affair, highlighted by Chris Waller’s training masterclass in which he trained the first four runners past the post in the Doncaster.
The Doncaster Mile (1600m, Group 1, handicap) is Sydney’s biggest handicap race and is run over the famous Randwick mile. The race is set for 4:30pm, so join us for our live blog for all the build up.
All eyes are on the greatest sprinting prize in the land as we gear up for the $2.5 million T.J Smith Stakes which remarkably features 12 Group 1 winners. Join us from 3.15pm AEST for a detailed preview, live blog and post-race analysis.
The Australian Derby (2400m, Group 1, set weights) at 3:10pm is the second Group 1 feature at Randwick on Day 1 of The Championships. Join us for our live coverage of Australia’s richest race for three-year-olds as we build to the 3:10pm start time.
The two-year-olds are back for a shot at Group 1 glory in today’s ATC Sires Produce Stakes. Join us from 2.00pm AEST for a full preview, live blog and post-race analysis.
For decades, the Cox Plate has carried the title as the weight-for-age championship of Australia. With big prize money, classic contests and select fields, the race is steeped in history and prestige.
Not since 2009 and Bart Cummings’ Roman Emperor has a home-state runner saluted in the Group 1 Australian Derby at Royal Randwick. So what the heck is going on with NSW’s three-year-old stayers?
The Doncaster Mile (1600m, Group 1, handicap), formerly the Doncaster Handicap, is one of the greatest races on the Australian racing calendar in my opinion.
The Championships have the potential to become an international spectacle. But first, the Australian Turf Club must work with the United Arab Emirates to ensure maximum exposure for international raiders.
George Moore (119), Roy Higgins (108), Jim Cassidy (102) and Damien Oliver (101) are the four great jockeys to reach the 100 Group 1 milestone.
The Doncaster Mile is my favourite race of Sydney’s autumn carnival (now the Championships), bringing together the best middle-distance runners in the country for what is always a cracking race.
It appears that Chris Waller has backflipped on his early plans regarding Boban this preparation, with the talented miler set to take its place in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) this weekend as The Championships begin at Rosehill.