Day 1 of The Championship is here with 10 races and four Group 1s on the program at Randwick on Saturday.
The Doncaster Mile, TJ Smith Stakes, Australian Derby and Inglis’ Sires headline what promises to a ripper of a day.
We take a look at all the key races:
Hugh Bowman has been in Alizee’s corner all campaign and only didn’t ride her when suspended as she lined up in the Expressway Stakes, yet he now jumps ship and rides HARTNELL ($9.01 ClassicBet) who he guided to victory in the Epsom. That’s a big call that must be noted, and Hartnell looks ready to peak on Saturday where he will get every chance from barrier 7. He will line up for his 50th career start on Saturday as he carries top weight of 58kg but he handles all types of tracks, so it won’t matter if we get a Good, Soft or Heavy, and there’s no tougher horse going around than him.
TJ Smith Stakes
Osbourne Bulls is airborne this campaign and he rates a strong chance having flashed home in the Newmarket Handicap to finish 2nd behind Sunlight who has franked the form with a win in the William Reid Stakes. Sunlight also lines up on Saturday but I don’t think she’s as effective on rain-affected ground. PIERATA ($6.01 TopBetta)
seems to have gone to a new level this campaign. He finished 4.5 lengths from Trapeze Artist in a barrier trial, and got to within 2.7 lengths of Trapeze Artist in the Canterbury Stakes. He then then came out and was beaten a whisker by Nature Strip in The Galaxy and looks to have improvement to come. He can remain undefeated at Randwick and make it four from four.
CHAPADA ($5.51 ClassicBet)
looks a good thing. He should have won the VRC Derby in the spring but got held up terribly in the straight yet had the audacity to pick himself up again and charge into 3rd place – only a true stayer with a good turn of foot could do that. He surprised first-up in the CS Hayes Stakes when finishing three lengths from the winner, but he disappointed in the Australian Guineas which was a total forgive run. Moroney took him to Sydney for the Rosehill Guineas where he finished 2.5 lengths from The Autumn Sun and stablemate Arrogant who lines up in opposition on Saturday. He’ll take plenty of improvement from that run and should have far more upside.
We should see a much-improved effort from CASTELVECHIO ($9.01 TopBetta)
in and that makes him the one to beat. Having come from last to win a Canterbury maiden, the son of Dundeel went to the $2 million Inglis Millennium (1200m) and did the same when charging home from last to win by two lengths from Accession. With a month between runs, he went to the Skyline Stakes and flashed home from the rear to be beaten 3.3 lengths by Microphone. Visually, the performance was ultra-impressive as he rocketed home late and Castelvecchio clearly had the best turn of foot in the Inglis Sires’,