Royal Randwick will come alive as Sydney’s Chinese community celebrates the Chinese New Year holiday at The Star Chinese Festival of Racing this Saturday (4 February).
The event will combine the global tradition of thoroughbred horse racing with a cultural celebration of entertainment, fashion, food and sport.
The Octagonal Lawn will also host a number of activities throughout the day including a live performance by popular Chinese personality, Mandy Wong at 3.15pm as well as Fong Hin Cai- the winner of 2016 International Chinese New Talent Singing Championship at 1.05pm.
TVB 2016 Miss Australia Chinese Pageant contestants will walk in a runway show to feature current raceday trends and Qi Pao, traditional Chinese female outfits commencing at 1.30pm. However, the main highlight will be the finals of the TVB CNY Singing Competition which will feature 30 of Sydney’s best Chinese karaoke singers singing both Chinese and Australian songs.
A pop-up food stall by Zilver Bondi restaurant and Lee Kum Kee Sauces will be providing Asian cuisine to racegoers. Popular items from the restaurant menu including Peking duck pancakes, dim sum, money bags and supreme soy sauce fried noodles will be available for purchase.
Heroes of Sha Tin Racecourse, 2003-2005 world’s best sprinter, Silent Witness and multiple Group 1 winner, Lucky Nine will make an appearance at the track. The two retired legends of the Hong Kong turf will be available for fans to pat, feed and have their photo taken with.
Australian Turf Club Chief Operating Officer, Tony Partridge said the raceday aims to continue to develop the Club’s friendship with the Chinese community in Sydney: “We are focused on doing a better job of making a raceday more relevant and appealing to our Chinese friends,’’ Mr Partridge said.
“The Club is dedicated to putting in place initiatives to encourage members of the Chinese community to attend our racecourses as their first option to consume racing, and The Star Chinese Festival of Racing is a step in making this happen.”
On the track, Saturday’s racing is headlined by the Group 2 $200,000 China Horse Club Breeders Classic where a field of nine will contest the 1200m sprint. Danish Twist for Kris Lees has opened as the $3.80 TAB Fixed Odds favourite in an open race. The five-year-old has completed two barrier trials in preparation for her autumn campaign.
Bjorn Baker-trained Egyptian Symbol ($4.60 TAB Fixed Odds) sits on the second line of betting. The Stratum mare will be competitive having won twice over the distance in her last four runs.
Last start winner In Her Time ($6 TAB Fixed Odds), trained by Benjamin Smith, will be looking for redemption at Royal Randwick. The only time the four-year-old has competed on the track, almost 10 months ago, she finished at the tail of the field.
Group winner Omei Sword from Waller Racing will be making her return in the Group 3 Australian Chinese Jockey Club Eskimo Stakes. The three-year-old has opened short in the market at $2.60 TAB Fixed Odds, and with a good first up record of two wins from two starts, will be hard to beat. Godolphin’s Bezel ($5 TAB Fixed Odds) will also have his first run following a spell this Saturday. Trained by John O’Shea, the Street Cry progeny had a successful spring preparation with three wins from four starts.
Free car parking is available at the racecourse and for those with pre-purchased tickets, free buses run from 11am between Eddy Avenue at Central Station and Royal Randwick Racecourse.
Adult general admission tickets are available for $15 at ticketek.com.au with gates opening at 11.30am and the first race at 12.45pm. For all ticketing, hospitality, racing and general information visit - www.theATC.com.au