Racing returns to Royal Randwick this Saturday with a bumper 10-race card as a host of star gallopers begin their Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival campaigns.
The Group 2 $250,000 Aquis Apollo Stakes and Group 2 $200,000 TAB Light Fingers Stakes lead a high-quality card of black type racing, which includes the Group 3 $160,000 Robrick Lodge Triscay Stakes and Group 3 $160,000 Cellarbrations Southern Cross Stakes.
Another pathway race to the iconic $3.5 million Longines Golden Slipper – the Listed $150,000 Darley Lonhro Plate – has a strong field of colts and fillies as their connections continue a bid to gain prizemoney for entry to the world’s richest race for two-year-olds.
Star Godolphin mare Alizee is the $2.60 TAB fixed odds favourite for jockey Hugh Bowman in the Aquis Apollo Stakes, ahead of the John Thompson-trained and Nash Rawiller ridden Dreamforce ($3.70).
One of Australia’s most popular gallopers Happy Clapper, for trainer Pat Webster and jockey Tommy Berry, is a $5 chance as he aims to go one better than last year’s Apollo Stakes second to the mighty mare Winx. Tommy Berry also rides boom filly Libertini ($2.60) for trainer Anthony Cummings in the TAB Light Fingers Stakes.
The field includes three of James Cummings and Godolphin’s best fillies including reigning Longines Golden Slipper champion Kiamichi ($4.80) for jockey Rachel King, along with Flit (Hugh Bowman $5.50) and Lyre (Nash Rawiller $7.50).
Peter and Paul Snowden’s ace two-year-old filly Dame Giselle is a $2 favourite in the Darley Lonhro Plate – another top ride for jockey Tommy Berry – as she continues on her path to the Longines Golden Slipper, in which she is currently an $11 third favourite.
She is followed in Saturday’s market by the Godolphin colt Destination ($6) and the Gerald Ryan-trained and Nash Rawiller ridden Mission River ($8.50).
Jockeys will wear black armbands in the Darley Lonhro Plate in memory of popular owner and breeder Pam Cornish, who passed away this week after a long and brave battle with cancer.
The Cornish family’s Torryburn Stud is represented in the race by Centimental ($16) for trainer Chris Waller and jockey Kathy O’Hara.
The Royal Randwick track was rated a Heavy 8 on Thursday afternoon after almost 400mm of rain over the past seven days. A track report recorded with Royal Randwick Racecourse Manager Michael Wood is available here:
Royal Randwick and all Australian Turf Club racecourses provide free public parking and free high capacity WiFi. Light rail services run regularly to and from Central to Royal Randwick station directly opposite the main gates in Alison Road.
Tickets and hospitality for all upcoming meetings including Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival are now on sale online. For all ticketing, racing and general information go to theraces.com.au