An array of racing stars hit the track on Saturday as Royal Randwick hosts a stellar day of Group 1 racing before the official start of the 2020 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
Australia’s best middle-distance three-year-olds will clash in the Group 1 $1 million Mostyn Copper Randwick Guineas – the first leg of the prestigious 3YO Triple Crown.
On a big support card, the Group 1 $500,000 Heineken 3 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) and Group 2 $500,000 Hyland Race Colours Challenge Stakes (1000m) have attracted the cream of Australia’s sprinters.
Two more horses will automatically gain a place in the world’s richest race for two-year-olds through the Group 2 $300,000 UNSW Todman Stakes and Group 2 $300,000 Yarraman Park Reisling Stakes.
And the Group 3 $160,000 Tricolours Wenona Girl Quality and Group 3 $160,000 Sharp Extensive IT Aspiration Quality further boosts one of the strongest Randwick Guineas meetings in many years.
Australian Turf Club Executive General Manager Racing Services, James Heddo, said Saturday’s high-quality meeting was an entrée to another highly-anticipated Autumn of world-class racing in Sydney.
“Saturday’s meeting features outstanding races and horses throughout the entire program as we head toward the iconic Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival,” Mr Heddo said.
The Mark Newnham-trained Shadow Hero to be ridden by Josh Parr is the early $4.60 TAB fixed odds favourite in the Group 1 $1 million Mostyn Copper Randwick Guineas in a wide-open betting race.
Castelvecchio for Warwick Farm trainer Richard Litt and big-race jockey Kerrin McEvoy is at $5.50 ahead of the James Cummings Godolphin colt Microphone at $6.50 with Hugh Bowman aboard.
Trainer Chris Waller has a three-pronged attack – Reloaded ($8.50/James McDonald), Kubrick ($11/Brenton Avdulla) and Pancho ($11/Nash Rawiller). Among the 13-horse field is also the Victorian Derby winner warning ($11) ridden by Tommy Berry and trained by Anthony Freedman.
The Group 1 $500,000 Heineken 3 Canterbury Stakes has three horses within a betting point of each other, with a top three-year-old colt taking on two high-class mares.
Tommy Berry rides the early $2.60 favourite Standout for the Gerald Ryan stable ahead of Godolphin stablemates Alizee ($3.20/Hugh Bowman) and Savatiano ($3.40/James McDonald).
The Group 2 $500,000 Hyland Race Colours Challenge Stakes features a superb field of some of Australia’s best sprinters.
Multiple Group 1 winner Nature Strip for trainer Chris Waller and jockey James McDonald is at $2 ahead of the ever-popular and dual TAB Everest winner Redzel ($4.60) for his long-time jockey Kerrin McEvoy and trainers Peter and Paul Snowden.
Santa Ana Lane at $5.50 for trainer Anthony Freedman and jockey Mark Zahra add more power to the field, along with “new kid on the block” in James Cummings’s Deprive ($5.50), who has won all of his six starts at Royal Randwick.
The Group 2 $300,000 UNSW Todman Stakes has Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott’s colt Farnan ($2.90) just ahead of the visiting Blue Diamond winner Tagaloa in betting ($3.10) for rising training stars Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young.
And the fillies in the Group 2 $300,000 Yarraman Park Reisling Stakes features several horses high in betting markets for the Longines Golden Slipper, with early joint favourites on Saturday Dame Giselle and Cellsabeel ($3.30).
The Royal Randwick track was rated a Soft 5 on Thursday with some further rain forecast ahead of the weekend. Royal Randwick features free parking in the infield from the High Street entrance as well as full public transport services including light rail directly adjacent to the racecourse.
For all ticketing, racing and general information including tickets for the upcoming Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival go to theraces.com.au