Two outstanding Group 1 fields at Royal Randwick and the final meeting of Australian Turf Club’s popular KIA Friday Night Racing season at Canterbury Park offer Sydneysiders a huge weekend of racing and free entertainment to farewell summer.
Saturday’s meeting at Royal Randwick features the Group 1 $600,000 TAB Chipping Norton Stakes and Group 1 $500,000 Heineken 3 Surround Stakes, along with four other Group events on a nine-race card.
Crucial pathway races to the $3.5 million Longines Golden Slipper – the Group 2 $200,000 Schweppes Skyline Stakes and Group 2 $200,000 Drinkwise Sweet Embrace Stakes – plus the Group 2 $200,000 Guy Walter Proven Thoroughbreds Stakes and Group 3 $160,000 Liverpool City Cup add further black type to Saturday’s meeting.
The bumper weekend of racing starts with an eight-race card at Canterbury Park and another big line-up of free entertainment for families and the ever-popular foodies market to end another hugely successful KIA Friday Night Racing season. Entry on Friday night to Canterbury Park is free.
Australian Turf Club Executive General Manager of Racing Services, James Heddo, said the meetings offered a host of options for racegoers and families: “Saturday’s card at Royal Randwick is packed with some of the best horses in Australia including two big Group 1s to usher in the autumn.
“Families and the local Canterbury Park community shouldn’t miss their final chance for night racing this season and enjoy all of the free children’s activities, a wide range of food markets and eight races under the lights trackside.”
Two of the most popular gallopers racing from either side of the Tasman clash in a high-class field in the Group 1 $600,000 TAB Chipping Norton Stakes. Cult Kiwi galloper Te Akau Shark for jockey Opie Bosson and trainer Jamie Richards is the early $2.60 TAB fixed odds favourite in a field which includes Sydney crowd favourite Happy Clapper ($11).
Trainer Pat Webster and jockey Tommy Berry are hoping Happy Clapper can go one better this year in the TAB Chipping Norton, after running second in 2019 to Winx in her fourth consecutive win in the race.
Dreamforce (trainer John Thompson and jockey Blake Shinn) at $5.50, Avilius (James Cummings and Hugh Bowman) $6.50 and Fierce Impact (Matthew Smith and Brenton Avdulla) at $7.50 add to the stellar field, in which 10 of the 14 runners have won at least one Group 1 in their career.
Some of Australia’s best three-year-old fillies line up in the Group 1 $500,000 Heineken 3 Surround Stakes, headed in TAB fixed odds markets by Chris Waller’s Funstar ($3.40) for jockey James McDonald.
She takes on three Godolphin Group 1 winners – Flit ($3.60) and jockey Hugh Bowman, Lyre ($6, Kerrin McEvoy) and Longines Golden Slipper champion Kiamichi ($26, Rachel King). High-class Kiwi filly Probabeel ($4.80) is looking to turn the tables on Funstar after running second for Bosson and Richards twice to the favourite in the Sydney spring.
In the two-year-old races, Prague ($2.80) for jockey Tommy Berry and trainers Ciaron Maher and David Eustace in the Schweppes Skyline Stakes and Stellar Pauline ($3.60) from the Peter and Paul Snowden yard and ridden by Brenton Avdulla are early favourites.
The winners of both races gain automatic entry into the $3.5 million Longines Golden Slipper. The Royal Randwick track was rated a Good 4 on Thursday and is expected to remain at that reading heading into the raceday. A full track report with Royal Randwick Racecourse Manager is available here:
For all ticketing, racing and general information for all Australian Turf Club meetings go to theraces.com.au