A field packed with Group 1 winners lines up at Royal Randwick this Saturday for the $250,000 Group 2 Yulong Apollo Stakes as Sydney racing launches towards next month’s spectacular Autumn Carnival.
Eight of the 10 runners in the Yulong Apollo Stakes have scored at least once at the elite level and the field has earned combined prizemoney of almost $26 million.
The Yulong Apollo Stakes field features some of Australia’s best horses including:
• Verry Elleegant ($3.80 TAB favourite trainer Chris Waller and jockey James McDonald) a six-time Group 1 winner including ATC Oaks, Tancred Stakes, Winx Stakes, Vinery Stud Stakes, Turnbull Stakes and Caulfield Cup
• Kolding ($5, Waller and jockey Hugh Bowman), winner of a G1 TAB Epsom, G1 George Main Stakes and inaugural Iron Jack Golden Eagle
• Dreamforce ($6, John Thompson and Nash Rawiller), winner of last year’s G1 The Agency George Ryder Stakes
• Colette ($9.50, James Cummings and Rachel King) winner of last year’s G1 ATC Oaks and reigning Iron Jack Golden Eagle champion
• Funstar ($4.80, Waller and Tommy Berry) winner of G1 Darley Flight Stakes
Australian Turf Club Executive General Manager Racing and Wagering, James Ross said the Yulong Apollo Stakes headlined a stellar card of racing this Saturday.
Australian Turf Club, in conjunction with Chinese business and racing partners in Sydney, will celebrate the Lunar New Year with special Lion Dancer performances and a formal luncheon in the Royal Randwick ballroom.
“The Yulong Apollo Stakes in recent years was the domain of Winx and once again this year has attracted a high-class field of horses with eight Group 1 winners,’’ Mr Ross said. “Saturday also continues the pathway to the Longines Golden Slipper with a big field and great depth in the Silverdale Farm Pierro Plate.
“This race meeting will again celebrate the Lunar New Year period featuring the Sydney Business of Racing function highlighting the economic impact of Sydney racing and its importance in the Asian Region.’’
Saturday’s nine-race card includes the Group 2 $200,000 TAB Light Fingers Stakes for fillies, Group 3 $160,000 Cellarbrations Southern Cross Stakes and Group 3 $160,000 Robrick Lodge Triscay Stakes for mares.
Away Game ($3.30) trained by Ciaron Maher and David Eustace and ridden by Hugh Bowman is early favourite in a capacity field in the TAB Light Fingers Stakes, ahead of Hungry Heart $3.90 (Waller and McDonald) and Vangelic $7 (Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott and jockey Tim Clark).
Kiwi visitor Kahma Lass ($17) a last-start Group 1 winner lines up for champion NZ trainer Jamie Richards and jockey Kerrin McEvoy. The highly-promising Godolphin mare Tailleur for trainer James Cummings and jockey Kerrin McEvoy is a $1.80 TAB favourite in the Group 3 Robrick Lodge Triscay Stakes.
Icebath – who returns after a narrow second in the Iron Jack Golden Eagle – is a $7 chance for trainer Brad Widdup and jockey Tom Sherry.
With just on five weeks until the iconic Longines Golden Slipper at Rosehill Gardens, the $150,000 Silverdale Farm Pierro Plate will further shape markets and the prizemoney Order Of Entry for the world’s richest race for two-year-olds.
Stay Inside is a $2.70 TAB favourite for co-trainers Richard and Michael Freedman and jockey James McDonald, ahead of Chris Waller’s Headliner ($8) ridden by Sam Clipperton.
Royal Randwick offers free public parking in the infield, entrance via High Street. For all ticketing, racing and general information go to TheRaces.com.au