Royal Randwick will host a sold-out crowd for The Star Championships Day 1 this Saturday – including Sydney’s iconic autumn weekend featuring The Star Doncaster and Bentley Australian Derby double, among four Group 1 races.
All Members, hospitality and general admission tickets have been sold and allocated under COVID-safe protocols as Australian Turf Club continues to welcome growing numbers of spectators back to the track.
Saturday’s four Group 1 races – the $3 million The Star Doncaster, $2 million Bentley Australian Derby, $2.5 million Heineken TJ Smith Stakes and $1 million Inglis Sires – are part of a huge 10-race card.
The meeting will be telecast live across Australia and to more 65 countries across the globe through SKY Racing and Channel 7. Saturday also features five other Group races and the running of the $600,000 Newhaven Park Country Championships Final.
Australian Turf Club Chief Executive, Jamie Barkley said Saturday’s traditional running of The Star Doncaster/Bentley Australian Derby day of racing was one of Australian racing’s biggest events.
“We are excited to put up a sold-out sign which will add tremendous atmosphere on track on this hugely popular day of racing for Sydney," Mr Barkley said. “The ongoing construction of the Winx Stand has allowed us to introduce new areas for the public to enjoy Derby/Doncaster Day in all its great tradition.
“Sydney racing is the hottest ticket in town at the moment as we celebrate world-class racing on the track and award-winning hospitality around it.
"With Saturday sold-out customers and Members need to lock their tickets in for the following Saturday and the clash of Verry Elleegant, Addeybb and Sir Dragonet in the Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Royal Randwick on 17 April."
Saturday’s raceday includes a post-race concert with popular performer Hot Dub Time Machine.
Champion jockey Hugh Bowman, who rode Winx to victory in the race in 2016, is looking to win a second The Star Doncaster aboard $4.20 TAB favourite Mugatoo for trainer Kris Lees.
Glen Boss – aboard Think It Over ($10) for trainer Kerry Parker – is shooting for an extraordinary eighth win in The Star Doncaster over the world-famous Royal Randwick mile.
One of three runners for trainer Annabel Neasham – Mo'unga with jockey Robbie Dolan – is a $7 second favourite as the three-year-old aims for back-to-back Group 1 wins.
The capacity field in The Star Doncaster features 11 individual Group 1 winners with total prizemoney of more than $27 million.
Top filly Montefilia trained by David Payne and ridden by Jason Collett is a $3.60 favourite in the $2 million Bentley Australian Derby. She would be just the third filly in the past 30 years to win the Bentley Australian Derby.
Jockey James McDonald teams with Sky Lab and trainer Paul Perry ($5) with Kiwi galloper Rocket Spade next at $8 TAB for jockey Kerrin McEvoy and trainers Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott.
Sydney’s legendary Gai Waterhouse with co-trainer Adrian Bott is looking to win her first Bentley Australian Derby with Yaletown ($16) and jockey Tim Clark.
The $2.5 million Heineken TJ Smith Stakes has attracted an outstanding field of world-class sprinters – among them the world’s two highest-rated in Nature Strip and Bivouac.
Nature Strip for 10-time champion Sydney trainer Chris Waller and jockey James McDonald is a $3.80 favourite to win the race for a second consecutive year. Eduardo – who defeated Nature Strip last start – is a $4.80 second favourite for trainer Joe Pride and jockey Brenton Avdulla – with Godolphin’s James Cummings-trained and Hugh Bowman-ridden Bivouac next at $5.
In the $1 million Inglis Sires', Godolphin’s Anamoe ($2.10) for James Cummings and James McDonald is looking to go one better than a flashing last start second in the Longines Golden Slipper.
Filly Four Moves Ahead (trainer John Sargent and jockey Tim Clark) is at $5.50. The Royal Randwick course proper was rated a Heavy 9 on Thursday morning but is expected to improve with fine weather until raceday.
For all racing and general information including tickets for The Championships Day 2 – Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes Day go to theraces.com.au