One of world racing’s most spectacular events begins this Saturday – the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival – as Rosehill Gardens launches the Australian Turf Club’s iconic Longines Golden Slipper Carnival.
It is the start of six weeks of stellar racing and entertainment featuring 18 Group 1 races and more than $37 million in prizemoney including the world’s richest race for two-year-olds the Longines Golden Slipper at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday 20 March.
This Saturday sees the running of the Group 1 $600,000 Coolmore Classic, amongst Australian racing’s most prestigious races for fillies and mares, on Chandon Ladies Day.
Two more horses will also automatically confirm a start in the Longines Golden Slipper with the running of the Group 3 $175,000 Cerrone Magic Night Stakes for the fillies and Group 3 $175,000 Bowermans Commercial Furniture Pago Pago Stakes for the colts and geldings.
Australian Turf Club’s Pink Fashion Lunch with an array of entertainment including star performer Christine Anu and women of influence speakers headlined by international actress Rachel Griffith has been sold out. It will part of a theme of pink across the raceday in support of the McGrath Foundation.
Australian Turf Club Chief Executive, Jamie Barkley said the Longines Golden Slipper Carnival was one of the biggest sporting events in Sydney all year: “Ticket sales right across the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival are already very strong with many days of hospitality already sold out,” Mr Barkley said.
“With Sydneysiders now looking to start celebrating after the easing of restrictions, racing is in a leading position to host people on track in a vibrant and safe atmosphere.
“The Australian Turf Club looks forward to welcoming everyone across six weeks at Rosehill Gardens and Royal Randwick for world-class racing and entertainment. With Group 1 racedays and sold-out crowds in Members and hospitality spaces across Carnival, Autumn is Sydney’s time to shine.”
The Group 1 $600,000 Coolmore Classic has attracted a massive field of 18 runners and a wide-open betting race with Forbidden Love an early $6 TAB favourite for trainers Richard and Michael Freedman and jockey Nash Rawiller.
Just two other horses sit under double-figure odds – Chaillot ($8.50 TAB) for visiting Melbourne trainer and jockey Archie Alexander and Declan Bates, and Golden Eagle runner-up Icebath ($9.50 TAB), trained by Brad Widdup and ridden by Kerrin McEvoy.
Jockey Kathy O’Hara – looking for her second win in the Coolmore Classic – joins with legendary trainer Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott on the filly Vangelic ($12 TAB). A filly hasn’t won the Coolmore Classic since Typhoon Tracy in 2009.
Trainers Gerald Ryan and Stirling Alexiou – looking to win their first Longines Golden Slipper – have $2.60 TAB favourite Mallory with jockey Jason Collett in the Group 3 Cerrone Magic Night Stakes. Godolphin trainer James Cummings is aiming for a third consecutive Cerrone Magic Night Stakes with second favourite Arcaded ($3.60 TAB and jockey James McDonald).
In the Group 3 Bowermans Commercial Furniture Pago Pago Stakes, James Cummings saddles up favourite Ingratiating ($2.30 TAB) for top jockey Rachel King. Hawkes Racing, who have won two Longines Golden Slippers in the past seven years, has second favourite Hilal ($4.80 TAB) for two-time Slipper-winning jockey Tommy Berry.
On a huge day of black type racing to open the Longines Golden Slipper Carnival, Saturday’s nine-race card also includes the Group 2 $200,000 Chandon Phar Lap Stakes, Group 2 $200,000 Hyland Race Colours Ajax Stakes, Group 3 $350,000 Bisley Workwear Sky High Stakes and Group 3 $160,000 City Tattersalls Club Maurice McCarten Stakes.
Rosehill Gardens was rated a Good 4 track on Thursday afternoon but with rain predicted over coming days. Rosehill Gardens and all ATC racecourses provide free parking and free high-capacity WiFi.
For all ticketing, racing and general information including Sydney Autumn Racing racedays at Rosehill Gardens and Royal Randwick visit TheRaces.com.au