Royal Randwick Racecourse will play host to day 1 of the inaugural The Championships today, Saturday April 12th; offering trainers, punters and racing fans alike a bevy of top class racing, including four major Group 1 races.
2014 Group 1 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m)
The 2014 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes is the second stop of the two-year-old Triple Crown; bookended by last weekend’s major Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) and the Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) on April 26th and will run race five on today’s impressive race card.
With only three Slipper entrants choosing to accept a position in the final field for the 2014 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes; Unencumbered (barrier 2), Cornrow (barrier 1) and Believe Yourself (barrier 8), eight runners will offered the chance to find the Randwick line with fresh legs.
Having returned to the track in scintillating form this preparation, Peggy Jean has received the strongest share of market support for success in the 2014 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes, cutting from an opening quote of more than $5 to currently feature at $3.20 odds.
2014 Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m)
Confirmed to feature a capacity field of 18, the 2014 Australian Derby is the feature race on day 1 of The Championships, and will feature some of the country’s leading stayers.
Earmarked as the major target for several classy horses over the 2014 Autumn Carnival, the Australian Derby will is shaping as the most well-contested, hard-fought event on today’s Randwick card.
Having claimed the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) last time out, Criterion is currently featured as clear $3 favourite for success and clear market mover, ahead of Anthony Cummings-trained Thunder Fantasy ($7) and classy New Zealand Derby champion Puccini ($8.50).
2014 Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m)
The 2014 T.J. Smith Stakes will see the county’s leading sprinters take to the Randwick 12000 metres course for race seven this afternoon.
Following a week of less-than-favourable conditions in the Greater Sydney Metropolitan area, several earlier confirmed runners have been removed from the final field of the T.J. Smith as a result of soft and damp track conditions, vastly altering betting markets and offering punters several key opportunities to place a winning bet.
Rated the world’s leading sprinter after returning to the track in perfect condition this season, Lankan Rupee (barrier 1) has opened and maintained as outright favourite for success in the 2014 T.J. Smith Stakes, currently offered at $3.50 odds ahead of Irish raider and clear market mover Gordon Lord Byron (barrier 11, $5.50).
2014 Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m)
The final major Group 1 race in week 1 of The Championships, The Doncaster Mile will feature 20 runners line up for the season’s premier handicap race over one mile, or 1600 metres.
Confirmed to carry a race-high weight of 58kgs, trainer Chris Waller has elected to remove talented miler Boban from the final field of the 2014 Doncaster Mile following this week’s inclement weather.
Returning to the track in career best form this preparation, Messene will be aiming to continue the good fortunes of the in-form Team Hawkes stable this afternoon, and is currently offered as outright $4.80 favourite to do so.
The Group 3 Kindergarten Stakes (1100m), Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m), Group 3 PJ Bell Stakes (1200m), Group 2 Chairman’s Handicap (2600m) and Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m) will also be contested on day 1 of The Championships at Royal Randwick Racecourse today.
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