Day 1 of The Championships was sublime. And day 2 shapes up as even better!
The Australian Oaks, Sydney Cup, Arrowfield Sprint and Legacy Stakes have all drawn amazing fields but the jewel in the crown – the Queen Elizabeth Stakes – takes the cake with an array of champion horses with diverse form lines meeting.
Many of the standout horses are backing up from day one, whilst a few new horses are ready to steal the show.
Let’s deep dive into the card.
Race 1 – Fernhill Mile
The babies clash to open the card and two yards famous for excellent juveniles are where I’ll be spending mine. The Snowden colt, Untamed, will be hard to topple whilst Postcode – who has had five starts – will be on speed and hard to track down for the Waterhouse-Bott combination.
1 Postcode $3.10
2 Untamed $2.50
3 Azaly $4.40
4 Fayerra $11
Suggested Bet – Quinella 1, 2, 3.
Race 2 – South Pacific Classic
A tough race to assess but again, look no further than the No. 1 and No. 2 saddlecloths.
Yao Dash has a decent hype around him but did disappoint last start. He’s trialled up since and should be in the mix. Godolphin galloper, Hilo, is no star but can be winning this. Indy Car is well supported in early markets and Knickpoint is enigmatic but talented.
1 Yao Dash $3.80
2 Hilo $5.50
3 Indy Car $8
4 Knickpoint $8
Suggested Bet – (9) Indy Car each way $8
Race 3 – Provincial Championships
Last week I admitted I had no clue about these provincial races and somehow I landed the 20/1 winner in my quaddie. So, again, and truthfully I have no idea about this race.
1 Enchanted Heart $17
2 Electric Girl $4.80
3 Oakfield Missile $21
4 Animate $5.50
Suggested Bet – (14) Enchanted Heart each way $17.
Race 4 – Percy Sykes Stakes
Some standout two-year-olds lob here for a crack at more riches.
Away Game has $2.32 million in the coffers and the filly will be incredibly hard to top. Dame Giselle will run well for the Snowdens and from there it’s a decent gap to the rest with perhaps Vangelic being the best of the outsiders.
1 Away Game $3.20
2 Dame Giselle $5.50
3 Vangelic $21
4 See You Soon $8
Suggested Bet – Away Game to win $3.20
Race 5 – Arrowfield 3YO Sprint
The early support has surprisingly been for Cosmic Force despite an average run last start. Another last-start failure was Flit, who ran wild in the All-Star Mile before puncturing. She can get back to her best over the sprint trip.
Groundswell and Hawker Hurricane are two at odds I could get involved in whilst Anaheed, Villami and California Zimbol are also winning hopes.
1 Groundswell $21
2 Hawker Hurricane $34
3 Flit $7
4 Cosmic Force $3.40
Suggested Bet – (5) Groundswell & (6) Hawker Hurricane each way.
Race 6 – Australian Oaks
Godolphin upstart Colette was dominant and classy winning last week and backs up here as the Oaks favourite. Kiwi, Probabeel, is a genuine animal and will take some beating. Her soft track form is excellent and she’s run top two at each run this prep.
Shout The Bar is a lightly raced but talented filly and Nudge caught the eye in the Vinery up the fence.
1 Probabeel $4.40
2 Colette $3
3 Nudge $10
4 Shout the Bar $4.40
Suggested Bet – (1) Probabeel to win $4.40
Race 7 – Sydney Cup
Young Rascal got the job done on his Australian debut and his stable mate was even more impressive, suggesting the William Haggas-trained duo are here for business.
It’s the five-year-olds first try at two miles but he’s a beast on soft ground. Easily top pick.
Mustajeer was honest in grabbing second last time in and there does look to be a space to the rest. Horses like Raheen House, The Chosen One, Yogi and Angel Of Truth are worth thought.
1 Young Rascal $2.50
2 The Chosen One $17
3 Mustajeer $5
4 Raheen House $7
Suggested Bet – (2) Young Rascal to win $2.50
Race 8 – Queen Elizabeth Stakes
You’ll need to go a long way to track down a more diverse and competitive race than this.
A European gun, a Japanese gun, a couple of Kiwi champs plus the best local horseflesh we have on offer.
Japanese entrant, Danon Premium, arrives with huge boom with genuine form around Almond Eye and Cox Plate winner, Lys Gracieux. IF he handles the cut in the track, he wins. Otherwise, Euro star Addeybb can repeat his debut Aussie performance where he led and stayed off Verry Elleegant who has since franked that form.
Te Akau Shark has had a minor setback but the stable says he arrives here good to go, meaning he must be considered especially IF the speed is on.
And the forgotten horse to me is Melody Belle. She had a torrid trip in The Doncaster but hung on to run third with the big weight. She thrives in the soft going.
1 Melody Belle $13
2 Danon Premium $3.40
3 Addeybb $4.40
4 Verry Elleegant $6
Suggested Bet – (13) Melody Belle each way $13 & Box Trifecta 1, 2, 4, 5, 12, 13.
Race 9 – Coolmore Legacy Stakes
Godolphin mare, Alizee, will bow out of racing after this Group 1 and the stable will be hoping she can go out in glory.
Doncaster winner Nettoyer can go back-to-back such are the sectionals she’s been running whilst three-year-old, Funstar, should enjoy a drop back in trip.
Positive Peace has won a handful in a row and James Cummings has been consistently talking up Pohutukawa but the horse has kept finding bad ground against track bias.
1 Funstar $2.80
2 Alizee $12
3 Pohutukawa $14
4 Noire $14
Suggested Bet – (1) Alizee, (14) Pohutukawa & (8) Noire each way.
Race 10 – Sapphire Stakes
A very even race for the fillies and mares winds up a magnificent card. Soothing had no impact at Group 1 level last time but this is a drop back in grade, whilst stable mate, Savatiano, is a good mare who struggled in that same Group 1. Both can win this.
I Am Excited was that aforementioned Group 1 victor but catches a 7kg weight rise here. Fasika is 3/4 on soft/heavy ground whilst Manicure and Grey Shadow are others to think about.
1 Savatiano $4.40
2 Soothing $11
3 Fasika $4.40
4 Grey Shadow $23
Suggested Bet – (3) Savatiano to win $4.40
R4 N2 Away Game win $3.20
R6 N1 Probabeel win $4.40
R7 N2 Young Rascal win $2.50
R8 N13 Melody Belle $13
1, 2, 4, 5, 8, 10, 12, 13
1, 2, 8, 9, 14, 17
3, 7, 12, 15
$50 = 26%
Enjoy your day of racing. Stay home. Stay safe. And gamble within your means!