RACE 6 – ATC SIRES PRODUCE STAKES
With Golden Slipper winner Vancouver enjoying a spell before returning for the spring, an even batch of two-year-olds will line-up in the $1 Million Group 1 ATC Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Once Vancouver headed to the paddock, favouritism went to Pride Of Dubai ($3.50) who backed up his second placing in the Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m) at Caulfield on February 14 by taking out the Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at the same venue on February 28.
Trainer Gai Waterhouse will be hoping that English ($4.60) – who won her first two starts – can go one better after finishing second to her stablemate in the Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill on March 21.
Ready For Victory ($4.60) won his first start over 1000m at Flemington on March 7 but the More Than Ready colt showed his inexperience by veering across the track in the home straight when finishing fourth in the Golden Slipper.
After winning at Flemington in the Talindert Stakes (1100m) on February 21 and Breeders Stakes (1200m) on March 14, the Peter Moody-trained Pasadena Girl ($8 - $6) will have her first race start around a bend as opposed to the straight course in her first two races.
This time last week, Pasadena Girl was a $26 chance but one customer had foresight last Friday and place a $1,400 each-way bet at $26/$7.25.
Suggested Trifecta: 7. English | 1. Pride Of Dubai | 3. Ready For Victory | 5. Tarquin
RACE 7 – ATC AUSTRALIAN DERBY
It’s been 21 years since Mahogany completed the Victoria Derby-Australian Derby Double and Preferment will be aiming to emulate that feat in the $2 Million Group 1 ATC Australian Derby (2400m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
After resuming from his Victoria Derby triumph with an 11th-place finish in the Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on February 21 and last-of-six in the Randwick Guineas (1600m) on March 7, the Chris Waller-trained Preferment ($3.50 equal favourite) showed his appreciation for longer distances when nosed out by Volkstok’n’barrell in the Rosehill Guineas on March 21 over 2000m.
Hauraki ($3.50 equal favourite) followed his runner-up finish to Winx in the Phar Lap Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on March 14 with an impressive victory in the Tulloch Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on March 28 which was the third win from six starts for the Reset colt.
Donna Logan trained Rising Romance to victory in last year’s ATC Australian Oaks and will be hoping that Volkstok’n’barrell ($4.60) can achieve similar success in the Derby after holding off Preferment in the Rosehill Guineas a fortnight ago.
One punter will be hoping that the Kiwi horse can complete the Rosehill Guineas-ATC Australian Derby Double after placing a $1,000 each-way bet at $15/$4.50 on February 13.
The colt that had the better of Volkstok’n’barrell in the Avondale Guineas (2100m) at Ellerslie on February 14 and the New Zealand Derby (2400m) at Ellerslie on February 28 was Mongolian Khan ($8) and the son of Holy Roman Emperor will look to improve on his fifth-place finish in the Rosehill Guineas.
Suggested Trifecta: 1. Preferment | 2. Volkstok’n’barrell | 5. Hauraki | 3. Mongolian Khan
RACE 8 – T.J. SMITH STAKES
Aside from the Royal Ascot bound Brazen Beau, the cream of Australia’s sprinting crop will do battle once again at Royal Randwick on Saturday in the $2.5 Million Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes over 1200m.
Team Hawkes will saddle up Chautauqua ($2.60 favourite) who returned from a break with a win in the Rubiton Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on February 14 before his runner-up finish to Brazen Beau in the Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 14.
Trainer Joe Pride boasted that Terravista ($3.20) was the world’s best sprinter before the five-year-old gelding won the Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington on November 8 and he will strip fitter after his first-up third in the Newmarket Handicap three weeks ago.
Since Tuesday’s final field was announced, punters have warmed to Terravista with bets of $7,000 and $4,000 at $3.20 on the world’s best sprinter according to Pride.
Last year’s T.J. Smith Stakes winner Lankan Rupee ($6) resumed from an indifferent spring in sensational fashion to thrash Brazen Beau and Deep Field in the Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) at Flemington on February 21 but finished a disappointing sixth in the Newmarket Handicap last start.
After going close on many occasions, Sweet Idea ($6) finally shook off her bridesmaid tag with a devastating turn of foot in The Galaxy (1100m) at Rosehill on March 21 and trainer Gai Waterhouse will be hoping for a repeat performance before the Snitzel mare heads to Queensland.
Suggested Trifecta: 2. Terravista | 3. Chautauqua | 1. Lankan Rupee | 10. Sweet Idea
RACE 9 – DONCASTER MILE
Despite the ordinary weather that is forecast, a capacity field will contest the $3 Million Group 1 Doncaster Mile – Australia’s premier 1600m event – at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
After returning with fighting victories in the Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on February 21 and the Randwick Guineas (1600m) on March 7, the Bart and James Cummings-trained Hallowed Crown ($4.60 favourite) found the 2000m trip a touch too far last start when finishing third to Volkstok’n’barrell and Preferment in the Rosehill Guineas on March 21.
Japanese visitor Real Impact ($7) lived up to his name when he held off Criterion in the home straight to win the George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on March 21 and the son of Deep Impact is expected to benefit greatly from his first run since December 27.
Pornichet ($8) has rocketed into Doncaster Mile calculations after easily taking out the Neville Sellwood Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill last week and the four-year-old bay horse appears to be Gai Waterhouse’s best chance of claiming an eighth victory in this race.
One customer will be hoping that their long-range forecast pays off after placing $1,000 at $26 on Pornichet to win the Doncaster Mile on February 10.
Royal Descent ($11 - $9.50) has been a model of consistency throughout her career with four wins and 10 minor placings from 23 starts which includes runner-up finishes at the Randwick mile last spring to two-time Doncaster Mile winner Sacred Falls (currently $17) in the George Main Stakes on September 20 and He’s Your Man in the Epsom Mile on October 4.
Two emergencies who will be highly regarded if they gain a start are the Chris Waller-trained Kermadec ($6 - $7) who flashed home for third in the George Ryder Stakes a fortnight ago and the Godolphin-owned Sweynesse ($11) who will drop back 400m in distance after finishing fourth in the Rosehill Guineas.
Suggested Trifecta: 6. Royal Descent | 10. Hallowed Crown | 22. Kermadec (if he gains a start) | 19. Suavito | 14. Pornichet
RACE 4 – COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL
After a series of heats around the country areas of New South Wales, the best gallopers from the bush will head to ‘The Big Smoke’ for the $291,000 Country Championship Final (1400m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
The Paul Messara-trained Tarangower ($4.60 favourite) booked his berth when he travelled to the Hunter/North West region and finished second to Voodoo Lad in Tamworth’s heat over 1400m on March 12.
With four wins and three seconds from seven starts, Voodoo Lad ($6) heads to Randwick in great form with the I Am Invincible gelding having accounted for Tarangower in their previous meeting.
Artlee ($6) finished seventh in the Tamworth heat Tarangower won but the four-year-old bay gelding took advantage of the Wild Card held at Muswellbrook last Sunday and was victorious over the 1280m trip.
Without A Shadow ($6) travelled to the South East region on March 20 and booked her ticket for the Final with victory over Just A Blur and Wings in Goulburn’s heat over 1400m.
Suggested Trifecta: 3. Voodoo Lad | 1. Binalong Road | 4. Tarangower | 2. Without A Shadow
GROUP 1 TRIFECTA OFFER
Place a trifecta on any Group 1 race during The Championships with your TAB account or TAB Rewards card, and if your bet loses but two out of three placings are correct, get a bonus bet up to $50*.
The trifecta in the Doncaster Mile last year paid $422 on the NSW TAB with Sacred Falls winning the race.
The is a $1 million pool guarantee on the Quaddie (races 7-10) at Randwick with the NSW TAB. The first leg of the Quaddie is the Australian Derby at 3.50pm with the last race at 5.50pm.
Grade B - Ballymore Eustace Handicap Hurdle
Grade B - Three.ie H'cap Steeplechase
G1 - Ryanair Nov Chase
G1 - Ladbrokes Champion Stayers Hurdle
G1 - Nz Oaks