The Championships 2015: Global appeal grows for racing’s “Grand Finals”   Leave a comment

The Championships 2015: Global appeal grows for racing’s “Grand Finals”

The decider: The $2.5 million Darley T.J. Smith Stakes features a showdown between three

The decider: The $2.5 million Darley T.J. Smith Stakes features a showdown between three of the best sprinters in the world, Lankan Rupee, Terravista (right) and Chautauqua (grey). Picture: Ian Currie Source: News Corp Australia

SYDNEY’S showpiece autumn racing carnival, The Championships at Royal Randwick are becoming a truly international event.

Some of the best racehorses, jockeys and trainers in world racing will be competing at The Championships, which begin on Saturday.

There is almost $20 million prizemoney available over the next two Saturdays were eight Group 1 races will be decided on what has been described as Australian racing’s “Grand Finals”.

Racing NSW chairman John Messara, who has been a driving force behind The Championships, said there are many highlights of the series including:

SIX international runners in 2015

LARGEST ever Japanese contingent (at an Australian Carnival)

TWENTY-TWO individual Group 1 winners are racing on Saturday.

“There could easily be 35 individual Group 1 winners race at The Championships,’’ Messara said.

“But Japan’s To the World, Tosen Stardom, World Ace, all outstanding racehorses, aren’t even among those as yet.

“Australia’s best jockeys are at Randwick while international superstars like Joao Moreira and Zac Purton are also riding.’’

The $3 million The Star Doncaster Mile field contains no fewer than 11 individual Group 1 winners.

The Doncaster includes two international runners for the first time in the race’s 150-year history, Japanese duo Real Impact and World Ace.

Both have been among the race favourites for weeks with Real Impact confirming his quality winning the George Ryder Stakes two weeks ago.

Francesca Cumani unveils the 2015 official trophy for The Championships with John Messara

Francesca Cumani unveils the 2015 official trophy for The Championships with John Messara and Peter V’landys. Picture: Brett Costello Source: News Corp Australia

But Doncasters are never easy to win and Saturday’s race is typically wide open with Sacred Falls aiming for a historic third successive in win against proven big-race performers like Happy Trails, Royal Descent and crack three-year-olds Hallowed Crown, Sweynesse and Kermadec.

The $2.5 million Darley T.J. Smith Stakes features a showdown between three of the best sprinters in the world, Lankan Rupee, Terravista and Chautauqua.

The “big three” of Australian sprinting still look set to dominate but The Galaxy winner Sweet Idea is muscling in to add extra intrigue to the race.

The $2 million BMW ATC Australian Derby is a classic trans-Tasman clash. The local stayers are headed by Victoria Derby hero Preferment and last week’s stunning Tulloch Stakes winner Hauraki.

But their opposition including the top Kiwis, Mongolian Khan and Volkstok‘n’barrell, who ran the quinella in the New Zealand Derby.

Messara said approval to use Canterbury Park as a quarantine training and stabling facility has given The Championships and Sydney’s autumn carnival a massive boost.

He said the quality of racing has been raised and noted The BMW, Australia’s premier weight-for-age event over 2400m and won last week by Hartnell, has rated 2.5 lengths stronger in 2014 and 2015 since The Championships were initiated.

“The re-emergence of the Sydney Autumn is being driven by the strength of The Championships,’’ Messara continued.

“We have already seen the increased investment and commitment to Australian racing from Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin stables as they are now bringing out from Europe horses like Contributer and Hartnell to race.’’

The April 11 meeting at Royal Randwick also promises to be a scene-stealer.

Day Two of The Championships will feature Sydney’s richest race, the $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes and a likely field that includes Contributer, Adelaide, To The World, Tosen Stardom, Criterion, Spillway, Lucia Valentina, Happy Trails, Silent Achiever and other horses from the Doncaster Mile.

James McDonald celebrates with gusto as Hartnell wins The BMW. Picture: Getty Images

James McDonald celebrates with gusto as Hartnell wins The BMW. Picture: Getty Images Source: Getty Images

The 150th running of $1.6 million Sydney Cup next week will include the three placegetters from the Melbourne Cup, Protectionist, Red Cadeaux and Who Shot Thebarman, along with The BMW winner Hartnell and Hong Kong’s Dominant.

It is clearly the best Sydney Cup field in decades and primarily due to the massive prizemoney boost where $1 million is paid to the winner.

But it is not all about the Group 1 starts and international raiders.

Racing NSW’s decision to introduce a special race series for exclusively for country and provincial-trained horses has provided an opportunity for racing industry participants from all over NSW to be involved with The Championships.

After seven heats in various regions of the state, and then last-ditch wildcard event last Sunday, the $300,000 Country Championships Final at Royal Randwick on Saturday brings together a capacity field of 16 runners plus eight emergencies.

Barbara Joseph, one of the most outstanding country trainers and famous for preparing Merimbula Bay to win the 1989 Doncaster Mile, has qualified Just A Blur and (emergency) Because We Call Can for the Final and believes the concept is huge boost to country racing.

“The Country Championships is the best thing to happen to country racing in years,’’ she said. “Everyone is talking about it, everyone wants to be involved. It’s put country racing on the map.’’

Day Two of The Championships will feature the $300,000 Provincial Championships Final. There has been heats held at Wyong, Kembla Grange, Hawkesbury and Newcastle with the final qualifier run at Gosford on Thursday.

Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist will contest the Sydney Cup on the second weekend of T

Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist will contest the Sydney Cup on the second weekend of The Championships.Source: News Corp Australia

THE SCHEDULE

DAY 1

SATURDAY

The Star Doncaster Mile (Group 1, $3 million, 1600m)

Long acknowledged as Australia’s mile championship, 2015 will celebrate 150 years of the Doncaster.

Darley TJ Smith Stakes (Group 1, $2.5 million, 1200m)

The sprinting championship
of Australia.

BMW Australian Derby (Group 1, $2 million, 2400m)

Australia’s premier race for staying three-year-olds.

Inglis Sires’ Produce Stakes (Group 1, $1 million, 1400m)

It is Randwick’s hampionship race for two-year-olds.

DAY 2

SATURDAY, APRIL 11

Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Group 1, $4 million, 2000m)

The world’s richest 2000m turf race.

Schweppes Sydney Cup (Group 1, $1.6 million, 3200m)

The autumn championship in the stayers’ category.

Australian Oaks (Group 1, $1 million, 2400m)

The premier staying test for three-year-old fillies.

Cellarbrations Queen of the
Turf Stakes (Group 1, $1 million, 1600m)

The ultimate fillies and mares championship

Day Two of the inaugural Championships last year. Picture: Getty Images

Day Two of the inaugural Championships last year. Picture: Getty Images Source: Getty Images

THE BIG ONES

$3 million DONCASTER MILE (1600m)

Randwick, Saturday 5.10pm

1. SACRED FALLS (NZ) Chris Waller Zac Purton 20 58kg

2. HAPPY TRAILS Paul Beshara Damien Oliver 2 56.5kg

3. WORLD ACE (JPN) Yasutoshi Ikee Nicholas Hall 16 55.5kg

4. REAL IMPACT (JPN) Noriyuki Hori James McDonald 21 55kg

5. MORIARTY (IRE) Chris Waller Tye Angland 11 54.5kg

6. ROYAL DESCENT Chris Waller Joao Moreira 18 54kg

7. NINTH LEGION Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes Dwayne Dunn 8 52.5kg

8. PUCCINI (NZ) Peter & Jacob McKay Craig Newitt 17 52.5kg

9. COSMIC ENDEAVOUR Gai Waterhouse Tim Clark 15 52kg

10. HALLOWED CROWN Bart & James Cummings Tommy Berry 23 52kg

11. HOOKED John P Thompson Dom Tourneur 12 52kg

12. IT’S SOMEWHAT (USA) John O’Shea Craig Williams 4 51.5kg

13. DIAMOND DRILLE Gai Waterhouse Thomas Huet 22 51kg

14. PORNICHET (FR) Gai Waterhouse Kerrin McEvoy 13 51kg

15. DESTINY’S KISS Joseph Pride — 9 51kg

16. ARABIAN GOLD David Vandyke Chad Schofield 5 50.5kg

17. LEEBAZ (NZ) Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes — 3 50.5kg

18. RUDY Helen Page Luke Tarrant (a) 6 50.5kg

19. SUAVITO (NZ) Nigel Blackiston Corey Brown 1 50kg

20. PLUCKY BELLE Peter G Moody Ms Kathy O’Hara 10 50kg

21e. SWEYNESSE John O’Shea Sam Clipperton 7 50kg

22e. KERMADEC (NZ) Chris Waller Glen Boss 19 50kg

23e. AOMEN (IRE) Anthony Cummings — 14 50kg

24e. MALAVIO Steve Englebrecht — 24 50kg

CLICK HERE: TAB FIXED ODDS

$2.5 million T.J. SMITH STAKES (1200m)

Randwick, Saturday 4.30pm

1. LANKAN RUPEE Mick Price Craig Newitt 4 58.5kg

2. TERRAVISTA Joseph Pride Hugh Bowman 10 58.5kg

3. CHAUTAUQUA Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes Tommy Berry 9 58.5kg

4. TIGER TEES (NZ) Joseph Pride James McDonald 2 58.5kg

5. FAMOUS SEAMUS (NZ) Noel Mayfield-Smith Tim Clark 1 58.5kg

6. FONTELINA Anthony Cummings Zac Purton 8 58.5kg

7. FAST ’N’ ROCKING David Hayes & Tom Dabernig Dwayne Dunn 11 58.5kg

8. RAIN AFFAIR Joseph Pride Craig Williams 6 58.5kg

9. LORD OF THE SKY Robbie Laing Damien Oliver 7 58.5kg

10. SWEET IDEA Gai Waterhouse Joao Moreira 5 56.5kg

11. PRESS REPORT Lee Curtis Jason Collett 3 54.5kg

CLICK HERE: TAB FIXED ODDS

$2 million AUSTRALIAN DERBY (2400m)

Randwick, Saturday 3.50pm

1. PREFERMENT (NZ) Chris Waller Damien Oliver 10 56.5kg

2. VOLKSTOK’N’BARRELL (NZ) Donna Logan Craig Williams 5 56.5kg

3. MONGOLIAN KHAN Murray Baker Opie Bosson 1 56.5kg

4. HAMPTON COURT Gai Waterhouse Joshua Parr 6 56.5kg

5. HAURAKI John O’Shea James McDonald 9 56.5kg

6. QUICK STRIKE Chris Waller Tye Angland 3 56.5kg

7. OMEROS John Sargent Joao Moreira 2 56.5kg

8. RULING DYNASTY Bart & James Cummings Tommy Berry 4 56.5kg

9. BIKILA Pat Carey Chad Schofield 8 56.5kg

10. BROGUE (NZ) Steve Englebrecht Christian Reith 7 56.5kg

CLICK HERE: TAB FIXED ODDS

$1 million INGLIS SIRES (1400m)

Randwick, Saturday 3.10pm

1. PRIDE OF DUBAI Peter & Paul Snowden Hugh Bowman 6 56.5kg

2. MISHANI HONCHO Les Ross Chris Whiteley 3 56.5kg

3. READY FOR VICTORY Mick Price Nicholas Hall 8 56.5kg

4. ODYSSEY MOON Rodney Northam Damien Oliver 5 56.5kg

5. TARQUIN John O’Shea James McDonald 7 56.5kg

6. RAGEESE Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes Dwayne Dunn 10 56.5kg

7. ENGLISH Gai Waterhouse Tommy Berry 9 54.5kg

8. PASADENA GIRL (NZ) Peter G Moody Vlad Duric 2 54.5kg

9. ALWAYS ALLISON Chris Waller Joao Moreira 11 54.5kg

10. PERIGNON Gerald Ryan Zac Purton 4 54.5kg

11. QUEEN OF WANDS Clarry Conners Sam Clipperton 1 54.5kg

CLICK HERE: TAB FIXED ODDS

Blue Diamond winner Pride Of Dubai is heavily favoured to win the Group 1 Sires Produce o

Blue Diamond winner Pride Of Dubai is heavily favoured to win the Group 1 Sires Produce on Saturday. Picture: George Salpigtidis Source: News Corp Australia

Originally published as Global warming for racing’s “Grand Finals”

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Posted April 2, 2015 by belesprit09 in Uncategorized

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