FIRST LOT OF INTERNATIONAL RUNNERS TO STEP OUT
Purplepay, Protagonist And Times Square The First Of Record International Runners To Compete In Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival
March 10, 2023
The first of a record number of international horses to travel to Sydney begin racing campaigns at Rosehill Gardens on Coolmore Classic Day tomorrow at the opening of the $41 million Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
The William Haggas stable’s Purplepay (Group 1 $600,000 Coolmore Classic) with Regan Bayliss aboard and Protagonist (Group 3 $350,000 Furphy Sky High Stakes) with champion jockey James McDonald make Australian debuts in Sydney.
They are joined by Times Square trained by Ciaron Maher and David Eustace and ridden by Jay Ford in the Group 1 $600,000 Coolmore Classic.
All three horses – part of a record number of Sydney Autumn arrivals of 20 runners which is expected to include two horses from Japan – have been in training at Canterbury Park International Quarantine Centre.
Australian Turf Club Executive General Manager Racing and Wagering James Ross said: “We are delighted to see a record number of international visitors to Sydney to compete this Autumn in a number of races across the carnival,’’ Mr Ross said.
“This group is also the highest quality we have seen highlighted by horses such as Dubai Honour running a place in the Champions Stakes, a four-time Group 1 winner in Alcohol Free and multiple group 2 winners across the arrivals in Sydney.
“The quality of these horses is recognised in TAB markets where Dubai Honour sits high in markets for the Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Earl of Tyrone is favourite in the Schweppes Sydney Cup and Alcohol Free second favourite in the Queen Of The Turf Stakes with Purplepay just behind her in betting.
“Record prizemoney from Racing NSW and the Australian Turf Club for the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival along with the continued growth of our racing across the year is attracting not only UK stables but also owners here in Sydney to keep their horses with local stables.’’
William Haggas stable representative Isabella Paul said Purplepay and Protagonist had settled in exceptionally well at the Canterbury Park facilities.
Purplepay also holds nominations in the Group 1 $4 million The Star Doncaster Mile Group 1 $1 million Queen of the Turf Stakes later in the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival while Protagonist has been entered for the Group 1 $5 million Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes and Group 1 $4 million The Star Doncaster Mile.
“All four of our horses have travelled very well and settled in at Canterbury Park comfortably in their first 14 days. Purplepay has been very good in herself, and we hope to see her run very well in the Coolmore Classic tomorrow,’’ Ms Paul said.
“Protagonist had a great fitness base when going into quarantine in Newmarket and has only improved since getting to Australia. We hope he runs very well tomorrow and expect him to take great benefit from his first up race in Australia.
“Dubai Honour and Earl of Tyrone have thrived since being in Australia and we are very excited to see them both start their Australian campaigns in coming weeks.’’
For all ticketing, racing and general information including details of all upcoming racedays across the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival go to theraces.com.au
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