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Missile Stakes Launches Jockey Celebration Day At Rosehill Gardens

August 3, 2023

The Group 2 $300,000 Toyota Forklifts Missile Stakes – the first Group race of the 2023/24 Sydney metropolitan racing calendar – coincides with Jockey Celebration Day at Rosehill Gardens this Saturday.

The opening Saturday of the season also sees increases in prizemoney across the year from Racing NSW and the Australian Turf Club, with minimum Saturday prizemoney increased to $160,000.

This is in addition to increases to all Group and Listed races in NSW and increases to minimum metropolitan midweek and public holiday prizemoney levels which took affect on 1 Augst this week. TAB Highway and Midway races each Saturday in Sydney rise to $120,000 prizemoney.

Saturday also sees a special celebration of former and retired jockeys in conjunction with the NSW Jockeys Association. Up to 100 former riders will join throughout the day and form a guard of honour for current day jockeys in the Rosehill Gardens parade ring.

Australian Racing Christian Chaplaincy’s Colin Watts will perform a special blessing over the jockeys in Race 7 this Saturday is the NSW Jockeys Association Reunion Handicap.

Australian Turf Club Head of Racing and Wagering James Ross said: “The Group 2 $300,000 Toyota Forklifts Missile Stakes on the first Saturday meeting of the new season starts a stellar series of pathway sprint races across coming months ahead of the world’s richest race on turf the $20 million TAB Everest at Royal Randwick

“This year as we celebrate and remember a number of retired jockeys we also farewell John Duggan, whose achievements in Sydney racing were quite remarkable and a man who will be greatly missed by the racing community.’’

Saturday’s Group 2 $300,000 Toyota Forklifts Missile Stakes has attracted a strong field headed in TAB markets by the heavily-backed Joe Pride trained Big Parade ($3.10-$2.90 TAB) for jockey Josh Parr.

The horse won its latest barrier trial by an amazing 21 lengths.

I Am Me for trainers Ciaron Maher and David Eustace with jockey Tim Clark aboard is $3.10-$3.50. The horse, touted as a TAB Everest contender, has won seven from 13 starts and is unbeaten at Rosehill Gardens.

A number of other Spring sprint feature races have seen significant increases in prizemoney, including the Group 3 Concorde Stakes at Royal Randwick on 2 September ($1 million from $500,000 in 2022), Group 2 The Shorts at Royal Randwick on 16 September ($1 million) and ACY Securities Premiere Stakes at Royal Randwick on 30 September ($1 million).

This Saturday, the ATC in partnership with the Australian Racing Christian Chaplin will host a free BBQ for all strappers and stable staff to thank them for their great work throughout the season.

Jockeys will also wear black armbands for race 4 – the Vale John Duggan – in memory of the champion jockey who passed away this week.

Saturday’s meeting also features the $160,000 Petaluma Premier’s Cup Prelude and a 14-horse field over the 1800m trip.

Full fields for Saturday’s Rosehill Gardens meeting can be found here and full TAB markets for all races here.

The Australian Turf Club is offering a Punters Pack special at – with a $39 ticket (over $60 value) which includes general admission entry, a $30 food and beverage voucher and a racebook.

For all racing, hospitality, general and full ticketing information for Saturday and upcoming racedays visit

Brett de Vine
0419 613 455

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