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February 23, 2022

Sydney’s first two Group 1 races for 2022 and two key pathway races to the iconic $5 million Longines Golden Slipper are part of a huge card of racing at Royal Randwick this Saturday before an official start to the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.

TAB Chipping Norton Stakes Day is the first of eight consecutive Saturdays of Group 1 racing in Sydney with the $600,000 TAB Chipping Norton Stakes and $500,000 DrinkWise Surround Stakes showcasing several of Australia’s highest rated horses.

Australian Horse of the Year Verry Elleegant aiming for an 11th Group 1 victory resumes a great rivalry with emerging star Think It Over in the TAB Chipping Norton Stakes while a capacity field of fillies including boom Chris Waller pair Espiona and Fangirl head early TAB markets in the DrinkWise Surround Stakes.

Two more horses on Saturday will gain automatic entry into the $5 million Longines Golden Slipper on 19 March via the Group 2 $200,000 Furphy Sweet Embrace Stakes for fillies and Group 2 $200,000 Elite Sand & Soil Skyline Stakes for colts and geldings.

Australian Turf Club Executive General Manager Racing and Wagering James Ross said Saturday’s card including two Group 1, three Group 2 and a Group 3 race continued a world-class build up to the $37 million Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.

“The TAB Chipping Norton has continually been won by some of Australian racing’s greatest champions and was recently rated Australia’s highest rated mile race in the Longines Top 100 World Races rankings,’’ Mr Ross said.

“This year’s field again features amongst Australia’s very best with eight of the 13 horses individual Group 1 winners totalling 23 Group 1s and collectively almost $41 million in total prizemoney.

“We are also pleased to continue our great partner TAB’s association with this raceday as one of the Australian Turf Club’s longest and most significant partners.’’

Full fields for all ten races at Royal Randwick are available here and full TAB markets for each race here.

Verry Elleegant for Sydney’s reigning premiership trainer and jockey pair Chris Waller and James McDonald has been $2.80-$3 in early TAB betting as she aims to win back-to-back TAB Chipping Norton Stakes.

Think It Over – a winner of 11 of 31 starts including seven wins and five placings at Royal Randwick – is a firm $3.60 TAB chance for Kembla Grange trainer Kerry Parker and Royal Randwick specialist jockey Nash Rawiller.

Colette for Godolphin head trainer James Cummings and with Tim Clark aboard has been supported early ($4.60-$4.20 TAB) as she aims to burst through the $7 million prizemoney barrier.

The Group 1 $500,000 DrinkWise Surround Stakes has attracted a capacity field with the Chris Waller/James McDonald combination with Espiona ($2-$2.10 TAB) a clear early favourite.

Her last start TAB Light Fingers Stakes conqueror and stablemate Fangirl, a winner of four of her six starts and with Hugh Bowman to ride, is a $4-$4.20 TAB second favourite.

At $11 TAB, Jamaea trained by Robert and Luke Price and with Brock Ryan aboard, is next TAB Fixed Odds market pick.

The current TAB favourite for the Longines Golden Slipper – Coolangatta trained by Ciaron Maher and David Eustace and ridden by James McDonald – is a $2.15 TAB favourite on Saturday in the Group 2 $200,000 Furphy Sweet Embrace Stakes.

Royal Randwick’s Inglis Millennium winner Xtravagant Star has been well backed into second favourite ($5.50-$4 TAB) for father and son trainers Tony and Calvin McEvoy and jockey Chad Schofield.

The Group 2 $200,000 Elite Sand & Soil Skyline Stakes – with a capacity 16 acceptors – provides one of the most open betting races in many weeks, with TAB markets headed by a $6 chance in Padrino, trained by Maher and Eustace and ridden by Keagan Latham.

Saturday’s program also features the Group 2 $200,000 Proven Thoroughbreds Stakes for the mares and Group 3 $160,000 Cellarbrations Liverpool City Cup.

For all racing, general and ticketing information including hospitality packages at Rosehill Gardens and Royal Randwick for the upcoming Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival go to

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