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Horses from Japan, Great Britain and Ireland will feature throughout The Star Championships

March 30, 2023

The Star Championships Day 1 – the tenth running of Royal Randwick’s showpiece Autumn event this Saturday – will be viewed in more than 60 countries as some of international racing’s biggest stars converge on Sydney.

World-renowned trainers Yoshito Yahagi from Japan, William Haggas from Great Britain and Ireland’s Joseph O’Brien have brought teams of horses to this year’s Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival at Royal Randwick and Rosehill Gardens.

Their horses are among a record 20 international horses for overseas and local stables targeting flagship Sydney races such as the $5 million Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes, $4 million The Star Doncaster Mile, $2 million Schweppes Sydney Cup and $1 million Queen Of The Turf Stakes across the next two weeks at Royal Randwick.

A number of horses will remain with Sydney stables beyond the Autumn.

International racing’s most decorated jockeys including Ryan Moore (UK), Zac Purton (Hong Kong) and Joao Moreira have also jetted into Sydney to take on the world’s best jockey in James McDonald and other local riding stars such as Hugh Bowman and Kerrin McEvoy.

The 10-race card of the Championships Day 2 – Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes Day at Royal Randwick will be simulcast into Hong Kong.

The Group 1 $5 million Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes on 8 April – where Mr Yahagi’s runner Unicorn Lion is set to take on Australia’s highest rated horse Anamoe and Haggas stable runner Dubai Honour – will be simulcast in Japan.

Australian Turf Club Executive General Manager Racing and Wagering James Ross said Sydney racing was being showcased to the world.

“We are delighted to welcome some of international racing’s biggest stars to Sydney to compete against Australia’s best horses, trainers and jockeys for record prizemoney of $41.6 million across this Autumn,’’ Mr Ross said.

“It is satisfying to see international participation grow in number and in quality, with horses trained by leading figures such as Yoshito Yahagi, Joseph O’Brien and William Haggas truly highlighting the global event that the Sydney Autumn Carnival has become on the international stage.

“It’s also a great complement to the world-class racing in Sydney to see such widespread international media and broadcasters, and very exciting for fans in both Japan and Hong Kong to have simulcast coverage of the Longines Queen Elizabeth stakes meeting at Royal Randwick.”

The William Haggas trained Protagonist – which runs in this Saturday’s Group 1 $4 million The Star Doncaster Mile – has already tasted victory at the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival this month in the Group 3 $350,000 Sky High Stakes.

Dubai Honour with jockey Ryan Moore aboard won the Group 1 $1 million Ranvet Stakes at Rosehill Gardens on Longines Golden Slipper Day.

Japan Cup winning trainer Mr Yahagi has arrived in Sydney to oversee the training of his two horses Unicorn Lion ($5 million Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes 8 April) and Ho O Amazon ($1.5 million Schweppes All Aged Stakes 15 April).

“Randwick was where I started my racing career so I am really excited to be back here,” Mr Yahagi said.

“I first arrived in 1981 and was under the care of Neville Begg and he was so good to me and that’s who I learned from. He was actually my master.

“It’s certainly exciting and now I am back at Royal Randwick for The Championships as we had been targeting these races a few years ago with Mozu Ascot.

“I would really love to win a race in Sydney and take a trophy home.”

Amongst major channels covering The Championships from Royal Randwick are Green Channel and Fuji TV (Japan); TVB, Cable, Now TV, HKJC TV (Hong Kong); STC TV (Singapore); Club Network (India), Trackside (New Zealand),  FANDUEL &NYRA, (US); HPI (Canada); Europe: SKY Sports Racing (UK) ; ITV (UK); Racing TV (UK, Republic of Ireland); Equidia (France); SuperSport (Africa)


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