ROYAL RANDWICK CROWNS GRAND FINALS OF RACING WITH SUPERSTAR FIELD IN LONGINES QUEEN ELIZABETH STAKES
April 7, 2022
In the most anticipated raceday in many decades, the nation’s very best weight-for-age horses line up at Royal Randwick this Saturday on The Championships Day 2, Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes Day, as part of the Grand Finals of Australian racing.
The Group 1 $4 million Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes has lived up to its billing as the “race of the century’’ – featuring a stellar line-up of stars in a race which for the past four years is officially rated as Australia’s highest.
Nine horses, including seven Group 1 winners, will contest the Group 1 $4 million Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes, which has a long honour roll of Australian racing’s greatest champions, including the immortal Winx (2017, 2018 and 2019).
Sydney’s newest spectator precinct named after that mighty mare – the two-level $47 million WINX Stand situated just past the famous Royal Randwick rise – is open and available to all general admission customers as part of their purchased tickets.
Saturday’s raceday includes three other Group 1 races on a huge 10-race card – the Group 1 $2 million Schweppes Sydney Cup, Group 1 $1 million The Star Australian Oaks and Group 1 $1 million Sydney’s Queen Of The Turf Stakes.
The $2 million Schweppes Sydney Cup features a 19-horse field including Chalk Stream, trained by Chris Waller, and who is owned by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, racing in her world-famous Purple, Gold, Scarlet and Black royal colours.
Australian Turf Club Executive General Manager Racing and Wagering James Ross said the $4 million Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes was the highlight of another world-class Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival program.
“The Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes regularly features amongst the top 20 Longines highest rated in world racing, and for the past four years has been Australia’s highest rated race,’’ Mr Ross said.
“This year’s field has again attracted a world-class line-up who have collectively won 26 Group 1 races and around $46 million in prizemoney – it is without doubt the flagship race of the Sydney Autumn.
“The Star Championships are now in their ninth year, continuing to grow as an international event and this weekend will be watched in over 65 countries courtesy of our broadcast partners Sky International.”
In what shapes as a competitive TAB wagering market, 11-time Group 1 winner and reigning Australian Horse Of The Year Verry Elleegant is the popular early TAB favourite ($3-$2.90) in the Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes for Sydney’s champion trainer and jockey combination Chris Waller and James McDonald.
Verry Elleegant, who has run second in the Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes in the past two years to the world’s highest rated horse in Addeybb, could be having her final Australian run before an overseas campaign.
Multiple Group 1 winners Zaaki ($4.50-$4.80 TAB) for trainer Annabel Neasham and jockey Jamie Kah, and star three-year-old Anamoe ($4.50-$4.80 TAB) James Cummings and Tommy Berry, are next in betting.
Duais, looking for a fourth Group 1 victory for trainer Edward Cummings, is $5 TAB off the back of wins in the Australian Cup and KIA Tancred Stakes for jockey Josh Parr.
Another super mare in Montefilia – also looking for a fourth career Group 1 – is at $9-$9.50 TAB for trainer David Payne and jockey Hugh Bowman, who is looking for a fifth Queen Elizabeth Stakes in just the past nine years.
Two other star gallopers in XXXX Golden Eagle champion I’m Thunderstruck ($11-$13 TAB) Mick Price/Michael Kent Jr and jockey Mark Zahra and Think It Over ($34 TAB) Kerry Parker and Nash Rawiller are next in markets.
The $2 million Schweppes Sydney Cup is another open betting event, headed in early TAB markets by Stockman ($4.50-$4.80 TAB) for Warwick Farm trainer Joe Pride and jockey Alysha Collett, one of four female riders in the race looking to create history as the first to win a Sydney Cup.
Two Chris Waller trained runners in Crystal Pegasus ($8-$6.50) for jockey Jamie Kah and Her Majesty’s runner Chalk Stream ($9-$8.50 TAB) with Kerrin McEvoy are next in markets.
Knight’s Order trained by Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott ($13-$9 TAB) has jockey Rachel King aboard while Kathy O’Hara a fourth female jockey rides Surefire ($13-$14) for Chris Waller.
The Group 1 $1 million The Star Australian Oaks has attracted an 18-horse field, with Hinged trained by Chris Waller and in-form Longines Golden Slipper winning jockey Brenton Avdulla aboard is the opening $4 TAB favourite.
Joint second in TAB betting are Gypsy Goddess ($4.50-$4.60 TAB) for David Vandyke and William Pike and Honeycreeper ($5-$4.60 TAB) James Cummings and Hugh Bowman.
In the Group 1 $1 million Sydney’s Queen Of The Turf Stakes, one of Australia’s best mares in multiple Group-1 winning Colette is favourite at $4-$4.20 TAB for James Cummings and James McDonald, from the well-supported Icebath ($7-$6 TAB) for trainer Brad Widdup and jockey Kerrin McEvoy.
In the Nathan Berry Medal – awarded to the leading jockey for 12 Championships races on a 3-2-1 points score basis over both days of The Star Championships – Brenton Avdulla leads on five points, from Nash Rawiller and Hugh Bowman on four points.
All tickets purchased to Royal Randwick races on Saturdays 9 and 16 April include travel on all public transport by showing your ticket to transport staff when boarding services.
Australian Turf Club Members can also include travel by showing their Membership card to Transport NSW staff. Visit transportnsw.info/events for more info and to plan your trip.
For all racing, ticketing and general information including options to book hospitality at Royal Randwick go to www.australianturfclub.com.au
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