The Championships Day 1, Royal Randwick Preview: Saturday 6 April


Track: Soft 7

Rail: True entire

Weather: Possible showers Thursday & Friday, fine Saturday

It wouldn’t be The Championships without rain and once again it has arrived in the lead up to Day 1. Depending on the intensity of the rain, we’re looking at anywhere from a Soft 6 down. The rail is in the true and in recent years that’s meant a slight rails-in-run advantage.


Speed map/race shape: A good test for the two-year-olds in the Kindergarten. Expect each of All Cylinders, Cardiff, Evening Slippers and No Feint Hearted to go forward and run along.

Advantaged runners: BIVOUAC looks to get an ideal crack at them from a cosy midfield spot following the good tempo. He was tough in the Todman and beat Cosmic Force prior on wet ground. He’ll be making his run alongside stablemate ATHIRI who was last seen finishing a length off Kiamichi as favourite! She was the market elect in the Blue Diamond before that and has basically never done a thing wrong. EVENING SLIPPERS looks the best of the on-pacers while NOT FEINT HEARTED proved he’s a real racehorse on debut.


Speed map/race shape: The speed comes from out wide in the Carbine Club and we look set for a genuinely run mile. Look for Agassi to drag Fun Fact and Home Made across from deep, with The August and Purple sector settling handily also.

Advantaged runners: There’s a handful of these who will appreciate significant class drops and a genuine tempo being set in front. None more so than RINGERDINGDING who couldn’t keep up with Winx or handle the Heavy. If rails-in-run is the go he’ll be hard to hold out. DEALMAKER suffered a similar fate in the Rosehill Guineas but finished alongside the toppy at his previous two outings. Both RANIER and PURPLE SECTOR have comparable stories to tell. THE AUGUST is also building towards a win but unlike the others this is a step up.


Speed map/race shape: Despite the 2000m start being an awkward one, expect the wider runners like Pressure and Amangiri to go forward. For any pace to be injected, the likes of Maracaibo and Welsh Legend would need to kick up and make them work for the front.

Advantaged runners: This is the traditional Oaks lead up and there’s a real eye-catcher here in AMANGIRI. It would be quite some effort for her to go from debut to Oaks win all in one prep but she looks an outstanding filly with professional racing. This is a serious step up for her and she may end up dragging a couple of her key rivals into the race. They include MARACAIBO who was huge in the VRC Oaks and won well last start, as did PRINCESS JENNI in the Alexandra Stakes when swooping at The Valley. The Waller pair of ZALATTE and ROMANI GIRL will spot those key rivals a start but have claims.


Speed map/race shape: The product of many high-pressure qualifying races is no out-and-out leaders have made it to the Country Championship Final, leaving us with a messy map. Safe Landing and Lady Mironton can go forward, but expect a big beehive bunch in running.

Advantaged runners: What a great event the Country Championship Final is. The obvious starting point to assess the race is NOBLE BOY who looks the best horse, BUT could well be back in the run. There was a question mark over his trackwork and he was on the drift earlier in the week – it had more than a touch of Clearly Innocent circa 2016 written all over it. He’ll be slicing through the pack in the straight, as will LA SCOPA who brings a similar level of ability to this. We’re giving each of BENNELONG DANCER and LUCCIOLA BELLE a genuine hope, while if a leader-baised pattern develops SAFE LANDING can be difficult to reel in.


Speed map/race shape: Steady tempo anticipated in the Chairman’s Handicap with The Taj Mahal the likely leader alongside Vengeur Masque. Goathland and Rodrico can be handy.

Advantaged runners: We’re forever looking for the lightly-raced improvers in these staying events and SUPERNOVA fits the bill. He opened his Australian account in style last start and has won over this distance in the UK, but granted he will need to step up a level to win this. He’s also a run ‘behind’ SHRAAOH leading into this, who is ready to win fourth up at this trip. GOATHLAND was a tragedy beaten in the Neville Sellwood and gets in on the minimum weight, as does the up and coming mare SEMARI who is putting together a picket fence. GALLIC CHIEFTAIN deserves consideration with a soft rails run over the staying trip.


Speed map/race shape: There looks two clear front-runners in the Sires, with Slipper winner Kiamichi kicking up along the rails to lead alongside Bellevue Hill. They should control the tempo with Dresden Green and Dubious settling handily. Microphone could get posted wide if he doesn’t receive any early luck, while Loving Gaby should get midfield cover.

Advantaged runners: The most obvious ‘advantaged’ runner is LOVING GABY, receives a much kinder run here after being posted wide in the Slipper. She gives the impression she’ll run 1400m but the early $5.00 quote looks tight enough. Both BELLEVUE HILL and KIAMICHI bring obvious credentials, having led all the way at their most recent starts. Slight advantage to the Slipper winner who did it in the higher pressure environment and draws inside her speed rival here. From the back, look for a major improvement from TENLEY who appeared not to handle the Heavy ground in the Slipper. She gives the impression 1400m will be ideal. CASTELVECCHIO bypassed the Slipper and has been aimed at this for some time, but he will need to circle the whole field to win which is a query in this company. Respect for MICROPHONE who may be handed an awkward run, same for PROBABEEL.


Speed map/race shape: Don’t expect a hectic Derby tempo – there may be concerns over a few of these front runners getting the 2400m. Angel Of Truth led the Tulloch all the way and may attempt to hold out Arrogant and The Chosen One for the front. Chapada, Cossetot and Yulong Tavion will all be handy to that tempo.

Advantaged runners: In an intriguing Derby field there’s lots to like about CHAPADA. He was going better than both The Autumn Sun and stablemate Arrogant in the Rosehill Guineas before getting shuffled back on the rail and being forced to wind up again. He’s cherry ripe for 2400m and lobs in a lovely trail. Obviously ARROGANT went all the way with TAS and there’s concerns he could be a little flat. GLOBAL EXCHANGE hasn’t put a foot wrong this prep and we must assume as a Dundeel he’ll handle the wet. He swooped home to nail COSSETOT and DELCARATIONOFHEART in the Alister Clark – the former was a little flat in the Tulloch and backs up here. MADISON COUNTY was impressive without setting the world on fire in that Tulloch when running on against the bias. This may be a bit of a throw at the stumps for him. Of the others, things haven’t quite worked out for VRC Derby winner EXTRA BRUT this prep and STARS OF CARRUM may just be a touch below the best ones here.


Speed map/race shape: The speed will be in on the TJ Smith with Ball Of Muscle and Sunlight determined to cross over from the widest alleys. Expect Vega Magic and Redzel to hold prominent positions behind them, from Fell Swoop and Trapeze Artist.

Advantaged runners: We’re anticipating those running on from midfield and beyond will be advantaged by the tempo. TRAPEZE ARTIST will be peeling out from midfield and could possibly strike the front at some point in the straight. Second up hasn’t always been his go though. PIERATA has adopted a quieter racing pattern in recent times and in The Galaxy it saw him unleash a monumental surge to the line. The wet is no concern but he may need a good ride from Berry to not get caught in the ruck. OSBORNE BULLS could be buried even further back. He was unfortunate not to win the Newmarket but that’s also a product of his racing pattern – he possesses a devastating turn of foot. Back with him will be SANTA ANA LANE who will also have his work cut out but has the ability. It is hard to knock either SHOALS and SUNLIGHT but you can’t have them all, while REDZEL needs to show a little more to come into contention.


Speed map/race shape: The carpark draw means Siege Of Quebec has little option but to press on and look for the front in the Doncaster. Of course Dreamforce and Fundamentalist won’t make it easy for him, but it may work in favour of Brutal who can follow the wide runner across into a handy spot. Le Romain should also park in a great spot.

Advantaged runners: The Handicap conditions of the Doncaster Mile means it will be a long week for some jockeys – 20 of the 24 acceptances have 53.5kgs or less. As for the race itself, it is interesting to see ALIZEE here with an extra week of work up her sleeve after bypassing the Emancipation. She’ll settle midfield or worse and may have some work to do. That could give the upper hand to horses like BRUTAL. He’s been perfectly managed into this, most recently running a clear second to Winx in the George Ryder. He’ll need Glen Boss (49kgs) to be on his game early. Of course HARTNELL is already a Group 1 winner at this track/distance and was arguably unlucky not to finish alongside Mystic Journey in the All Star Mile. He’ll receive a kind run in the first half in behind the likes of FUNDAMENTALIST and LE ROMAIN who will be prominent throughout. FIFTY STARS looks tight in early markets considering he’s drawn the far outside gate and could end up being snagged back to race alongside the likes of UNFORGOTTEN and LAND OF PLENTY at the rear.


Speed map/race shape: A few of the key chances in the PJ Bell will race forward, specifically Mizzy, Spanish Whisper and Madam Rouge. A number of the emergencies are also on-pacers but drawn wide and should inject pace if they gain a run.

Advantaged runners: It is hard to resist the overtures of MIZZY in this race. The filly took 10 starts to break her maiden but has subsequently run fourth in both the G1 Surround and Coolmore Stakes. Her fitness from events up to 1500m on wet ground should stand her in good stead back to 1200m here. SPANISH WHISPER is also back in trip and will be similarly prominent in the run. She’s Group 1 placed in New Zealand and been in top form this prep. FIESTA beat home Mizzy first up. Expect MADAM ROUGE to race in close quarters, she put in a flat one in the Surround but ran Nakeeta Jane to a long neck prior. If they go overboard then FIESTA is the main candidate to close from the rear, she can be forgiven her Coolmore failure after a severe check and has beaten Mizzy this prep.

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