Horse Racing Tips

The VRC: Finding The Winning Hand

After six years shuffling a deck of cards, The VRC has finally dealt racing fans a winning hand for the fourth and final day of The Melbourne Cup carnival.

After six years shuffling a deck of cards, The VRC have finally dealt racing fans a winning hand for the fourth and final day of The Melbourne Cup carnival.

The first edition of Champions Stakes Day was the perfect way to finish Melbourne Cup week, and it has the potential to surpass Derby Day as the best day of racing on the calendar.

VRC's Winning Hand

The newly renamed and rebranded Champions Stakes Day has had many titles in its long history. It has been Stakes Day, Finals Day, and Family Day. After Saturday, most racing fans and punters would agree that Champions Stakes Day has been put up in the winner’s frame.

In recent times the feature event on the final day has also changed. The Emirates Stakes contested over 1600m was the highlight event since 1881 before moving to Derby Day as The Longines Mile in 2016. It is back on the final day and has been rebranded as The Champions Mile. 

Since 1869 The Mackinnon Stakes was a traditional lead-up to The Melbourne Cup, held on Derby Day. In 2016 The VRC moved The Mackinnon Stakes as the feature to the last day of the carnival. Now known as The Champions Stakes, the race is targeted by horses coming through The Cox Plate. It is a worthy headline act.

Why has The Champions Stakes Day got the potential to become our number one race day?

The Program

With the two travelling features finally finding their new home together, we are left with three mouth-watering and consecutive Group 1 events. The already established Champions Sprint (The Darley) is followed by The Champions Mile, which is proceeded by The Champions Stakes. 

Besides the Champions Sprint, which has already been a long-term staple and target on the final day, The Champions Mile and Champions Stakes now provide new options for trainers and owners. It changes the lead-up races that horses will contest and provides a ‘Plan B’ for trainers and owners who haven’t cashed in on the spring riches with their ‘Plan A’.

The Prizemoney

The VRC has boosted the prizemoney for The Group 1 features. The three events are now worth a staggering $3 million each, meaning $9 million is up for grabs in the space of an hour at Flemington. Not only does the prize money make these races a key spring target, but it also keeps the best horses in Melbourne for Cup week instead of them chasing the novelty pop-up races in Sydney.

The Calibre

Despite the Breeders Cup Day being held in Kentucky less than 12 hours later, Flemington had the best three races on the planet for the weekend, featuring some of the best horses in the world. 

The world’s top-ranked sprinter Nature Strip headlined the Champions Sprint. The Champions Mile featured the best sprinter-miler in the country Private Eye, while The Champions Stakes boasted the most winningest Group 1 Godolphin horse of all time, Anamoe. 

To see any of these stars individually race is worth the price of admission; to see them all on the same program is a luxury!

The Racing

The first edition didn’t disappoint. Three features, three boil-overs.

Nature Strip was out bobbed by Roch ‘N’ Horse in the Champions Sprint, who continued her love with The Flemington straight. 

Alligator Blood surprised Private Eye in the Champions Mile in a rugged and fearless on-speed victory.

All-Star Mile Champion, Zaaki, turned back the clock in the Champions Stakes to claim victory over a disappointing Anamoe. The racing was world-class.

Saturday’s racing set a benchmark and laid a solid foundation for Champions Stakes Day to be successful for generations to come. 

Well done to the VRC, and a big thank you from all racing fans. 

Correct weight!

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