Autumn is set to peak at Randwick this Saturday with Day 2 of The Championships, the grand finals of horse racing.
The $5,000,000 Queen Elizabeth Stakes is the main event on a stunning program of racing that features wall-to-wall stakes, group, and black-type racing.
The Sydney Cup, Australian Oaks, and Queen Of The Turf, all Group 1 events in their own right, make the perfect supporting acts on arguably Sydney’s biggest stage.
Randwick Race 6
Pavitra was game in defeat last start behind the very talented Prowess. Despite being clearly headed inside the final furlong, the American Pharoah filly never shirked the task, and she ran through the line strongly. The step out to 2400m is advantageous, and she has handled wet conditions previously. She should get the run of the race from barrier two, and I expect her to figure in the finish.
Fireburn looks ready to win. The 2022 Golden Slipper Champion has had a luckless campaign. However, she showed glimpses of her best last start. The wetter, the better for the Rebel Dane filly, and she should get a clear passage in the running jumping from barrier four. Tyler Schiller has a winning association with the Gary Portelli-trained three-year-old, and I expect further market support if the rain continues. The 2400m is the primary concern.
Premise is too consistent to leave out of winning conversations. The Contributer filly looks poised to strike on the quick backup, and she is ready for the long trip at this stage of her preparation. She deserves her shot at this level, and a win wouldn’t surprise. The ‘Aussie Tom’ Marquand and John O’Shea factor must be respected.
Suggested Bet: Pavitra @ $3.50
Randwick RACE 7
#2 Knights Order
I am happy to have a throw at the stumps with Knights Order. The So You Think gelding is ready to peak, and the step out to his favourite trip is ideal for this stage of his preparation. His campaign performances have been teasing without threatening, and his soft and heavy form must be respected. His fourth-up record is impressive; this has been a long-range targeted race. Barrier twelve is the primary concern.
Gold Trip has promised the world and delivered an atlas this preparation. The 3200m is advantageous, and he is ready to peak. The softer conditions will suit the rising seven-year-old, and it’s now or never for the Melbourne Cup Champion, which is becoming expensive to follow. The 59.5kg and wide gate are the primary concerns.
Cleveland will start favourite after an impressive first-up performance. He absolutely savaged the line in the Tancred, and he has raced well second-up previously. He drops significantly in weight under handicap conditions, and the two miles won’t pose any problems. The class rise and awkward barrier draw are the primary concerns.
Suggested Bet: Knights Order @ $17.00
Randwick Race 8
The winning machine, Anamoe, heads into another time-honoured event with the weight of a nation on his shoulders. His win last start in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes was breathtaking, and he is ready to produce a peak performance on the biggest stage. Despite sitting three wide with no cover, ‘The Big A’ showed his brilliance, resilience, and Champion qualities in the autumn performance. The awkward barrier is the primary concern; he must be at his best to prevail against a quality field.
Dubai Honour was ultra-impressive fresh in the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes, putting his rivals to the sword far from home. The Pride Of Dubai gelding races well second-up and thrives in the soft conditions. His form overseas reads well for this event, and I expect him to fight out the finish with even luck in transit. A flat second-up run is a primary concern, and I am unsure the Ranvet form will stand up with bridesmaids Montefilia and Mo’unga filling the minor placings.
Numerian can produce a peak performance third-up from a spell. The Holy Roman Emperor gelding was brave on top of the speed in the Australian Cup, and he will appreciate the sting out of the ground. He traditionally runs well over 2000m, and if he is left to his own devices on Saturday, he may prove challenging to run down. His winning record is the biggest concern.
Suggested Bet: Anamoe @ $2.60
Randwick Race 9
Atishu produced an eye-catching performance first-up from a spell at Rosehill. The Savabeel mare is a winner previously second-up, and she should get the run of the race from barrier one. She deserves her shot in this grade, and if the gaps appear on straightening, I expect her to figure in the finish. Her record at the distance must be respected, and I expect the Chris Waller factor to attract plenty of late market support.
Import Alcohol Free will start favourite in her Australian debut. The No Nay Never mare has exceptional European form, including a win over Artorius in the July Cup. The now Gai Waterhouse-trained five-year-old can be vivacious from barrier two, and if she is fully wound up for a first-up tilt, she will be hard to toss. It may pay dividends to watch the market.
Hope In Your Heart must be included in all broader exotics and multiples. The Dundeel mare was great last start from an impossible position, and she looks well placed to bounce back from barrier four on Saturday. She is ready for a peak performance fourth-up from a spell, and her stats at the track and distance must be respected.
Suggested Bet: Atishu @ $12.00