Pierata is proving popular with the punters.
Pierata is proving popular with the punters. NOEL PASCOE/RACING QUEENSLAND

Quick guide to day one of The Championships

THE 'grand finals' of Australian racing kick-off with four Group 1 races at Royal Randwick on Saturday, headed by the Doncaster Mile and Australian Derby.

The big money has already started to roll in from punters keen to snap up the early odds on offer for some of the bets horses racing in Australia.

One punter plonked $60,000 on Pierata in two bets on Tuesday to win the TJ Smith Stakes. The punter stands to collect $390,000 if Pierata wins the feature Group 1 sprint.

The TJ Smith Stakes is shaping up as the race of the day with a star-studded field of sprinters, including dual Everest winner Redzel and last year's TJ winner Trapeze Artist.

The $3m Doncaster Mile is the richest race on the card. Godolphin's star mare Alizee and the Team Hawkes-trained Brutal are battling for favouritism in the Mile.

The Australian Derby has attracted a quality field of staying three-year-olds, while Golden Slipper winner Kiamichi and runner-up Microphone lead the charges in the Inglis Sires'.

Trapeze Artist powered home to beat Redzel in last year’s TJ Smith Stakes. The pair will clash again in Saturday’s big sprint. Picture: AAP
Trapeze Artist powered home to beat Redzel in last year’s TJ Smith Stakes. The pair will clash again in Saturday’s big sprint. Picture: AAP

WHAT: THE CHAMPIONSHIPS - DAY ONE

WHEN: SATURDAY, APRIL 6

WHERE: ROYAL RANDWICK

THE RUNDOWN

ROYAL RANDWICK

Track: Soft 7. Rail: True

Race 1 (12.10pm): G3 Kindergardten Stakes (1100m)

Race 2 (12.45pm): G3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m)

Race 3 (1.20pm): G3 Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m)

Race 4 (1.55pm): Country Championships Final (1400m)

Race 5 (2.35pm): G2 Chairman's Quality (2600m)

Race 6 (3.15pm): G1 Inglis Sires' (1400m)

Race 7 (3.55pm): G1 Australian Derby (2400m)

Race 8 (4.35pm): G1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m)

Race 9 (5.15pm): G1 Doncaster Mile (1600m)

Race 10 (5.50pm): G3 PJ Bell Stakes (1200m)

 

Alizee is among the favourites to win the Doncaster Mile. Picture: AAP
Alizee is among the favourites to win the Doncaster Mile. Picture: AAP

THE GROUP 1 RACES

$3m DONCASTER MILE

Distance: 1600m

Training record: Gai Waterhouse has trained seven Doncaster winners, the same number as her legendary father T.J. Smith. Chris Waller has led in six winners, including Winx in 2016.

Riding record: Glen Boss, famous for his three Melbourne Cups on Makybe Diva, is the most successful when it comes to the famous Randwick mile with six wins, the most recent on Kermadec in 2015.

Race record: Happy Clapper ran 1.33.1 to win in 2018.

Last year: The absence of the mighty Winx opened the way for Happy Clapper to stand tall and collect the Epsom/Doncaster double - a feat Winx achieved in 2015/16.

This year: Godolphin has a strong hand with top mare Alizee and Epsom Handicap winner Hartnell. The Team Hawkes-trained Brutal will be ridden by Glen Boss, who has the best record of any jockey in the race with six wins. The colt will carry only 49kg and tuned up for the race with a brave second to the mighty Winx last start.

The field

1. HARTNELL H Bowman (7) 58kg

2. LE ROMAIN J McDonald (16) 57kg

3. ALIZEE B Shinn (12) 56.5kg

4. LAND OF PLENTY M Rodd (9) 55kg

5. DREAMFORCE D Lane (13) 53.5kg

6. DIXIE BLOSSOMS C Reith (14) 53kg

7. SHILLELAGH C Williams (3) 53kg

8. KLUGER T Berry (4) 53kg

9. WIDGEE TURF B Egan (17) 52kg

10. UNFORGOTTEN K McEvoy (18) 51.5kg

11. LIFE LESS ORDINARY C Brown (10) 51.5kg

12. ECKSTEIN S Clipperton (15) 51kg

13. ALOISIA J Ford (6) 50.5kg

14. SIEGE OF QUEBEC R Dolan (a) (22) 50.5kg

15. FIFTY STARS J McNeil (24) 50kg

16. I AM SERIOUS K Teetan (1) 50kg

17. SO SI BON L King (a) (5) 50kg

18. FUNDAMENTALIST B Thompson (2) 49kg

19. EL DORADO DREAMING A Gibbons (20) 49kg

20. BRUTAL G Boss (21) 49kg

21e. VIOLATE - (19) 50kg

22e. FIERCE IMPACT - (23) 50kg

23e. RINGERDINGDING - (8) 49kg

24e. SEAWAY (NZ) - (11) 50kg

Pierata has been well backed to win the TJ Smith Stakes. Picture: AAP
Pierata has been well backed to win the TJ Smith Stakes. Picture: AAP

$2.5m TJ SMITH STAKES

Distance: 1200m

Training record: Fittingly, Gai Waterhouse shares the record for most winners in the race named in her father's honour with Team Hawkes on three.

Riding record: Tommy Berry teamed up with Chautauqua to win this race in three successive years 2015-16-17 - boom!

Race record: Trapeze Artist broke Black Caviar's record when he ran a sizzling 1.08.2 in 2018.

Last year: Trapeze Artist stamped himself as one of the best sprinters in the land by beating dual Everest winner Redzel by two lengths in new race record time.

This year: A crackerjack field will contest Sydney's premier autumn sprint. Trapeze Artist is back to defend his crown. Redzel is a dual Everest winner, Santa Ana Lane won the VRC Classic in the spring, Vega Magic and Shoals are Group 1 winners, while Sunlight is the form sprinter after wins in the Newmarket Handicap and William Reid Stakes in Melbourne.

The field

1. REDZEL K McEvoy (5) 58.5kg

2. TRAPEZE ARTIST B Shinn (7) 58.5kg

3. SANTA ANA LANE M Zahra (8) 58.5kg

4. PIERATA T Berry (2) 58.5kg

5. VEGA MAGIC D Oliver (3) 58.5kg

6. BALL OF MUSCLE G Schofield (10) 58.5kg

7. OSBORNE BULLS H Bowman (4) 58.5kg

8. FELL SWOOP J McDonald (1) 58.5kg

9. SHOALS T Clark (6) 56.5kg

10. CHAMPAGNE CUDDLES D Lane (9) 56.5kg

11. SUNLIGHT L Currie (11) 54.5kg

 

Trainer Michael Moroney has strong claims in the Australian Derby. (AAP Image/ Julian Smith)
Trainer Michael Moroney has strong claims in the Australian Derby. (AAP Image/ Julian Smith)

$2m ATC AUSTRALIAN DERBY

Distance: 2400m:

Training record: The legendary TJ Smith saddled-up nine winners of the blue riband race, none more famous than Tulloch (1957) and Kingston Town (1980).

Riding record: Tom Hales (1819-1884) won the AJC Derby, as it was then known, an incredible six times.

Race record: Octagonal ran 2.28.41s in one of the great derbies of the modern era, beating Saintly and Filante in 1996.

Last year: Victorian visitor Levendi prevailed in a brutal stride-for-stride clash with Ace High.

This year: Wide open race with no standout three-year-old. Michael Moroney will saddle-up early favourites Arrogant and Chapada, while Kris Lees has the only filly in the race, Frankely Awesome, who is backing up after running second in the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes last weekend.

The field

1. EXTRA BRUT S Clipperton (18) 56.5kg

2. MADISON COUNTY T Berry (11) 56.5kg

3. IN A TWINKLING O Bosson (15) 56.5kg

4. ARROGANT C Williams (12) 56.5kg

5. CHAPADA D Oliver (13) 56.5kg

6. SURELY SACRED D Lane (6) 56.5kg

7. PLATINUM INVADOR J Riddell (14) 56.5kg

8. GLOBAL EXCHANGE K McEvoy (8) 56.5kg

9. STARS OF CARRUM H Bowman (10) 56.5kg

10. ARAMAYO T Clark (19) 56.5kg

11. ANGEL OF TRUTH C Brown (4) 56.5kg

12. THE CHOSEN ONE B Shinn (17) 56.5kg

13. COSSETOT G Schofield (3) 56.5kg

14. DECLARATIONOFHEART M Zahra (1) 56.5kg

15. COSTELLO J Collett (9) 56.5kg

16. TWINSPIER L Nolen (7) 56.5kg

17. SHAMAN T Wolfgram (2) 56.5kg

18. FRANKELY AWESOME J McDonald (16) 54.5kg

19e. YULONG TAVION B Avdulla (5) 56.5kg

Golden Slipper winner Kiamichi (right) and Microphone will back up in the Inglis Sires’ Picture: Getty Images
Golden Slipper winner Kiamichi (right) and Microphone will back up in the Inglis Sires’ Picture: Getty Images

$1m INGLIS SIRES'

Training record: Gai Waterhouse has won the Sires' seven times; her last winner Pierro completed the 2YO Triple Crown in 2012.

Riding record: The legendary George Moore rode four, the same number as Hall Of Fame jockey Shane Dye.

Race record: Black Caviar's brother All Too Hard forced Pierro to run a record time of 1.21.47s in an epic battle in 2012.

Last year: El Dorado Dreaming delivered one of the great upsets in Sires' history coming from nowhere to win at $81.

This year: Golden Slipper winner Kiamichi, runner-up Microphone and fourth placegetter Loving Gaby shape as the horses to beat in the Inglis Sires', which tests the two-year-olds out over 1400m.

The field

1. CASTELVECCHIO J Parr (7) 56.5kg

2. MICROPHONE H Bowman (11) 56.5kg

3. DUBIOUS M Zahra (8) 56.5kg

4. STRASBOURG C Brown (4) 56.5kg

5. BELLEVUE HILL T Clark (9) 56.5kg

6. ROME B Shinn (6) 56.5kg

7. DRESDEN GREEN B Prebble (2) 56.5kg

8. SPRING LOADED T Berry (14) 56.5kg

9. BULLET FLY B Avdulla (10) 56.5kg

10. KIAMICHI D Lane (1) 54.5kg

11. PROBABEEL O Bosson (12) 54.5kg

12. LOVING GABY J McDonald (5) 54.5kg

13. TENLEY K McEvoy (3) 54.5kg

14. CRYSTAL FALLS J Ford (13) 54.5kg

WHAT'S NEXT?

THE CHAMPIONSHIPS - DAY TWO

WHEN: SATURDAY, APRIL 13

WHERE: ROYAL RANDWICK

HIGHLIGHT: WINX'S LAST RACE (Queen Elizabeth Stakes)

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