Challenge Stakes 2020

Saturday March 7, 2020

Ladbrokes Tip: The Challenge Stakes is a classic lead-up to the Group 1 The Galaxy every autumn

The Challenge Stakes is a Group 2 support race run at Randwick Racecourse on Royal Randwick Guineas Day on a Saturday in early – mid March each Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.

The meeting is headlined by the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) and the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m). Run over a short distance sprint of 1000m, the Challenge Stakes offers a total of $500,000 in prize money including just shy of $300,000 to the winner.

The race is run at weight-for-age conditions and is open to gallopers aged three-years-old and above. The Challenge Stakes winner is exempt from ballot for both the upcoming Group 1 The Galaxy and the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes later in the autumn.

The latest edition of the Challenge Stakes took place on Saturday March 7, 2020 and was won in runaway fashion by Nature Strip. 

Challenge Stakes Race Info

  • Date: Saturday March 7, 2020
  • Track: Royal Randwick Racecourse
  • Distance: 1000m
  • Conditions: Weight-for-age
  • Status: Group 2
  • Prize Money: $500,000
  • First Run: 1906

2020 Challenge Stakes Results

The full Challenge Stakes 2020 Results & Finishing Order will be detailed right here when the race is run and won on Saturday March 7, 2020.

  • 1st: #2 Nature Strip
  • 2nd: #3 Redzel
  • 3rd: #6 Jungle Edge

Chris Waller’s star short distance sprinter Nature Strip atoned for a last start fourth in the Black Caviar Lightning to power home for a dominant three length win in the 2020 Challenge Stakes results over dual The Everest champion Redzel.

Place # Horse Trainer Jockey Margin Barrier Weight SP
1 2 NATURE STRIP Chris Waller James McDonald 1 58.5kg $3.10F
2 3 REDZEL Peter & Paul Snowden Kerrin McEvoy 3L 2 58.5kg $4.40
3 6 JUNGLE EDGE Mick Bell Ms Jade Darose 3.2L 3 58.5kg $31
4 7 MISS LEONIDAS Shaun Dwyer Joe Bowditch 3.7L 4 56.5kg $31
5 5 DEPRIVE James Cummings Hugh Bowman 3.9L 5 58.5kg $3.70
6 1 SANTA ANA LANE Anthony Freedman Mark Zahra 4.7L 7 58.5kg $5.50
7 4 BALL OF MUSCLE Joseph Pride Glyn Schofield 6.5L 6 58.5kg $31
8 8 I AM IMMORTAL Anthony Freedman Tim Clark 15.6L 8 56kg $26

Challenge Stakes Odds & Betting

Challenge Stakes betting markets open the week of the race are led by the standout sprinters from the previous spring that contested races like The Everest. Redzel (2017-2018) became the first horse to do The Everest – Challenge Stakes double.

Redzel was also runner-up in the 2017, 2019 and 2020 Challenge Stakes results.

Horses with proven form over the short 1000m distance often sit high up the Challenge Stakes odds as do those with previous winning records at Randwick.

Favourites have a strong record in the Challenge Stakes and the form often stacks up in later carnival features. Nature Strip ($3.10 in 2020) and Redzel ($1.40 in 2018) are the latest favourites in Challenge Stakes betting to salute for the punters.

2020 Challenge Stakes Betting

The latest Challenge Stakes 2020 odds on the Group 2 sprint taking place at Royal Randwick will be provided below once announced so stay tuned for the best betting markets on the Guineas Day support act.

Challenge Stakes Field

Challenge Stakes betting open at

English won the 2016 Challenge Stakes and later the Group 1 All Aged Stakes back at Royal Randwick that autumn. She also returned and took out the 2017 Challenge Stakes. Photo Credit: Steve Hart.

The Challenge Stakes field attracts the season’s top short-distance sprinters eyeing Group 1 glory later in the carnival.

The top prize money and ballot exemption into The Galaxy and TJ Smith Stakes sees a high-class field face off in the Group 2 and there are plenty of lead-up races into the Challenge Stakes including the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m) over the same distance in Melbourne the month before. In 2018 Redzel improved on a shock loss (2nd) in the Black Caviar Lightning to return to winning form in the Challenge Stakes results. The 2020 Challenge Stakes winner Nature Strip (4th) also improved on a lead-up run in Flemington’s Black Caviar Lightning.

Earlier, in 2014 Snitzerland won the Melbourne Group 1 at Flemington before crossing second to Villa Verda as the beaten Challenge Stakes favourite.

Challenge Stakes nominations close on the Monday before the race followed by the final field and barriers out on the Wednesday.

2020 Challenge Stakes Field

The official Challenge Stakes 2020 Field & Barriers will be provided below once final acceptances by Racing NSW have been released on the Wednesday of race week.

The 2020 Challenge Stakes field features eight class sprinters including two returning champions. Redzel finished second in the 2017 and 2019 Challenge Stakes results with a 2018 win in between and returns for another shot at the title. He was beaten home last year by Ball Of Muscle who is back to defend his title as a roughie shot in betting.

# Form (Last 10) Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight Hcp. Rating
1 1x514x225x SANTA ANA LANE Anthony Freedman Mark Zahra 7 58.5kg 119
2 014x4141x4 NATURE STRIP Chris Waller James McDonald 1 58.5kg 117
3 2862x138x2 REDZEL Peter & Paul Snowden Kerrin McEvoy 2 58.5kg 117
4 x19x3022x0 BALL OF MUSCLE Joseph Pride Glyn Schofield 6 58.5kg 108
5 x11x12714x DEPRIVE James Cummings Hugh Bowman 5 58.5kg 107
6 13226x7x13 JUNGLE EDGE Mick Bell Ms Jade Darose 3 58.5kg 107
7 2132x721x0 MISS LEONIDAS Shaun Dwyer Joe Bowditch 4 56.5kg 107
8 117x7x2 I AM IMMORTAL Anthony Freedman Tim Clark 8 56kg 84

Challenge Stakes Tips

Challenge Stakes tips are usually led by proven Group winners with form over 1000 – 1200m in Sydney and or Melbourne.

Many gallopers have Group 1 experience and looking for those runners that have held their own against the best sprinters in the country can be key to Challenge Stakes tipping.

2020 Challenge Stakes Tips

Our Ladbrokes’ insider Challenge Stakes tips 2020 will be detailed below the week of the race giving you the best bets to place on the race this autumn.

Challenge Stakes Form Guide

The Challenge Stakes form guide lists all of the essential information punters need including barriers, jockeys, trainers and lead-up form. The Challenge Stakes form often holds up later in the carnival with the winner exempt from The Galaxy and TJ Smith Stakes ballot.

In 2012 Rain Affair won the Challenge Stakes before finishing second in both the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) and the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick. The 2013 Challenge Stakes winner Snitzerland went on to finish runner-up in the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) and finished second in the following year’s Challenge Stakes.

The following year in 2014 Villa Verda backed up from a Challenge Stakes win to cross third in The Galaxy, as did 2015 Challenge winner Miracles Of Life who then headed to Adelaide and won the Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m).

In 2016 English won the Challenge Stakes and went on to finish third in the TJ Smith Stakes before winning the All Aged Stakes (1400m) later that April at Randwick. English also won the 2017 Challenge Stakes before a second in that year’s TJ Smith Stakes results. When chasing a hat-trick, English ran fifth in the 2018 Challenge Stakes results but was runner-up in that season’s The Galaxy next start.

Redzel ran second in both the Challenge Stakes and TJ Smith Stakes in 2017. He improved to win the following year’s Challenge Stakes (2018) before another TJ Smith Stakes second, and also placed runner-up in the 2019 and 2020 Challenge Stakes results.

2020 Challenge Stakes Form Guide

A link to our comprehensive Challenge Stakes 2020 Form Guide will be available below the week of the race for punters.

Challenge Stakes Results

The Challenge Stakes results have been dominated by the favourites in recent years and defending champions had a poor record in the race until the successive wins by English (2016-17).

Notable recent Challenge Stakes winners include Nature Strip (2020), Redzel (2018), Miracles Of Life (2015), Rain Affair (2012) the ill-fated Hay List (2011) and subsequent star sire Snitzel (2006).

Challenge Stakes Winners

Year Winner 2nd 3rd Time
2020 Nature Strip Redzel Jungle Edge 0:56.8
2019 Ball of Muscle Redzel Viridine 0.55.7
2018 Redzel Jungle Edge Super Too 0:55.7
2017 English Redzel Supido 0:59.9
2016 English Kinglike Boss Lane 0:56.5
2015 Miracles Of Life Va Pensiero Rubick 0:56.7
2014 Villa Verde Snitzerland Famous Seamus 0:57.3
2013 Snitzerland Decision Time Howmuchdoyouloveme 0:56.1
2012 Rain Affair Satin Shoes Neeson 1:03.7
2011 Hay List Keen Commander Solar Charged 0:56.8
2010 De Lightning Ridge Dorf Command Stryker 0:55.9
2009 Olonana Hoystar Fantene 0:56.9
2008 Hurried Choice Keen Commander German Chocolate 0:57.3
2007 Spark Of Life Whoever Biscayne Bay 0:56.8
2006 Snitzel Spark of Life Media 0:56.8
2005 Impaler Snippetson Charge Forward 0:56.2
2004 Star Of Florida Mistegic Majestic Fiesta 0:56.3
2003 Star Of Florida Snowland Fair Embrace 0:56.5
2002 Bomber Bill Mistegic Ateates 0:56.5
2001 Pimpala Prince Ateates Notoire 0:59.2
2000 Easy Rocking Ab Initio Adam 0:56.9