Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival Featured Horses
Below we take a look at some of the predicted major players this Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival with our Featured Horses section of the best gallopers and Group 1 contenders to back over the season.
- Age: 6YO
- Sex: Mare
- Pedigree: by Street Cry out of Vegas Showgirl
- Trainer: Chris Waller
- Major Target: Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Won)
Absolutely no list of racehorses would be complete without household name Winx. This Waller-trained champion is the world’s best and continues to defy history and salute for the fans. Officially the highest earning Australian racehorse of all time with over $16.5 million in the bank to date (as of late March), Winx rounded out her spring with a third straight Cox Plate. She was just as dominant back in Sydney for another autumn bid that was originally set to start on February 17 with the Apollo Stakes, which she’s won for the past two years. The suspension of Hugh Bowman however saw the Apollo Stakes bid abandoned and Winx instead was saved for a first-up run in the Chipping Norton Stakes on March 3. She dominated that with a seven length romp home, a race she also won in 2016 and 2017, for her record 16th Group 1 success. The same Group 1 treble as last year was on the cards heroic mare with the George Ryder Stakes second-up and the Queen Elizabeth Stakes third-up during The Championships both. Won’t be beaten this autumn. Secured a world Group 1 flat racing record of 17 victories in the 2018 George Ryder Stakes as the odds-on favourite on Golden Slipper Day and took her career earnings up over $18.8 million in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
- Age: 5YO
- Sex: Gelding
- Pedigree: by Snitzel from Millrich
- Trainer: Peter & Paul Snowden
- Major Target: TJ Smith Stakes (Finished 2nd)
This Triple Crown Syndications-raced son of Snitzel was the standout sprinter in the spring without question. His Group 1 wins actually started in the Brisbane’s Doomben 10,000 over the winter and his winning streak ahead of an autumn return currently sits at six on the trot. The victory that put him on the map was at Randwick in mid-October when he won the country’s newest and richest race, The Everest. He then proved his versatility down the Flemington straight during the Melbourne Cup Carnival saluting in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m). Trialled well in Sydney on January 22 and lost few admirers despite running second as the beaten odds-on favourite first-up in the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) at Flemington on February 17. Had a second trial on February 5 and was ultra-impressive, blitzing his rivals by three lengths in the 1000m heat that included the likes of Alizee (2nd) and Winx (5th) and looked the winner in the Black Caviar Lightning until Redkirk Warrior came from the back of the field for the devastatingly close win. Subsequently ruled-out of a rematch with Redkirk Warrior in Melbourne’s Newmarket Handicap and will focus instead on the Sydney Autumn Carnival’s TJ Smith Stakes in April. Won the Group 2 Challenge Stakes (1000m) second-up on March 10 in the perfect lead-up to the TJ Smith Stakes. Impressive trial win by three lengths over 1000m on March 26 ahead of the TJ Smith Stakes. Ran second as the beaten favourite in the TJ Smith Stakes behind Trapeze Artist.
- Age: 3YO
- Sex: Colt
- Pedigree: by High Chaparral from Come Sunday
- Trainer: David Payne
- Major Target: ATC Derby (Ran 2nd)
All reports from the Rosehill stables of David Payne were that his striking black colt Ace High is looking a million bucks ahead of his autumn return. He made it three spring wins on the trot when heading to Flemington last November and dominating his rivals with a two length romp home in the VRC Derby (2500m). That followed his Randwick success in the Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) and proved he’s up to the Derby distance. Now he will chase the interstate Derby double, out to break a 24 year drought and become the first Victoria Derby winner to salute in the following year’s Australian Derby over 2400m in Sydney in that time. First-up run on February 3 at Rosehill in the too-short Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) when fifth, beaten 2.3 lengths by the Golden Rose winner Trapeze Artist. Improvement to come out of that. Got the chance second-up in a star-studded edition of the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) on February 24 but ran fifth, did good work late and was only three lengths beaten at big odds. Good again when fourth to Kementari in the Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m), improving each time out as the distance increases. Ran sixth only three lengths beaten in the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) on Slipper Day. Ran second to Levendi in a narrow ATC Derby result.
- Age: 3YO
- Sex: Filly
- Pedigree: by Fastnet Rock from The Broken Shore
- Trainer: Anthony Freedman
- Major Targets: Robert Sangster Stakes (in Adelaide)
The recently upgraded Surround Stakes looked an easy Group 1 target for some of the season’s best fillies and early betting was wide open. Shoals was at pretty juicy odds despite the Mornington-trained filly beating the older mares on VRC Derby Day in the spring’s Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m). Before that she was runner-up to Aloisia in the Thousand Guineas, defeating Alizee (3rd). The 1400m early in the autumn suited this proven miler who shoed she’d improved from last time in, defeating her Surround Stakes rivals to win at double-figures. She got the weight advantage in the Myer Classic, but also has raced competitively against her own kind and has winning form over Formality in Sydney from last April. Resumed on February 10 but was slightly flat running eighth (second last) to booker in Caulfield’s Group 3 Kevin Hayes Stakes (1200m). Better over further and proved that returning to winning form second-up in the Surround.Plenty to like about her first-up Surround Stakes win. Later confirmed to bypass rest of autumn in Sydney with the Robert Sangster Stakes in Adelaide this May calling ahead of a possible UK Royal Ascot bid.
- Age: 2YO
- Sex: Filly
- Pedigree: by Zoustar from Solar Charged
- Trainer: Tony McEvoy
- Major Target: Golden Slipper (Finished 3rd)
Trainer Tony McEvoy is again proving himself a master of two-year-olds and the headline youngster in his autumn contingent is still improving Zoustar filly Sunlight. She has now won five of her six starts in impressive fashion including the two length Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m) victory at the Gold Coast in mid-January. She copped early interference but was still far too good for her rivals and looks the real deal according to McEvoy. She’s now favourite for the Golden Slipper Stakes. If this filly keeps going the way she has she’s a huge hope to do the double last completed by Capitalist (2016). She had her Sydney debut on February 24 on Hobartville Stakes Day at Rosehill in the Group 2 Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) that she won, confirming her Golden Slipper plans. Before the all-the-way Magic Night Stakes success a week out from the Golden Slipper. Ran a brave third to Estijaab in the all-filly Golden Slipper Stakes Trifecta.
- Age: 2YO
- Sex: Colt
- Pedigree: by Exceed And Excel from Gavroche
- Trainer: Chris Waller
- Major Target: Golden Slipper (Finished 14th)
Ace horseman Chris Waller has achieved plenty of success, but a Golden Slipper trophy has so far eluded the trainer made famous most recently by Winx. He could be out to change that this spring with his progressive colt Performer one of the best in early Golden Slipper Stakes betting. Was knocked off top spot by the Magic Millions Classic winning filly Sunlight when still unraced for the year. Looked to regain favouritism with a good resuming run. On debut at Randwick in late September saluted in the Breeders Plate and won his recent Rosehill trial at the start of January showing plenty of early promise ahead of the autumn features. The Slipper bid began on February 3 with a Canonbury Stakes win at Rosehill and is challenging Sunlight for Golden Slipper favouritism. Raced next-up in the Group 2 Todman Stakes (1200m) on March 10 at Randwick looking to retain his undefeated status, but threw rider Hugh Bowman. Disappointing running 14th in the Golden Slipper 2018 Results.