Day 2 of The Championships at Royal Randwick this Saturday sees another $10 million prize money up for grabs across the 10-race card. The card features four Group 1's, including the $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes, two Group 2's, a Group 3 and a couple of Listed races.
The track is currently rated in the Soft 6 range, and with the possibility of a couple of showers leading up to race day it seems likely that we will be racing on a similar track to what was produced last week. We can expect the jockeys to avoid the inside part of the track in the home straight.
We've got tips for all 10 races, with a full runner-by-runner preview of the Queen Elizabeth Stakes and previews for the other three Group 1's - the Australian Oaks, Sydney Cup and Legacy Stakes.
Really not a race to be betting on to start the day. If I had to have a bet I'd go each way on Crown Him who looks to be improving with every start and the mile will suit. Drawn to get a good run and could go well.
Tough race with plenty of runners but Kimberley Star looks ready to peak here. Has won her only start third up from a break and she's never missed a place over 1400m. Her run last start was good and indicated she's ready to win; she goes very well on wet tracks, draws well and has the blinkers back on. Big chance.
Think Hetty Heights is clearly the one to beat. Two from two so far this prep and both have been convincing. Won his only start third up by 2.5L, undefeated by wet ground and just looks very well placed. I do think Better Not Blue is a good chance at double figure odds. His run first up was super, his has a great second up record and loves wet ground so he is one to include.
Another race I have no interest in betting in with so many winning chances. I count 6 winning chances but the three that I would stick with are Gretna, Soviet Secret and Twist Tops, with a big watch on Missrock first up. The odds about Soviet Secret are particularly appealing, she's been close up without much luck and with a good barrier draw $13 looks a good price.
Outstanding race with plenty of chances and pretty well Group 1 quality. Huge watch on Melbourne filly Petits Filous making her first appearance in Sydney. She is Group 1 quality and her first up win was better than it actually appeared. Won't mind the soft ground and she is definitely a big chance.
First Group 1 of the day sees the fillies compete for the $1million Oaks over 2400m.
There's a few winning chances in this and a few different form lines which makes it a bit more interesting. Going to stick with Jameka who has proven form over 2400m and on soft ground. Her last few runs have been good and despite the wide barrier I think she's the one to beat.
Valley Girl and Sofia Rosa are two NZ horses who both have Group 1 form over 2400m in New Zealand. Valley Girl ran 2nd behind Single Gaze last start and will appreciate the step up to 2400m, as will Sofia Rosa who ran 2nd in the NZ Oaks last start.
Happy Hannah put the writing on the wall with the way she finished off her race last start, and gives every indication that she will relish the 2400m. Whether this comes too soon for her may be an issue but she could prove to be too good.
Honesta and Single Gaze are others to include.
2nd SOFIA ROSA
3rd HAPPY HANNAH
4th VALLEY GIRL
The Sydney Cup once again looks at the mercy of Chris Waller and it's hard to split his three runners.
Who Shot Thebarman was huge in defeat to Preferment last start over 2400m and ran 2nd by a pimple in this race last year. He won't mind if the track is soft and despite having to carry the top weight I think he will be very hard to beat.
Grand Marshal won this race last year and he will relish the conditions. His form heading into this is probably better than it was when he won last year and there's no reason why he can't go close to winning again this year.
Libran is the new kid on the block and has won his past three starts, the most recent of which was over 2600m last week. Every indication is that he will get the distance and based off his performance last week he will be in the finish, especially carrying only 53kg which is 5kg less than what he carried to victory last week.
Outside of those, Cafe Society could give some cheek with only 51kg on his back but he will need the race run slowly, while Gallante drops 5.5kg from his last run and could go well. He will relish the wet ground. Almoonqith could be the improver.
1st WHO SHOT THEBARMAN
3rd GRAND MARSHAL
The third Group 1 on the card is for the fillies and mares over 1600m.
Hard to go past Azkadellia who is absolutely flying. She ran a huge race in the Coolmoore Classic two starts back and then backed that up with a big performance behind Winx in the Doncaster last start. She only carried 50kg last week and has to carry 57kg today, but she is going terrific and deserves favouritism.
Noble Protector could be ready to peak here. She dislodged the rider first up and then ran 2nd behind Miss Rose De Lago last start but she was held up and finished off very nicely. Expect to see her closer to the speed from barrier 2 and should be in the finish.
Zanbagh recorded a deserved win last start in the Emancipation. She draws well again here so should get a nice run, will appreciate the soft track and the 1600m shouldn't be any problem. She rates to go well again.
Risque and Badawiya both carry 54.5kg here. Risque didn't run out the 2000m last start so dropping back to 1600m suits her. She ran 3rd in the Australian Guineas behind Palentino and Tarzino over 1600m two starts back. Badawiya got strung up on the rail last start and with a bit more room from the wide barrier she can utilise her strong turn of foot.
Others to include are Suavito and Miss Rose De Lago.
2nd NOBLE PROTECTOR
CRITERION: Just peaked on his run 2nd up after jumping from 1300m to 2000m. Will be in much better shape here tackling 2000m again third up, where he has finished in the top two at 5 of his 6 third up starts. Will love the track conditions, rates very highly.
PREFERMENT: Won the Australian Cup two starts back and handled the 2400m of the The BMW well last start when winning that too. Back to 2000m which is his best distance and draws to get a perfect run. Unsure if he will really enjoy the soft track, that's my concern.
MONGOLIAN KHAN: Going horribly this prep. Did race 3 and 4 wide the trip last start but there's been no signs in any of his races this prep that he's the same horse he was when he won the Caulfield Cup.
THE UNITED STATES: Made a big step up to win in Group 1 company last start when beating Hauraki and Criterion. Concern is he was mean to be in the paddock but they chose to come here at the last minute. Has a win on Heavy but probably prefers it a bit firmer. No knock on him.
HAPPY TRAILS: Ran home okay last start in the Australian Cup but would need to improve quite a few lengths to win. Probably won't be suited to the soft track he's likely to get.
IT'S SOMEWHAT: Has won his past two but this is a huge step up to WFA Group 1 company and he would need to improve again. Will likely roll forward from barrier 11 but can't see him winning this.
DIBAYANI: Has been racing well this prep in WFA Group 1 races. Probably best suited over 1600m rather than 2000m and he's just short of being good enough at this level over 2000m.
HAPPY CLAPPER: Huge run in the Doncaster with the 50.5kg on his back last start. That was the race they targeted for some time and rising nearly 9kg in the weights is a huge query. Should run well but WFA Group 1 is a big test.
HAURAKI: This horse is flying and ran very well in the Ranvet behind The United States. Draws a tough barrier but he loves the 2000m and we should expect another big run from him. Concern over the soft track, though.
LEEBAZ: Very tough win in the Group 3 Easter Cup at Caulfield last start but this is a huge step up in grade and looks outclassed.
LUCIA VALENTINA: Nice run first up in the Coolmoore Classic to finish 4th. She has a terrible 2nd up record on paper (5:0-0-0) but if she reproduced her 2000m run from Hong Kong she will be competitive here. Should go well especially if the track is soft.
RISING ROMANCE: Solid run two starts back in the Australian Cup and then was a bit unlucky in The BMW last start. The drop back to 2000m suits here and barrier 7 will mean she should get a dream run up on speed. Should go well and is a strong place chance.
FENWAY: Went down as the short favourite at Moonee Valley last start. Back up to 2000m is good for her but she draws horribly and faces a tough task. Needs to improve.
AWESOME ROCK: Huge run in the Australian Cup last start which he lost on protest but the pace of the race that day was ridiculously slow and he won't get that today. Probably wants a firm track too.
2nd THE UNITED STATES
4th LUCIA VALENTINA
Final race of the day is a Group 2 over 1200m for the fillies and mares. Interested in the price of Brook Road who drops to 54kg and gets a dream run from barrier 3. Has won on wet ground before and looks well placed at a big price here. Tough race to finish though!
Take note: Any of the tips in this article are simply the author’s opinion, so bet at your own risk and always gamble responsibly. Also be sure to check out the Before You Bet Twitter Page for all our thoughts in the lead up to bets! Happy punting!
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