With SuperCoach Racing back for the autumn, forecasting who’ll nominate let alone accept for the big Group 1 races throughout March and April can be a tricky task.
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It all comes down to campaign management; a stable, along with the ownership group, will pick and choose their path through the carnival pending the results while other factors may include the field and prize money on offer.
While there are some repeat entries throughout, today we outline Rounds 1-3 of SuperCoach Racing and the big names to look out for the autumn season.
ROUND 1 (Saturday 7 March)
Kicking off the new SuperCoach Racing season, the dual race day will feature no less than seven Group races at Randwick and another six at Flemington making for a total of 13 group races of which four are Group 1 races. That is a monster amount of points on offer to begin the season. 160 points are up for grabs from G1 races alone if you’re to correctly select the four winners (plus another extra 40 if one of them is your captain).
NEWMARKET HANDICAP – 1200m – FLEMINGTON
Perhaps the second-most famous race to be staged at Flemington Racecourse, the Newmarket Handicap is one of the most prestigious sprint races on the Australian calendar. Look for the likes of Spring Carnival horses LOVING GABY ($400,000), BIVOUAC ($400,000) and NATURE STRIP ($475,000) to fair well.
AUSTRALIAN CUP – 2000m – FLEMINGTON
The time-honoured Australian Cup is one of the oldest races in the country, having first been run in 1863. It’s been won by the likes of Better Loosen Up, Let’s Elope, Saintly, Octagonal, Northerly, Lonhro and Makybe Diva. In the 2020 edition, look for KINGS WILL DREAM ($400,000), AVILIUS ($500,000) and VOW AND DECLARE (325,000) to suit up, but do not dismiss REGAL POWER ($400,000), last year’s winner HARLEM ($375,000) and MASTER OF WINE ($250,000).
RANDWICK GUINEAS – 1600m – RANDWICK
One of the premier early races of the autumn carnival, the Group 1 Randwick Guineas does not have a long history in its own right – it was first run in 2006, taking over from the Canterbury Guineas, shifting from a spring racing event into the autumn. The G1 race will see the likes of SUPER SETH ($325,000), SHADOW HERO ($325,000) and fan favourite CASTELVECCHIO ($425,000) suit up for a crack at the $1 Million purse.
CANTERBURY STAKES – 1300m – RANDWICK
One of only two Australian Group 1 races currently run over the 1300 metre distance (the other being the Kingsford-Smith Cup at Eagle Farm in Brisbane), this truly is a unique race over a unique distance. Already shortened into favouritism is ALIZEE ($450,000) followed closely by STANDOUT ($325,000) while NATURE STRIP ($475,000), BIVOUAC ($400,000) and EXCEEDANCE ($400,000) have also nominated.
ROUND 2 (Saturday 14 March)
Round 2 see’s some serious clap-back from Racing Victoria who is still in a twist after Racing New South Wales scheduled The Everest on Caulfield Cup Day and the Golden Eagle clashing with the Victoria Derby during the Spring Racing Carnival last year. The All Star Mile will this year clash with the traditional race day of the Coolmore Classic in Sydney.
ALL STAR MILE – 1600m – CAULFIELD
To be eligible for the All Star Mile, horses must first pay a $500 entry fee to then be selected by the public. Entries are open to horses three years old and over across the globe with no acceptance fee to be paid. Every entry fee paid by each horse also gets donated to charity. The prize money on offer is a whopping $5 million. It means the likes of MR QUICKIE ($375,000), KOLDING ($500,000), ALLIGATOR BLOOD ($350,000) and CATALYST ($325,000) are likely to jump in what truly is a people’s race.
COOLMORE CLASSIC – 1500m – ROSEHILL
This race isn’t exactly named the ‘Coolmore Classic’ – Coolmore Stud just has the naming rights. Traditionally, it’s known as the Thomas Arthur David (TAD) Kennedy Stakes, a well known Sydney trainer and former committee member of the Sydney Turf Club. Enough with the history lesson – you can expect to see SuperCoach Racing spring favourites FLIT ($325,000), FUNSTAR ($300,000), MELODY BELLE ($475,000) and SAVATIANO ($425,000) saddle up for the TAD.
ROUND 3 (Friday 20 March and Saturday 21 March)
A huge round of racing presents in Round 3 and SuperCoaches will need to be mindful of the Friday and Saturday combination that makes up Round 3. The Valley hosts three Group races with the G1 William Reid the highlight, but it’s the Golden Slipper the following day at Rosehill which will help SuperCoaches put up some big scores with no less than eight Group races including four G1 races – that’s 11 group races in total to consider in Round 3.
WILLIAM REID STAKES – 1200m – THE VALLEY
First contested all the way back in 1925, the William Reid Stakes is named after the former Moonee Valley Racing Club committee member and noted racehorse owner. There will be plenty of big names nominating for this race, so keep your eyes peeled for the sprinters MYSTIC JOURNEY ($475,000), NATURE STRIP ($475,000) and PIERATA ($500,000) on the bill. EXCEEDANCE ($400,000), SCALES OF JUSTICE ($450,000) and even BIVOUAC ($400,000), not to mention the impressive GYTRASH ($275,000) to be accepted.
GOLDEN SLIPPER – 1200m – ROSEHILL
The Golden Slipper Stakes is the richest two-year-old race in the world. There’s four recognised ‘majors’ in Australian racing – the Cox Plate, the Caulfield Cup, the Melbourne Cup, and the Golden Slipper – so this will be a huge day of Racing. HANSEATIC ($175,000), FARNAN ($175,000), TAGALOA ($125,000) and CELLSABELL ($175,000) are just some of the (cheap) names to keep tabs on in the lead-up.
ROSEHILL GUINEAS – 2000m – ROSEHILL
First run in 1910, the Rosehill Guineas is a classic three-year-old Australian race, steeped in history and prestige. Of its long list of famous winners, Phar Lap headlines but, in 2020, who will take home this longstanding classic? At this distance, keep across the likes of
CASTELVECCHIO ($425,000), BRANDENBURG ($200,000), SHADOW HERO ($375,000) and FLIT ($325,000) to be the latest in a long list of winners.
GEORGE RYDER STAKES – 1500m – ROSEHILL
With $1 million up for grabs, the 1500-metre weight-for-age race is the traditional lead-in to the prestigious Doncaster Handicap, with the winner earning a free pass into the otherwise balloted Doncaster. Looking ahead to this race, LE ROMAIN ($450,000), LAND OF PLENTY ($375,000), BRUTAL ($425,000) and DREAMFORCE ($425,000) are firming as key runners, while HE’S EMINENT ($400,000) is also another name to keep an ear to the ground for.
THE GALAXY – 1100m – ROSEHILL
Having first been run in 1972, The Galaxy, run over 1100 metres in the Sydney autumn, serves as the major lead-up to the Group 1 T J Smith Stakes during the Championships which is later in the SuperCoach season. A race of this type will again attract the big names such as NATURE STRIP ($475,000), PIERATA ($500,000), BIVOUAC ($400,000) and LOVING GABY ($400,000). But there will also be competition from LIBERTINI ($275,000), DEPRIVE ($375,000) and potentially, even everybody’s favourite, SANTA ANA LANE ($500,000).
RANVET STAKES – 2000m – ROSEHILL
Traditionally known as the Rawson Stakes, it was first run in 1903 – the race is named after the New South Wales governor of the time, Sir Harry Rawson. It’s since better known as the Ranvet Stakes, the equine nutrition sponsor holding the naming rights for well over 30 years now. MASTER OF WINE ($250,000), ADDEYBB, AVILIUS ($500,000) and TE AKU SHARK ($425,000) will headline some bigger names.