RACING – Spring Is In The Air

The Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival is undoubtedly the highlight of the racing year in Australia and it brings together the very best of Australian and International thoroughbreds for 50 days of world-class horse racing action. The whole event has a carnival like atmosphere which brings the city of Melbourne to life during spring carnival time.

The major racing carnival during the spring is the four-day Melbourne Cup Carnival held at Flemington in early November, home to Melbourne Cup Day, while the three-day Caulfield Cup carnival held at Caulfield in October is also an exciting affair for horse racing fans.

Other feature race days during spring include WS Cox Plate day at Moonee Valley in late October, and Sandown Classic day at Sandown in November, one week after the Flemington carnival ends on Emirates Stakes day.

Group racing kicks off in early August with the  Aurie’s Star Handicap is the first group race of the new season, while the first Group One race takes place in late August with the running of the Memsie Stakes at Caulfield racecourse. A number of high quality feature races are then held each week before we get to the important Caulfield, Moonee Valley and Flemington racing carnivals in late October and early November.

The Caulfield Cup is the second of the big spring cups and it is a tough Group One handicap event over 2400m that takes place in mid October and forms part of big feature spring cups betting double with the Melbourne Cup.

Moonee Valley racecourse is host to the Group One WS Cox Plate over 2040m in October, one week after the Caulfield Cup, and it’s widely recognised as the weight-for-age championship of Australasia.

The jewel in the crown of the spring racing carnival is Australia’s most famous race, the time honoured Melbourne Cup, which is always run on the first Tuesday in November over a distance of 3200m (2 miles) at Flemington racecourse in Melbourne.

 

SEPTEMBER SPRING PLANNER

 

Saturday 3rd September 2016 – Moonee Valley – Chin Nam Stakes Day
StatusRace Name  Prizemoney  Distance  Race Type
Gr 2Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes$250,0001600mWeight-for-age
Gr 2McEwen Stakes$200,0001000m  Weight-for-age
Saturday 10th September 2016 – Flemington – Makybe Diva Stakes Day
StatusRace Name  Prizemoney  Distance  Race Type
Gr 1Makybe Diva Stakes$400,0001600m  Weight-for-age
Gr 2Danehill Stakes$200,0001200m  3yo SW+Pen
Gr 2 Let’s Elope Stakes$200,0001400mMares SW+Pen  
Gr 3Bobbie Lewis Quality$200,0001200mQuality Hcp
Saturday 17th September 2016 – Caulfield – Naturalism Stakes Day
StatusRace Name  Prizemoney  Distance  Race Type
Gr 3 Naturalism Stakes$150,0002000mOpen Hcp
Gr 3How Now Stakes$150,0001200m  Mares SW+Pen
Friday 23rd September 2016 – Moonee Valley – Champagne Stakes Night
StatusRace Name  Prizemoney  Distance  Race Type
Gr 3Champagne Stakes$150,0001200m3yoF SW
Saturday 24th September 2016 – Caulfield – Underwood Stakes Day
Gr 1Underwood Stakes$400,0001800m  Weight-for-age
Gr 1Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes$400,0001400m  Open Hcp
Gr 3Caulfield Guineas Prelude$175,0001400m  3yoC&G SW+Pen
Gr 2Thousand Guineas Prelude$200,0001400m  3yoF SW+Pen
Friday 30th September 2016 – Moonee Valley – AJ Moir Stakes Night
StatusRace Name  Prizemoney  Distance  Race Type
Gr 1AJ Moir Stakes$450,0001000m  Weight-for-age
Gr 2Stutt Stakes$200,0001600m  3yo Open SW
Gr 2WH Stocks Stakes$200,0001600m4yo+ Mares WFA
Gr 3JRA Cup$200,0002040mOpen Hcp

SPRING CHAMPIONS NOT TO BE MISSED

 

Every Spring the city of Melbourne is fortunate enough to host some of the best race horses from around the globe. 2016 is no exception, with perhaps two homegrown heroes holding the world spotlight

 

Winx: the World’s Best Miler & Turf Horse

Today ranked the world’s third-best racehorse, this five-year-old mare took the horse racing industry by storm at the 2015 World Cox Plate, where she competed in a largely international field and won by four and three-quarter lengths. She is best known for her come-from-behind racing style, which helped her achieve a remarkable 13 wins and three places from 19 starts.

Since her Cox Plate triumph, Winx has gone from strength to strength. She claimed the top spot in the 2016 G1 George Ryder Stakes, sealing her eighth-straight victory.

The Chris Waller-trained horse elevated her champion status in this year’s G1 Star Doncaster Mile. There were some tense moments as her trademark turn of foot seemed to be leading her into trouble, but she fought off her rivals at the last straight to defeat Happy Clapper and Azkadellia at the finish line.

Unsurprisingly, Winx’s prospects look promising this Spring. Her Doncaster victory qualified her for a starting position in the Breeders’ Cup, but trainer Waller says Winx will be focusing on Australian racing for what he calls “unfinished business”. Waller is getting her ready for three G2 features in Sydney in which she was dominant in victory in the Warwick Stakes at Warwick Farm on August 20th, and will now target the Chelmsford Stakes at Randwick on September 3rd, and the George Main Stakes on September 17th, also at Randwick.

In October, it’s time for the big one. Winx will travel to Melbourne, where she’ll be looking to defend her Cox Plate title on October 22nd. Beside Winx’s ability to accelerate quickly and shift positions in the blink of an eye, she has grown physically, which will give her an advantage in the G1 race, a weight-for-age race over 10 furlongs at Mooney Valley.  

 

Chautauqua: The World’s Best Sprinter

This 6-year-old champion sprinter, currently ranked the 11th best racehorse internationally, preserved his G1 TJ Smith Stakes title at The Championships at Royal Randwick and went on to compete in Hong Kong, where he then claimed the G1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize for the 2015/16 season. His TJ Smith win gave him an automatic starting position in the Breeders’ Cup in November.

However, Chautauqua will compete exclusively in Australia this Spring, ahead of a possible stint in the G1 Longines Hong Kong Sprint in December. So far, his line-up includes some of the most enthralling open class sprint races.

His owner Rupert Legh is considering him for the G1 Moir Stakes on September 30th at Moonee Valley. After that, it’s off to the G1 Manikato Stakes on October 21st, when Chautauqua hopes to secure a back-to-back win. To date, he has advanced his career with an impressive 12 wins and six placements in 22 starts. When he’s all set for the G1 Darley Classic on November 5th at Melbourne’s Flemington, he will likely have established himself as the horse to beat.

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