The Championships Day Two will be held at Royal Randwick this Saturday. The course proper was rated a Soft 5 on Thursday and with mainly fine weather in Sydney leading up to the weekend, Randwick will be racing on a Good track on raceday.
Fresh from winning the Australian Derby with Angel of Truth on Day 1 of The Championships, Gwenda Markwell is well placed to win another feature race with Archedemus in the Provincial Championships Final at Randwick this Saturday (Sydney Race 3, 1400m). Archedemus has been on an unbeaten run this preparation winning all three starts and the lightly raced 5YO is all set to continue his winning streak. And the gelding is also unbeaten over Saturday’s trip winning 3 from 3. Regular rider Chad Lever knows the horse well and will once again be on board. Beautifully drawn in barrier 4, Lever will take up a prominent position just behind the leaders. Archedemus will simply be too powerful in the run home.
Vinery Stud Stakes winner Verry Elleegant is primed to peak in the Group 1 Australian Oaks (Sydney Race 6, 2400m). Verry Elleegant is a class filly and she has been in great form winning back-to-back Group races (Phar Lap Stakes, Vinery Stud Stakes). Her Vinery win was only 0.08 secs slower than Tulloch Stakes winner Angel Of Truth over 2000m on the same day and of course Angel Of Truth had franked the form by claiming victory in the Australian Derby last weekend. Race jockey James McDonald has said that the filly worked beautifully on Tuesday morning and is on target for the Oaks. With pretty good pace in the race, McDonald should be able to slot in somewhere mid-field from barrier 12 and Verry Elleegant will emulate Heavenly Glow’s effort in 2008 to complete the Vinery Stud – Australian Oaks double.
The all conquering Godolphin stable will have a leading candidate in Dubhe for the Group 1 Sydney Cup (Sydney Race 8, 3200m). Trainer Charlie Appleby certainly knows a thing or two in winning two mile races in Australia after taken out the 2017 Sydney Cup with Polarisation and last year’s Melbourne Cup with Cross Counter. This Dubawi gelding will have no problem running the trip out strongly with victory in his last start over 3200m at Meydan (United Arab Emirates), beating Red Galileo by 4 lengths. Dubhe has only been allotted 52.5kg and the in-form Kerrin McEvoy will be aboard. From the gun gate (4), McEvoy will go forward and together with his light weight, Dubhe could prove hard to catch.
By Owens Wong, Editor