Day 2 of The Championships will be held at Royal Randwick this Saturday. The course proper was rated a Soft 6 on Thursday and with light showers forecast for Sydney over the next couple of days, Randwick is likely to remain in the Soft range on raceday.
Probabeel is a class filly and she is set to claim the Group 1 Australian Oaks on Saturday (Sydney Race 6, 2400m). The 3YO filly won at Randwick when 1st up in the Surround Stakes beating Funstar in the process, before finishing 2nd to that filly in the Phar Lap Stakes. Last start in the Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m), Probabeel finished strongly and just failed to catch Shout The Bar. The way Probabeel finishing off in the Vinery Stud indicates that she will run out a strong 2400m. The filly has a good record in the Soft condition winning 3 and placing 3 from 7 starts. Opie Bosson will return to the saddle on Saturday and he will settle somewhere mid-field and put the filly to sleep. Probabeel will be too strong in the run home.
Manion Cup winner Young Rascal looks the horse to beat in the Sydney Cup (Sydney Race 7, 3200m). This English stayer has won 5 races in Europe ranging from 2210m to 2470m. Having his first Australian start in the Manion Cup, Young Rascal showed tremendous stamina, and aided by a brilliant Tom Marquand ride, to outstay Mugatoo and Supernova. The 5YO loves Soft tracks and the 3200m will suit. Marquand will once again be on board on Saturday and from barrier 10, Marquand will settle just behind the leading bunch and Young Rascal will simply outstay this field.
Te Akau Shark is ready to win his third Group 1 race this campaign by taking out the Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Sydney Race 8, 2000m). This 5YO gelding had a successful Spring Carnival culminating to his 3rd place finish in the Cox Plate. He came back with a bang this Autumn winning the Group 1 BCD sprint and the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes. Te Akau Shark has never missed a place on Soft tracks with 4 wins and 3 placings from 7 attempts. Opie Bosson knows the horse well and he will settle mid-field and bide his time. Te Akau Shark will run over the top of this field down the long Randwick straight.
By Owens Wong, Editor