The Championships Day 1 will be held at Royal Randwick on Saturday (10th April). The course proper was rated a Heavy 9 on Thursday and with fine weather in Sydney leading up to the weekend, Randwick should improve to the Soft range on raceday.
The filly Montefilia looks pretty hard to beat in the ATC Derby (Sydney Race 7, 2400m). No filly has won the Derby since Research in 1989 but then it’s not a vintage Derby this year. Montefilia is a class animal having won two Group 1s in the Spring, taking home the Flight Stakes and the Spring Champion Stakes. David Payne has tuned the horse to perfection. Montefilia has been settling well in her races and she can handle any track conditions. She put in an eye-catching run last start in the Rosehill Guineas coming from second last to run Mo’unga to a length on the line and the filly is ready to peak on Saturday. Drawn beautifully in barrier 4, Jason Colette is going to put her to sleep in the second half of the field along the fence. Watch her fly down the outside and run over the top of this field.
Everyone seems to think the T.J. Smith is a match race between Nature Strip and Eduardo but Bivouac could well be the knockout horse (Sydney Race 8, 1200m). The Exceed And Excel 4YO has won some big races over six furlong with victories in a Newmarket Handicap and a VRC Classic, not to mention a great 2nd to Classique Legend in The Everest last Spring. He also has a great record on Soft tracks with three wins and two 2nds from five starts in the condition. James Cummings has reported that Bivouac was doing tremendously well during track work on Tuesday and there’s no doubt the stallion is ready to peak. Hugh Bowman will park just behind the leaders from barrier 2 and we will see the best from Bivouac on Saturday.
The Godolphin-owned Cascadian looks a great light weight chance at good odds ($16.00 fixed odds) for the Doncaster Mile (Sydney Race 9, 1600m). This 6YO gelding has a pretty good record over the mile having finished a close 2nd to Yulong Prince in the Group 1 Cantala Stakes during the Spring carnival. Resumed well with a close 3rd to Gem Song in the Newcastle Newmarket before an eye-catching run coming from last to finish a one length 4th in the WFA George Ryder Stakes. He will drop 6kg and will only carry 53kg in the Doncaster. And Jamie Kah has been firing on all cylinders and she will take over the rein on Saturday. Kah will bide her time settling towards the rear of the field and Cascadian will showcase his scintillating turn-of-foot down the long Randwick straight.
By Owens Wong, Editor