The ATC Championship Carnival at Royal Randwick Racecourse is the main event in Australian Horse Racing in April, and it should be another chance for punters to see Winx extend her record-breaking unbeaten run as she tries to win back-to-back Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
However, though that may be the most lucrative race on the card, there’s also a strong supporting cast. This includes the Group 2 Arrowfield Sprint, the Group 1 Australian Oaks, the Group 3 Percy Sykes Stakes, the Group 1 Queen Of The Turf Stakes, and the Group 1 Sydney Cup.
Arrowfield 3-Year-old Sprint (Saturday 14 April)
The Arrowfield Sprint takes place over 1,200 metres and was first run in 1979 as the Royal Sovereign Stakes. It is currently run at Randwick Racecourse in Sydney where it forms part of the ATC Championship Carnival. The most famous winners of this Group 2 contest are probably Shaftsbury Avenue and Lonhro, whilst it was won last year by Derryn.
Arrowfield Sprint 2018 Betting
Viridine 3/1, I Am Excited 4/1, Pariah 6/1, Isaurian 8/1, Catchy 12/1
Arrowfield Sprint 2018 Summary
It’s no surprise to see Viridine at the head of the market as James Cummings’ 3-year-old colt has some very useful form at Randwick. A winner over 1,100 metres at the track in September, he recorded an impressive course and distance win in the Roman Consul in October. He has since run well in fourth at the track in March over 1,000 metres when some good late headway again suggested he’ll be well-suited by stepping back up to 1,200 metres. The 3-year-old filly I Am Excited has to be a big danger though as she comes here in the form of her life after three straight wins, one of which was over 1,100 metres here at Randwick in March when she had Viridine behind.
Australian Oaks (Saturday 14 April)
The Australian Oaks is the most prestigious race for 3-year-old fillies in Australia and was first run in 1885. It takes place at Randwick Racecourse over a distance of 2,400 Metres and carries Group 1 status. Its role of honour includes great fillies such as Flight, Evening Peal, Wenona Girl, Light Fingers, Leilani, Surround, and Research. The 2017 Australian Oaks winner was Bonneval.
Australian Oaks 2018 Betting
Unforgotten 3/1, Aloisia 13/2, Hiyaam 13/2, Savvy Coup 13/2, Luvaluva 8/1
Australian Oaks 2018 Summary
Unforgotten heads the market after her win in the Group 2 Pharlap Stakes in March and she suggested she should stay this new trip when second over 2,400 metres last time. However, both of those runs came at Rosehill Gardens, and she had previously failed to impress in two trials and one race at Randwick, though soft ground could have been a feasible excuse during her one race at the track.
Meanwhile, Randwick is an unknown for Aloisia who finished one-place behind Unforgotten last time. The horse that beat both Unforgotten and Aloisia last time was Hiyaam and, though she has no experience of Randwick, she’s sure to prove a popular each-way play with that form in the book.
Percy Sykes Stakes (Saturday 14 April)
The Percy Sykes Stakes began life in 1960 as the Keith Mckay Handicap and, after a brief stint, as the Royal Randwick Stakes, it took its current name in 2015. It had been elevated to a Group 3 from a Listed Race a year earlier. It is open to 2-year-old fillies and takes place over 1,200 metres at Randwick. The 2017 renewal was won by Shoals.
Percy Sykes Stakes 2018 Betting
Seabrook 4/1, Pure Elation 5/1, Cristobal 6/1, Gongs 10/1, Outback Barbie 12/1
Percy Sykes Stakes 2018 Summary
Seabrook wasn’t on the scoresheet last time but punters have clocked the previous impressive course and distance win in the Group 2 Sweet Embrace Stakes. That looks the best form on offer amongst those prominent in the betting, with Pure Elation only managing a second over course and distance. Meanwhile, Cristobal has trialled at the course just once, with her best performance probably coming when second in a Group 3.
Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Saturday 14 April)
The Queen Elizabeth Stakes started life as the Queen’s Plate in 1851 but was later named after the current Queen of England Queen Elizabeth II in 1954. Whether the Queen had any money on the winner that day, Blue Ocean, is doubtful as the SP was 33/1. In 2014, the race was given an overhaul and became the most lucrative weight-for-age race in Australia with a prize fund of $4,000,000. It is a Group 1 race run over 2,000 metres at Randwick and its most famous winners include three-time winner Tulloch, dual-winner Grand Armee, and last year’s winner Winx.
Queen Elizabeth Stakes 2018 Betting
Winx 3/19, Humidor 9/1, Gailo Chop 12/1, Happy Clapper 16/1, Almandin 25/1
Queen Elizabeth Stakes 2018 Summary
It’s hard to come up with original superlatives for Winx who is unbeaten since losing at Randwick in April 2015. However, don’t take that fact to mean she could have a possible aversion to the track as she’s won here 12 times since, including last year’s renewal of the Queen Elizabeth Stakes. She will surely win again, but those wishing to oppose her may wish to chance an each-way bet on Happy Clapper who finished second to her last time.
Queen Of The Turf Stakes (Saturday 14 April)
The Queen Of The Turf Stakes is another Group 1 Race that takes place on ATC Championships Day at Randwick racecourse. It is open to fillies and mares that are three or older and is run over 1,600 metres. It was first run in 1972 and its most famous winners are Divine Madonna and More Joyous, whilst Foxplay won last year’s renewal.
Queen Of The Turf Stakes 2018 Betting
Dixie Blossoms 4/1, Daysee Doom 8/1, Prompt Response 8/1, Foxplay 10/1, Alizee 12/1
Queen Of The Turf Stakes 2018 Summary
Dixie Blossoms will bid for a fifth course-win at Randwick and Ron Quinton’s 5-year-old’s liking for the track could be that she’s based locally. Quinton also has another 5-year-old in Daysee Doom but she’s shown her best form at Rosehill Gardens recently.
Meanwhile, last year’s winner Foxplay may want soft ground again if she’s to stage a repeat win. She’s been beaten seven times on good ground since last year’s win including three times at Randwick.
Sydney Cup (Saturday 14 April)
The Sydney Cup dates back to 1862 and is one of the highlights of ATC Championship Day at Randwick Racecourse. It is run over the trip of 2-miles or 3,200 metres and has been won by some magnificent horses such as dual-winners The Barb, Carbine, and Tie The Knot, as well as three-time Melbourne Cup Winner Makybe Diva. Last year’s renewal was won by Polarisation.
Sydney Cup 2018 Betting
Almandin 11/4, Aloft 8/1, Ambitious 8/1, Alward 12/1, Auvray 12/1
Sydney Cup 2018 Preview
Alamandin has won just two of his eight races since winning the 2016 Melbourne Cup in taking fashion but, after showing enough speed to win a Group 1 over 2,400 metres at Rosehill Gardens last time, he could ideally be suited to stepping back up in trip to 3,200 metres here. He raced prominently in a nine-runner field there and, if he can again adopt a handy early position in what will likely be a bigger field, his turn-of-foot could be devastating. His most interesting rival could be Aloft who has yet to tackle this sort of trip since moving to Australia. However, he was good enough to win an average Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot over a similar trip when trained by Aidan O’Brien.