Royal Randwick Meeting Features Australian Stars
Photo Copyright Eclipse Sportswire
By Emily Shields for TVG
With much of racing across North America on hold for now, the Royal Randwick meeting in Australia Saturday, April 4 (Friday, April 3 in the United States) offers a chance to still enjoy Group 1 racing. TVG will be showing the 10-race card –which features four Group 1 events - live.
The highlight of the day is the $1.5 million Star Doncaster Mile. A win by Melody Belle would make her the 34th filly or mare to win the race, with the most recent being the extremely popular Winx in 2016. Melody Belle’s most recent start was the All Star Mile, where she finished third, but she also took the Group 1 Empire Rose over a mile on a soft track, which it could be again for this. Con Te Partiro was imported to Australia from the United States in January, 2019. She was a winner at Keeneland and Saratoga while based here, but she has added a Group 1 to her resume since shipping down under.
The $1.25 million T J Smith (G1) is a sprint famous for winners such as Black Caviar and Chautauqua. Defending champion Santa Ana Lane has drawn barrier 2 to defend his title. He went into last year's race following a midfield finish first up after a spell, followed by a soft barrier trial. He goes into this edition with a similar preparation. He also loves this track and distance, with six starts for two wins and two placings. Redzel is a two-time winner of the Everest, but has not won since September. Pierata has only been defeated at Randwick over the 1200-meter distance twice in five starts.
The $1 million Australian Derby (G1) has a field of 12. Castelvecchio sold for a mere $150,000 as a yearling, but his impressive start last out in the Rosehill Guineas took his total winnings to $2,930,750. However, this is his first attempt at the 2400-meter trip. His longest race so far was over 2040 meters when running 2nd to Lys Gracieux (JPN) in the Cox Plate in October last year. His sire Dundeel won this race in 2013. Warning won the Victorian Derby over 2500 meters from barrier 10 last year. In this race he again draws barrier 10.
The $500,000 Inglis Sires’ Stakes (G1) is the last of the major races on the card. The race is for two-year-olds, many of whom were very expensive, well-bred prospects. Prague is the most expensive horse in the race, having been knocked down for $1.6 million (approximately US$975,000) at the 2019 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale. By the super sire Redoute's Choice, he is a half-brother to Stratum Star who was himself underwhelming as a juvenile but went on to be a multiple Group 1 winner. His best runs have been jumping from inside gates and settling on the pace, which makes his barrier 15 draw worrisome.
Mamaragan will be well backed, having won on debut in the Group 2 Skyline Stakes and run third in the Group 1 Golden Slipper. He has already more than doubled his purchase price of $180,000. He is also partnered by Nash Rawiller, who is one of two jockeys in the race to have won it three times (the other being Hugh Bowman on King's Legacy.
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