Held under weight-for-age conditions, the Challenge Stakes is a Group 2 event run over 1000m. It is the only Group race over the distance for 3YO and older horses in the Sydney Autumn and is the only Group weight-for-age sprint over 1000m or 1100m held in Sydney.
In 2016 the Challenge Stakes will carry $500,000 in total stakes with the winner to receive $300,000.
At weight-for-age it is used by the second-tier sprinters or the better sprinters beginning their campaigns towards Sydney’s Autumn G1 sprint races, The Galaxy at Rosehill or the TJ Smith at Randwick.
The Challenge Stakes forms a part of the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
Odds and previews are available for all the major Autumn Racing Carnival races at UBET's Autumn Racing Betting Hub.
|Challenge Stakes Guide|
|Date:||Saturday 5th March 2016|
|Race Time:||15:50 AEST|
|Race Type:||Weight For Age 3YO & Upwards|
|2015 Winner:||Miracles of Life|
|2016 Challenge Stakes Odds|
|4||BOSS LANE||3RD||$5.40 (pl)|
|1||BALL OF MUSCLE||-||-|
|7||RULE THE RIVER||-||-|
|2||LORD OF THE SKY||-||-|
Un-sighted in the Spring, the Gai Waterhouse trained filly had 4 starts as a 2YO in the Autumn of 2015 and displayed some great talent. 2nd up she captured one of the traditional Golden Slipper lead-ups in the G2 Riesling Stakes. Well supported for the Golden Slipper she finished under a length from Vancouver in running 2nd. Trialling twice to prepare for her return to the track, both efforts have been impressive, the first defeating subsequent Group winners Winx, Amicus and First Seal.
From 17 starts, the talented on pace runner Ball Of Muscle is yet to finish out of the money, with his record showing 17:8-6-3. A winner in the Qld Winter of the G2 QTC Cup, his spring campaign realised a 3rd in the G3 Concorde, a narrow 2nd behind Rebel Dane in the G2 The Shorts, a 2nd in the G1 Moir, beaten a half-length behind Buffering and finished with a 1.25 length 3rd behind the dead-heaters Lumosty and Eclair Choice in the G2 Caulfield Sprint. He too has trialled twice to prepare, the 1st trial finishing 3rd behind Terravista.
A 10 time winner, Shiraz opens his Autumn campaign here following a 3rd in a trial behind I Am Zelady and Tiger Tees. Last Spring his campaign started with a win in the G3 Auries Star and followed that with a win in the G3 Concorde over 1000m at Randwick. Backing up a fortnight later in the G2 The Shorts he finished under a length, finishing 3rd behind Rebel Dane with Ball Of Muscle finishing 2nd. His campaign finished with a disappointing effort in the G2 Schillaci. He has 4 wins from 5 attempts when 1st up and is 1 from 1 at the Randwick 1000m.
Not at a rough price, but at each way value on the 4th line of betting, Speak Fondly is the 2nd of the 2 fillies in the race trained by Gai Waterhouse. With a career record of 8:4-2-1, she will open her Autumn campaign on the back of a pipe opening trial win at Randwick beating some nice types. From 4 runs in the Spring she was successful in the G2 Silver Shadow, the G2 Furious Stakes, was 2nd in the G1 Golden Rose behind Exosphere and rounded out her campaign with a win in the Group 1 Flight Stakes. She has won 3 from 4 at Randwick and has finished in the money at all of her 3 starts when 1st up.
The Challenge Stakes is a Group 2 sprint that is held on Randwick Guineas Day. It is one of the shortest races of the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival and offers a total prize pool of $400,000. First held in 1906 as a Principal Race, it became a Group 2 in 1987 and is one of the oldest races of the Carnival. This race generally is a lead up to the Group 1 The Galaxy on Rosehill Guineas Day or the Group 2 Star Kingdom Stakes on Golden Slipper Day.
Being a weight for age event, the more talented gallopers have a distinct advantage and usually perform quite well. Two sprinters dominated the event in the 80s. Razor Sharp was successful in 1982/83/84, while At Sea saluted in 1985/86/87. Other notable winners include; San Domenico (1949/50), Bomber Bill (2002), Snitzel (2006) and Hay List (2011).
|2016||ENGLISH||TOMMY BERRY||GAI WATERHOUSE||00:56.5|
|2015||MIRACLES OF LIFE||HUGH BOWMAN||PETER SNOWDEN||00:56.7|
|2014||VILLA VERDE||JAMES MCDONALD||ANTHONY CUMMINGS||00:57.3|
|2013||SNITZERLAND||COREY BROWN||GERALD RYAN||00:56.1|
|2012||RAIN AFFAIR||COREY BROWN||JOE PRIDE||01:03.7|
|2011||HAY LIST||GLYN SCHOFIELD||JOHN MCNAIR||00:56.8|
|2010||DE LIGHTNING RIDGE||GLYN SCHOFIELD||JOE PRIDE||00:55.9|
|2009||OLONANA||TIM CLARK||JOHN O’SHEA||00:56.9|
|2008||HURRIED CHOICE||JEFF LLOYD||DAVID PAYNE||00:57.3|
|2007||SPARK OF LIFE||ZAC PURTON||ALLAN DENHAM||00:56.8|
|2006||SNITZEL||CRAIG NEWITT||GERALD RYAN||00:56.8|