Chipping Norton Stakes Day has become one of the premier racing days during the Sydney Autumn Spring Racing Carnival. Held at the Royal Randwick Racecourse in western Sydney, it hosts some of the more prestigious Listed and Group races, including the Chipping Norton Stakes and the Surround Stakes. Given the Chipping Norton Stakes is the first Group 1 race of the year, big numbers usually venture to ‘the Farm’.
Total prize money on the day is well over the $1m mark, with horses either trained at Randwick or having had experience on the track, better suited. With so much to offer on the day for punters, racing enthusiasts and the trendy socialites, it is a much anticipated day on the Sydney racing calendar.
Group 1 racing returns to Sydney as Randwick will host the first G1 of the calendar year in New South Wales in what starts the Sydney Autumn Carnival.
Nine races are set down for decision with two Group 1 races on a huge day of racing. The G1 features are headlined by the Chipping Norton Stakes to be run at weight-for-age over 1600m. The other G1 on the card is the newest race at the elite level on the Australian calendar, the Surround Stakes, held at set weights for 3YO fillies and run over 1400m.
Support features include two races for the ‘babies’ that will be a solid guide to the Golden Slipper. The Skyline Stakes at G2 for the 2YO colts & geldings will be run over the Slipper distance of 1200m, as will the G2 Sweet Embrace Stakes for the fillies. The Liverpool City Cup at 1300m is a G3 handicap and the G2 Guy Walter Stakes for mares aged 4YO and older round out the Group racing action.
The Chipping Norton Stakes is the highlight and will feature the return to racing of Winx. Chris Waller’s magic mare will be looking to secure the 23rd successive victory in her career and will have 8 opponents looking to end her winning streak.
Check out our Winx Fast Facts to get all the facts and stats on the career of the great mare.
The Surround Stakes will be held at the elite level for the first time and will complement the Chipping Norton. A great field of fillies have assembled, headed by Alizee who will take on the likes of Shoals, Friolic and the Kiwi raider Melody Belle.
|RACE NO||RACE NAME||RACE TIME||STATUS||PRIZE MONEY||DISTANCE||RACE TYPE||RACE CODE|
|1||HIGHWAY PLATE||11:25AM AEST||-||$60,000||2160m||SW||SR01|
|2||BENCHMARK 85||12:05PM AEDT||-||$100,000||2000m||HCP||SR02|
|3||SKYLINE STAKES||12:40PM AEDT||2||$200,000||1200m||2YO C&G SW||SR03|
|4||SWEET EMBRACE STAKES||1:15PM AEDT||2||$200,000||1200m||2YO F SW||SR04|
|5||LIVERPOOL CITY CUP||1:50PM AEDT||3||$150,000||1300m||HCP||SR05|
|6||CHIPPING NORTON||2:30PM AEDT||1||$600,000||1600m||WFA||SR06|
|7||SURROUND STAKES||3:10PM AEDT||1||$500,000||1400m||3YO F SW||SR07|
|8||GUY WALTER STAKES||3:50PM AEDT||2||$200,000||1400m||4YO+M SW+P||SR08|
|9||BENCHMARK 85||4:30PM AEDT||-||$100,000||1200m||HCP||SR09|
A 1600m Class 3 Highway Plate opens the day with the Bathurst trained Keymaster at the head of the market when the prices went up. Opening at $4.80, it is an open market with Volpe, It’s A Lottery, Fui San and So It Is all sitting between the $4.80 and $7 mark.
Murwillumbah based Matt Dunn has a great record in these Highway races and will have 4YO gelding Sepoy’s Choice looking to land the 2nd win of his career after winning a maiden at Ballina 2 starts back. Tye Angland takes the ride.
A field of 12 to take on the 2000m trip with Tamarack on the 53kg minimum, with the French import Berdibek and the Waller trained So Willie equal top-weights with 59.5kg.
Almost Court sits at the top of the market and comes into the race a last start dead-heat winner over this track and trip. That was in a benchmark 86 when carrying 56kg. The 5YO rises to 58.5kg in this line-up and draws well in gate 4 which will suit his go-forward pattern and if left alone in front might just be hard to run-down.
Chris Waller holds a strong hand in the race, saddling 5 of the 12 acceptors. Multifacets has drawn the best of the five, starting from gate 3.
A small field of colts to do battle in the 1200m Skyline Stakes, in a race with an honour roll that includes the likes of Viscount, Choisir, Dance Hero, Snitzel and Casino Prince.
Zousain has been well tried in early trading to land one of the key Slipper lead-in races. Included in the solid support for the colt was a bet of $1,400 at $13. A son of Zoustar, the colt was successful on debut in a set-weights maiden at Randwick in mid-week company. Kerrin McEvoy rode that day, but Hugh Bowman will be up for this.
Sandbar is yet to taste defeat from 2 appearances. The Brad Widdup trained colt was a maiden winner at Canterbury carrying 58kg and then hit the line strongly for victory in the Listed Lonhro Plate. He is the only runner to already have a win over the 1200m trip.
A field of 14 fillies to battle it out for the 1200m G2 Sweet Embrace Stakes. This race has produced some top fillies and the honour roll includes the likes of Skating, Ha Ha, Victory Vein and Crystal Lily..
Fiesta and Satin Slipper are equal in early trading at $4.80. Fiesta is a last start winner of the G3 Widden Stakes at her first run back following a two-start prep early in the season that included a 3rd to Satin Slipper on debut in the Gimcrack.
Satin Slipper won the Gimcrack on debut before being put away. Returning in the Listed Lonhro the Pierro filly started favourite in finishing a neck from Sandbar. Andrew Adkins takes the ride.
A field of 11 following the early scratching of Mishani Honcho in this race held under handicap conditions with quite a few of these on Doncaster Mile preparations.
Care To Think has been superb in 3 runs this prep with his most recent victory in the Magic Millions Cup taking his record to 6 wins from 11 starts, winning all 3 this time in. That form has seen the Matt Dunn trained 4YO open at the top of the market at a $2.30 quote.
The Villiers winner Crack Me Up will start for the first time out of the Bjorn Baker yard after being transferred from Liam Birchley and Jason Collet who rode in the Villiers win will re-unite with the gelding.
Resuming here, Egg Tart was a dual acceptor in this and the Guy Walter but trainer Chris Waller will target this race with the dual Oaks winner. Last prep she was 2nd to Deploy in a track record over 1300m in the G2 Theo Marks prior to a pair of sub-par efforts in G1 Mile events in the Toorak and Cantala.
9 acceptors for the Chipping Norton Stakes that sees the return of the mighty mare Winx as she looks to secure the 16th G1 victory of her career.
Chris Waller saddles 3 of the 9 runners with the stayers Who Shot Thebarnman and Libran both returning for their Autumn campaigns. Libran will need a vet check after it was reported there was a small wound on his rump that may have been causing concern.s
Winx is stifling the market at the $1.08 quote and once again UBET will be offering no tote takeout on this race.
The David Pfieffer trained Jemadar will take the biggest step of his career, earning his shot after successive wins over the 1550m at Canterbury.
Check out our Chipping Norton Stakes Preview.
The newest Group 1 on the Australian Group calendar with this race won by somme nice fillies over the years. Included on the honour roll are Skating, Shame, Lotteria, Gold Edition, More Joyous and First Seal who defeated Winx in the 2015 edition of this race.
The Godolphin owned filly Alizee is all the rage following her win in the Light Fingers when resuming for the Autumn. In both 2nd up runs in her career she has finished in 2nd position.
Shoals heads to Sydney following her return to the track in the Kevin Hayes Stakes at Caulfield when well beaten by Booker and missing a place for the first time in her career. The filly started once at Randwick previously when winning the Percy Sykes on a heavy 8 last year.
Shumookh has placed 2nd in both her Randwick starts and last run was attacking the line strongly in running Alizee to a head. That was just her 3rd career start. Rimraam will have her first start the Sydeny way of going after a last start win in the G3 The Vanity at Flemington over 1400m and Kerrin McEvoy will take the ride.
Check out our Surround Stakes Preview.
A field of 10 following the early scratching of the dual acceptor Egg Tart. A strong field of mares have assembled for this race named in honour of the late champion trainer Guy Walter. It is fitting this race be held on Chipping Norton Stakes day, as Walter trained the mighty Tie The Knot to win 4 successive Chipping Norton’s.
Dixie Blossoms resumes from a spell and although she can only boast 1 first-up victory, her trial form has been super. The 2nd of those trials where she was successful has produced the winners Russian Revolution and Daysee Doom, along with D’argento who claimed 3rd in the Hobartville behind the smart pair of Kementari and Pierata.
Raiment hit the line strongly in the Triscay when resuming and was able to run Faraway Town to a half-length after settling well back. The Godolphin mare is a two-time winner at Randwick and a winner at her only run over the Randwick 1400m.
The Murray Baker/Andrew Forsman combination will step out Francaletta for the first time in Australia with the 5YO mare having won 6 of her 9 career starts in NZ. She will be first-up since finishing 2nd in a Group race at Pukekohe and has the perfect record of 2 from 2 when resuming.
16 acceptors for the get-out, with the early scratching of Burradoo to bring it back to 15 runners.
Punters have been unable to hone in on anything in early trading with the James Cummings trained Osborne Bulls heading the market. The 4YO gelded son of Street Cry has developed a strong record, securing 4 wins in 5 career starts
Raiden steps up from a last start win in a benchmark 73 at Warwick Farm, with the Australian Bloodstock gelding a handy looking type that will be having his first start at Randwick.