Sydney Autumn Carnival closes with Fireburn, Nature Strip, Waller & McDonald stars

Fireburn Golden Slipper
Fireburn wins the 2022 Golden Slipper. (Photo: Lisa Grimm)

A dominant filly in Fireburn winning the Australian Turf Club’s prestigious race for two-year-olds and a third consecutive victory by Nature Strip in Australia’s premier Autumn sprint were two shining highlights in a world-class Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival which concluded yesterday.

More than $37 million in prizemoney was won by owners, trainers, jockeys and strappers during the six-week Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival – including in 18 Group 1 races amongst 48 Black Type events across 60 races.

A total of 679 runners competed for three weeks at Rosehill Gardens and three weeks at Royal Randwick, including two weeks of the ninth running of The Championship and seven races at Newcastle.

Fireburn, trained at Warwick Farm by Gary Portelli and ridden by Brenton Avdulla, took the first two legs of the two-year-old Triple Crown – the Group 1 $5 million Golden Slipper Stakes and Group 1 $1 million Sires’ Produce Stakes, before a narrow second in today’s Group 1 $500,000 Champagne Stakes.

2022 Golden Slipper (Rosehill, 1200m) – Fireburn

She’s Extreme trained by Anthony Cummings and ridden by Tommy Berry reversed the placings from the Inglis Sires’, beating Fireburn in the third leg.

Nature Strip, trained by Sydney’s 11-time champion trainer Chris Waller and reigning premiership rider James McDonald, won a third Group 1 $2.5 million TJ Smith Stakes, helping to propel him to equal top-rated horse in the world in the Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings.

2022 TJ Smith Stakes (Randwick, 1200m) – Nature Strip

Think It Over – after a spectacular Everest Carnival in the Sydney Spring – took out the Group 1 $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes under a memorable ride by jockey Nash Rawiller and for the horse’s trainer Kerry Parker.

The $4 million Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes has been Australia’s highest rating race for the past four years.

2022 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Randwick, 2000m) – Think It Over

Over the 60 races of the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival, the leading trainer on a 3-2-1 win and place points basis was Chris Waller on 42 points, ahead of Godolphin’s James Cummings on 40 points.

The leading rider under the 3-2-1 points basis was James McDonald on 37 points, ahead of Tommy Berry on 35 and Sam Clipperton on 29.

James McDonald with three Group 1 wins – Anamoe in the Rosehill Guineas, Nature Strip in the TJ Smith Stakes and Cascadian in the All Aged Stakes – was the leading Group 1 rider.

Four trainers/stables each recorded two Group 1 wins:

  • Ciaron Maher & David Eustace (Lighthouse – Coolmore Classic and Hitotsu – Australian Derby)
  • Chris Waller (Fangirl – Vinery Stud Stakes. and Nature Strip – TJ Smith Stakes)
  • Gary Portelli (Fireburn – Golden Slipper Stakes and Inglis Sires’)
  • James Cummings (Anamoe – Rosehill Guineas and Cascadian – All Aged Stakes)

Amongst other flagship Australian Turf Club races at the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival:

Australian Turf Club Executive General Manager Racing and Wagering James Ross said: “The Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival remains one of world racing’s strongest and most prestigious events.

“Sydney again is home to the world’s highest rated horse in Nature Strip, who adds a third TJ Smith Stakes to an incredible career record including an Everest.

“We also saw a dominant win by Fireburn in the world’s richest race for two-year-olds the Longines Golden Slipper which this year was worth a record $5 million to become the richest race of the Sydney Autumn.’’

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