Saturday afternoon’s opening day of The Championships delivered some outstanding racing action with the weather finally clearing before a sizeable crowd at Royal Randwick.
“The Championships is now into its eighth year and continually provides some of the nation’s finest racing,” said Racing NSW’s CEO, Peter V’landys AM.
“Today’s Day 1 of The Championships demonstrated that racing has rebounded from a tough couple of years, and it was terrific to see such a big crowd enjoying themselves.”
Highlights included the hard-fought victory of Hitotsu in the Australian Derby and the sensational win of Nature Strip in the TJ Smith Stakes, while Mr Brightside took out the Doncaster Mile for the Hayes brothers.
Sydney jockey Brenton Avdulla raced to the lead in the Nathan Berry Medal having taken out the Inglis Sires’ aboard filly Fireburn. He sits on five points, one in advance of Nash Rawiller and Hugh Bowman.
Australian Turf Club Chief Executive, Jamie Barkley said Sydney had embraced the Winx Stand on a world-class day of racing.
“An electric atmosphere at Royal Randwick in the Winx Stand was matched by the action on the track,” Mr Barkley said.
“Sydney has celebrated autumn in stunning fashion, and we look forward to hosting next week’s Queen Elizabeth Stakes which shapes as one of the most anticipated races in Australia for many decades.”
ARA award-winning Aussie band Sheppard capped off an amazing day with a rousing performance in the Theatre of the Horse.
The Championships concludes at Royal Randwick next Saturday featuring the $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) and $2 million Sydney Cup (3200m).