The Championships 2019 Day 1

Whistlejacket and team arrived early at Randwick where the sun was shining and the crowds waiting to burst through the turnstiles at 10.00 am, promising a great day ahead

And we were gifted a sensational start when the Queen herself (Winx) arrived in the Theatre of the House for an exhibition gallop. After a couple of turns she was joined by Hughie Bowman. We were a bit emotional following her through the tunnel, thinking she would only do this walk one more time, and that this view of her backside had been seen by so many horses and jockeys during her career. As usual she performed her work effortlessly and looked as if she would have liked to keep going, making Hughie work a bit to pull her up. She ran the fastest last 6oo of any runner on the day!

There wasn’t long to wait before the horses were out for the first race of the day, the Kindergarten G3 which went to another good 2yo from James Cummings/ Godolphin in Bivouac, ridden by Blake Shinn.

Ringerdingding didn’t make the field for the Doncaster but found great compensation in winning the Carbine Club G3 and bring up the first of the day for Chris Waller. James McDonald had the ride.

We didn’t have to wait too long for a bit of drama to arrive in the G3 Adrian Knox as the Stewards scratched the Melbourne runner Princess Jenni when they found a lump on her neck and some dried blood so there is now an inquiry going on. Bit of a surprise when the Kris Lees trained Aliferous followed up a win at Tamworth with this G3. Brenton Avdulla was on board. She will now head to the Oaks all going well.

Great excitement in the Country Championships Final when our Queanbeyan boy Noble Boy easily won the race for trainer Todd Blowes who has only had a licence for about 18 months. His horse behaved beautifully before the start when he had to be re-shod at the barriers, but took it all in his stride and with Hugh Bowman on board won in convincing fashion.

The 6yo French born horse Gallic Chieftain put in a solid piece of work to win the Chairman’s Quality G2 over the 2600m. He has been crying out for a race over this trip or longer and made the most of the track conditions (a soft 7) under a good ride from Damian Lane.

Then more excitement for us when Microphone won the Sires (the first of the four G1s) – we thought him unlucky in the Slipper and so supported him here with some of the hard-earned and he did not disappoint. Second win of the day for James Cummings/Godolphin and Hugh Bowman. He’s by Exceed And Excel and looks like he’s destined for great things in future. There was a lot of sentimental support for the second, Loving Gaby, as the filly had been named in honour of a work colleague of the owners who died of cancer at a young age.

Microphone & Hugh Bowman winning Sires
Microphone & Hugh Bowman winning Sires Picture: Racing and Sports

And yet more excitement when Angel of Truth won the Derby, rewarding Gwenda Markwell for her years of great work and compensation for the time when her prospective Derby horse Grand Zulu was sold before that race. Corey Brown gave the horse an excellent ride.

He’s a very good looking big horse by Animal Kingdom, and the Superhorse logo of the owners is not inappropriate.

The T J Smith was not without incident but nothing stood in the way of Santa Ana Lane winning this for Anthony Freedom with Mark Zahra on board. He’s by Lope de Vega out of a Fastnet Rock mare and looks like traveling now to Hong Kong and Europe. Trapeze Artist suffered a haematoma and some swelling which looked nasty and he may be retired. Shoals certainly had her last start and will proceed to her next career, and Fell Swoop was eased up by James McDonald when he felt something go wrong, which turned out to be arterial fibrulation. Fortunately the horse was back to normal the following morning. Vega Magic was also eased up but we don’t know what happened there.

Santa Ana Lane & Mark Zahra win TJ Smith
Santa Ana Lane & Mark Zahra win TJ Smith Picture: Racing and Sports

The Doncaster Mile was a 7th win in the race for jockey Glen Boss who today was on board Brutal, seen recently chasing Winx home in the George Ryder at Rosehill. Hartnell was favourite and has the track and class record for this but could only manage third, just head of the handsome Japanese entire Kluger, by King Kamehameha out of a German mare, with Tommy Berry on board. He was doing his best work at the end.

Kluger parades before Doncaster
Kluger parades before Doncaster Picture: Racing and Sports

And then the last race – the G3 Official Memorabilia P J Bell for the 3yo fillies with the track record being in the possession of Santa Ana Lane!!!! James Cummings/Godolphin and Craig Williams combined to get the well-bred Multaja home. She’s by Medaglia d’Oro out of a Lonrho mare. Interesting the finish numbers here were 12-14-13-11. 12 also won the Adrian Knox, and was second in the sires.

And so we returned to our splendid horse float for the journey back along the Hume Highway with everyone in good spirits after an excellent day of racing, which was witnessed by some 20,000 people.

Racing and Sports