The Randwick Wrap : 2020 Championships - Day 1

The Randwick Timeform recap featuring a race by race overview of key performers and ones to watch from Day 1 of The Championships on April 4.

Nettoyer caused a boilover in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile becoming the longest priced winner of the event since Lygon Arms in 1988.

Nature Strip reaffirmed his status as Australia’s dominant sprinter at present with a two length victory in the TJ Smith Stakes (1200m).

Quick Thinker provided Murray Baker his fifth Australian Derby (2400m) while Kings Legacy gave Peter Snowden his fifth success in the Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m).

NETTOYER winning the The Star Doncaster Mile
NETTOYER winning the The Star Doncaster Mile Picture: Bradley Photography

Race 1: Doubtland - Group 3 Kindergarten Stakes (1100m)

The Kindergarten Stakes is a good event to win. History says this race plays host to some two-year-olds who develop into impressive three-year-olds.

In the last decade, three subsequent Golden Rose Stakes winners have won this race during the autumn, Hallowed Crown in 2014, Astern in 2016 and Bivouac last year.

There is a bit of a question mark on what Doubtland has beaten but you can’t ignore the margin and the general ease of the success.

The Kindergarten Stakes is very much a support race on Day 1 of the Championships however the form line has generally been making waves in the following spring - don’t let him sneak under your radar.

DOUBTLAND winning the Widden Kindergarten Stakes
DOUBTLAND winning the Widden Kindergarten Stakes Picture: Bradley Photography

Race 2: Entente - Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m)

Entente landed in front and in typical Waterhouse-Bott fashion was far too strong late.

He’s improved with each run this prep. They gelded him over the summer and the positive effect of that decision was there for all to see.

The son of Dundeel is a victim of the current climate in the fact he’d be suited going up to Brisbane for the Queensland winter carnival. You look through the past two runnings of the Carbine Club, horses generally head north and between them have won the Gunsynd Classic, Queensland Guineas, Rough Habit Plates and Grand Prix Stakes’.

There’s only really one more race option left for Entente this autumn, the Frank Packer Plate (2000m) at Randwick in two weeks. Hi World in 2015 and He’s Our Rokkii in 2016 each claimed the Carbine Club Stakes-Frank Packer Plate double.

ENTENTE winning the Quincy Seltzer Carbine Club
ENTENTE winning the Quincy Seltzer Carbine Club Picture: Bradley Photography

Race 3: Gracie Belle - Country Championships Final (1400m)

Race analysis aside, this was a great call by Matt Jackson. Calling the Country Championships is a tough gig. A big prizmeoney event with a capacity field possessing a host of different formlines. Add to that a blanket finish, I thought he nailed it.

Gracie Belle came out on top to provide Matthew Dunn his first win in the event. Considering his general dominance of Highway Handicaps for the past five years, it’s amazing it has taken this long for it to happen.


Race 4: Colette - Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes (2000m)

It was a good win as the filly keeps improving. She’s been installed as a $3.00 favourite for the Oaks now though which is arguably an overreaction by the market when looking at the history of the Adrian Knox Stakes. The last horse to claim the Adrian Knox Stakes-Australian Oaks double was Royal Descent in 2013.

Colette ran to a Timeform rating of 103 on Saturday, meanwhile the second favourite Probabeel has been running figures well superior to that for most of this season.

Furthermore, she’s been mixing it with opposition such as Funstar and Quick Thinker this prep. Since beating Quick Thinker when second in the Phar Lap Stakes, Quick Thinker has since gone on to frank the form against the boys winning both the Tulloch Stakes and the Australian Derby.

The Vinery Stud Stakes is clearly the dominant formline taken into the Australian Oaks with five of the last 10 Oaks winners having come out of the Vinery Stud Stakes including Verry Elleegant 12 months ago.


Race 5: Raheen House - Group 2 Chairman’s Quality (2600m)

They went along at a pretty decent clip early which played right into Raheen House’s hands.

It’s clearly his best run since arriving in Australia. We’ve awarded the success with a Timeform rating of 117. 

What’s encouraging for connections is Raheen House still hasn’t reached his master figure achieved in England behind Best Solution who subsequently won the 2018 Caulfield Cup (2400m).

Raheen House is confirmed to back up in the Sydney Cup. The Chairman’s Quality is the dominant form line brought into the Sydney Cup. Five of the last ten Sydney Cup winners have come out of this race, The Offer claimed the double in 2014.


Race 6: King’s Legacy - Group 1 Inglis Sires’ (1400m)

King's Legacy was spotting Prague a massive start at the top of the straight. The Redoute’s Choice colt stuck to his guns though and reeled him in.

He's produced a Timeform rating of 115, it’s a new peak for him with his prior best coming at the Gold Coast in the B J McLachlan Stakes during the summer.

It was the fifth Sires Produce winner Peter Snowden has trained, the third in partnership with son Paul.

The Champagne Stakes is next for King’s Legacy, Guelph in 2013 was the last two-year-old to claim the Sires Produce/Champagne Stakes double.

Peter Snowden has won the Champagne Stakes three times. It looks like he’ll have a couple of chances this year. King’s Legacy and a colt called Untamed who ran second behind Holyfield in the Schweppervescence. 

Mamaragan is a highly promising colt. The Wandjina colt boasts a Group win and two Group 1 placings now from just three career starts.

John Thompson will likely put Mamaragan on a Golden Rose path next season. With some added maturity and race experience under his belt, the colt could be a force to be reckoned with in the spring.

KING'S LEGACY winning the Inglis Sires'
KING'S LEGACY winning the Inglis Sires' Picture: Bradley Photography

Race 7: Quick Thinker - Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m)

Murray Baker did it again and now boasts five Australian Derby successes.

It’s the fourth straight year a three-year-old has won the Tulloch Stakes - Australian Derby double after Jon Snow, Levendi and Angel Of Truth. 

With Shadow Hero and Castelvecchio running well below their best, the 2020 Australian Derby comes in as a weaker renewal.

Quick Thinker has clearly matured a lot since the spring when Castelvecchio and Shadow Hero easily had his measure in the Spring Champion Stakes (2000m).

The runner up Zebrowski is a horse of interest, the Team Hawkes-trained three-year-old has come a long way this prep. 

The son of Savabeel is a three quarter brother to Leebaz who won four Group races. He was quite a slow maturer as well.

QUICK THINKER winning the Bentley Australian Derby
QUICK THINKER winning the Bentley Australian Derby Picture: Bradley Photography

Race 8: Nature Strip - Group 1 T J Smith Stakes (1200m)

Nature Strip scorched around Randwick and left a host of Group 1 sprinters in his wake.

We’ve awarded the run a Timeform rating of 129. It’s the highest winning figure of a TJ Smith Stakes since Lankan Rupee won in 2014.

The honour roll of the TJ Smith Stakes going back reads Santa Ana Lane, Trapeze Artist, Chautauqua, Lankan Rupee and Black Caviar. Nature Strip has joined an elite group of sprinters by winning on Saturday.

While Nature Strip heads to the paddock, Pierata looks hard to beat third up in the All Aged Stakes next fortnight. TJ Smith Stakes runner up Santa Ana Lane can head there too.

NATURE STRIP winning the Tab T J Smith Stakes
NATURE STRIP winning the Tab T J Smith Stakes Picture: Bradley Photography

Race 9: Nettoyer - Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m)

Nettoyer settled back and flew home out wide to salute at 40-1. The Doncaster can throw up some big priced winners but at 40-1, she is the longest priced winner of the Doncaster since Lygon Arms won at 40’s in 1988. The only longer priced winner of the Doncaster in the past 40 years was Row Of Waves in 1985 at 100-1 with Mark De Montfort in the saddle.

It’s also the first time a horse has won the Doncaster coming out of the Ranvet Stakes since Sacred Choice in 2011. The Ranvet Stakes was actually proving to be quite a strong form reference for the Doncaster around the turn of the decade. There was a month between the Ranvet and Doncaster at that stage instead of two weeks. Horses such as Vision And Power in 2009 and Rangirangdoo in 2010 also won the Doncaster out of the Ranvet.

It sounds like Nettoyer will back up in the Coolmore Legacy Stakes. It makes sense, the Randwick Mile is her bread and butter.

Outside of her, fourth placegetter Melody Belle impressed under her 57kg topweight. Fifth placegetter Kings Will Dream was also working to the line well.


Race 10: Rubisaki - Group 3 P J Bell Stakes (1200m)

Rubisaki has now amassed seven wins from nine starts and Saturday’s PJ Bell success saw her prizemoney earnings shoot past $1million.

We’ve awarded her run a Timeform rating of 112. It’s a high figure for a P J Bell Stakes. She was extremely well placed on Saturday under Set Weights plus Penalties.

It sounds like she is headed to the paddock from here. It must be tempting however to keep her going for a race like the Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) at Morphettville next month, she’s also nominated for the Group 2 Sapphire Stakes (1200m) at Randwick this Saturday as well.

Wayupinthesky was good in second. She could be hitting her straps third up in the James Carr Stakes at Randwick next fortnight over 1400m. Overall though, Rubisaki is clearly the filly to follow from the last event at Randwick on Saturday.


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