It might have been day 13 of lockdown, but more importantly, it was day 1 of The Championships at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
And in spite of some heavy showers sweeping across Sydney late Friday evening and again early Saturday morning, the show rolled on giving sports fans a much needed outlet from life in lockdown.
We found the Derby winner here last week in this column, and hopefully we can find you a few more this week to keep you economically stimulated as we ride out this global pandemic.
Bottega: (Syd Race 2) Produced his best run of his second campaign to date after showing plenty of promise last time in. (Beat Brandenburg in a Newcastle Maiden 3/9/19). Copped some buffeting at the 300m when commencing his run before knuckling down strongly late only to narrowly miss on the line. A race like the JRA plate for 3yo’s over 2000m back here in a fortnight looks ideal for him.
Collette: (Syd Race 4) Copped plenty of attention on the corner and turning into the straight and for a moment looked like being the best of good things being beat. But, once J-Mac was able to steer her clear, she exploded away for one of the more impressive victories of the day. Will meet sterner opposition in this weeks ATC Oaks but has to be a serious contender on Saturday’s performance.
Rubisaki: (Syd Race 10) Exciting filly posting her fifth victory in a row. Had no trouble with the heavy conditions or the step back in trip Saturday and looks primed to continue her winning run in the James Carr over 1400m on the final day of the championships.
Two Big Fari: (Syd Race 3) Did a ton of work in the run after failing to slot in on the speed from the horror draw. Was entitled to be the first horse beaten in the run home but was gutsy right to the line even looking the winner at one stage late. A remarkable effort to only be beaten 0.6L on the line. Has had a stellar campaign and will be one of the main contenders for the Kosciusko if it’s run in the Spring.
Mamaragan: (Syd Race 6) Have watched the video quite a few times now, and am still in awe of how Nash Rawiller has ended up three off the fence, worse than midfield by the corner in a 1400m race on a horse that drew barrier 2 and was able to hold its spot midfield the fence in a Golden Slipper? Fair to say it was not one of his prettier efforts of late. Somehow ended up deepest turning into the straight copping a number of checks before balancing up at the 300m and working home strongly late. Has been solid in his last two Group 1 starts and will be hard to beat in the Champagne if he has one more in him.
Melody Belle (Syd Race 9) Was the run of the race in the Doncaster and was even more credible given the big weight she was forced to carry under handicap conditions. Hopefully backs up Saturday back to weight for age conditions where she’ll add plenty of interest to the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Youngstar: (Syd Race 5) Looked to be back on target heading toward a Sydney Cup which should have seen her very competitive in this. She was anything but that Saturday and is officially sacked for mine.
Exceedance: (Syd Race 8) Got his wet track Saturday and got back to Sydney but was no much for the quality opposition. Has been disappointing all prep.
Kiamichi: (Syd Race 10) Another who got back to her favourite track conditions again Saturday and was well supported by punters in spite of her moderate form this time in. A safe bet that the 2019 Golden Slipper will be her final victory.