Racing was at Randwick on Saturday April 8 for Day Two of The Championships and it was a day that featured the highs and lows of racing with Winx continuing to amaze, while there was a tragic postcript to the abandoned Sydney Cup.
We have picked out four gallopers to follow from the meeting.
Race 1 - FERNHILL HANDICAP (1600 METRES)- Whispered Secret
The opening event of the day was the Fernhill Handicap (1600m) and the two-year-olds were stepping up to the mile for the first time. One such contender that had no trouble with the step up in trip was the winner, Whispered Secret. The talented filly made it two wins in as many years in the race for trainer James Cummings, who enjoyed success last year with Prized Icon. After jumping evenly from Barrier 6, the daughter of High Chaparral was posted three wide throughout the race but cruised up to the leaders in the straight and let down very well, fighting off the challenge from Toga Picta in the process to win by more than a length. One that is regarded by the stable to have plenty of scope for further improvement, Whispered Secret will now try to emulate the feats of Prized Icon by backing up in the Champagne Stakes (1600m) next weekend, while she is also one to look out for in the spring.
Race 5 - ARROWFIELD 3YO SPRINT (1200 METRES)- Defcon
A quality field of sprinters assembled in the Arrowfield Sprint (1200m) for the three-year-olds and it was a victory for the David Hayes and Tom Dabernig team with Derryn, who won impressively from Global Glamour and the fast finishing Impending. The trifecta horses are all obvious ones to follow but one that was first up and should be a big improver is the 5th placegetter, Defcon. The Peter and Paul Snowden-trained galloper was resuming after a two start spring campaign that saw him claim the Group 2 McNeil Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield and he looked a serious challenger at the 200m mark, swooping from last in the field before his condition gave out in the closing stages. The 2016 Black Opal (1200m) winner looks to have come back in good order and should have a nice run or two in him in the next month or so.
Race 8 - SYDNEY CUP (3200 METRES)- Polarisation/Penglai Pavilion/Anything trained by Charlie Appleby
The Sydney Cup (3200m) was memorable for all the wrong reasons after Almoonqith broke down and the $2 million affair was declared a no-race. The Charlie Appleby trained duo of Polarisation and Penglai Pavilion were 1st and 3rd last the post respectively and while those efforts were in vain, logic would suggest to jump on these two if the Cup does go ahead in the next couple of weeks. Appleby has had a stunning record in Australia in the last six months, preparing the likes of Qewy, Francis Of Assisi and Scottish to big performances, while taking a two-pronged attack to the Sydney Cup. Jump on anything the stable brings to Australia in the future.