THE SPRING CHAMPION STAKES – EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW
Group One, 2000m, $500,000, set-weight, three-year-olds. Run at Randwick.
* First run in 1971 and won by Gay Icarus. Before 1978 run in autumn and known as Australasian Champion Stakes.
BIGGEST NAMES TO WIN IT
* It’s A Dundeel (2012), Tie The Knot (1997), Nothin’ Leica Dane (1995), Stylish Century (1989), Beau Zam (1987), Sir Dapper (1983) and Kingston Town (1979).
* Yankee Rose is the $2.60 favourite to become the first filly to win the race.
* Sydney’s premier trainer Chris Waller is looking for back-to-back Spring Champion wins with Gloaming stakes winner Veladero, High Mist and Tumultuous all following last year’s winner Vanbrugh’s path to the race.
* Godolphin have Retaliation and Honeywine who was narrowly defeated in the Gloaming Stakes.
* Seven of the 11 runners come out of the Gloaming Stakes, a race which has produced five of the past six winners.
* Monaco Consul in 2009 is last horse to complete Spring Champion-Victoria Derby double.
* Nothin’ Leica Dane also managed the feat in 1995, as well as being placed in that year’s Melbourne Cup.
* No filly has won although First Seal came close two years ago when second to Hampton Court.
“If she wins on Saturday we go to the Cox Plate” – Yankee Rose’s trainer David Vandyke.
“Unfortunately he’s drawn awkward but he gets his chance to win because he’s a good colt” – Co-trainer Michael Hawkes believes Swear can overcome the widest barrier.
“Both colts are among the stable’s more prominent Derby candidates and both are in great form. Honeywine looks like an out-and-out stayer who will be well-suited by the extra ground” – Godolphin managing director Henry Pulmptre rates the chances of Retaliation and Honeywine.
“It’s part of a long-term process and a trip away to run over a mile and a quarter in Sydney now is good development for the horse” – Trainer Pat Carey on maiden Khartoum.