More than 1400 horses, including international stars, have been nominated for the 10 Championships races to be run at Randwick in April.
The eighth edition of The Championships will be held on April 3 and 10 and England star Addeybb heads the nominations for the $4 million Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m).
The ATC and Racing NSW were happy to see him come back to take on Australia’s best middle distance horse Verry Elleegant who he defeated in last year’s Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
“We are delighted to see Addeybb, the highest-rated horse in world racing, returning to Sydney to take on the best from Australia and New Zealand in Verry Elleegant and Melody Belle in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes,” ATC chief executive Jamie Barkley said.
Addeybb scored a big win in last year’s Queen Elizabeth Stakes. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
Nominations in the $2.5 million TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) include equal world-highest rated sprinter and The Everest runner-up Bivouac and the highly promising three-year-old September Run from the Chris Waller team.
The winners of the first two runnings of the Golden Eagle, Kolding and Colette, also feature.
International nominations included 10 Japanese horses nominated, as well as 63 gallopers from New Zealand stables, along with Southern Legend from Hong Kong.
Among the strong number of 27 Kiwi horses from the powerful Jamie Richards team are Melody Belle (Queen Elizabeth Stakes) and Probabeel (Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Doncaster and Coolmore Legacy).
The highest number of nominations received was in the $1m Inglis Sires’ (1400m) with 295 nominations and the $1m Percy Sykes Stakes (1200m) with 219 nominations.
Meanwhile, James Cummings warned rivals not to think his star sprinter Bivouac would be vulnerable over 1000m when he runs in Saturday’s Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning at Flemington.
The outstanding son of Exceed And Excel is a $2.60 favourite in front of old rival Nature Strip ($4) with Coolmore Stud Stakes winner September Run at $6. Bivouac hasn’t won from two attempts over 1000m but does save his best for the Flemington straight.
That was evident when last seen in a race as he strode away with the Group 1 VRC Classic (1200m) in November when defeating Nature Strip with ease.
“It’s not just any 1000m race is it? It’s the Lightning up the straight and he’s so effective up the straight,” Cummings said. “It would be a brave man to say it would be too short for him. He’s the best horse we’ve got in training. He’s the man.”
Cummings also has Golden Eagle winner Collette kicking off her autumn in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday.
She’s also been nominated for the Queen Elizabeth Stakes and Sydney Cup but Cummings said she was being set for the Group 1 Tancred Stakes (2400m) at Rosehill next month.
Originally published asStars from far and wide set to light up The Championships
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