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Australian Racing: Sunshine to dazzle in Randwick showpiece

There's a big day of racing coming up on Saturday with two Group 1 contests at Randwick, including the All Aged Stakes.

The Champagne Stakes is the other big race at Randwick, while there are also meetings at the likes of Ascot, Morphettville, Eagle Farm and Mornington.

In fact, Ascot stages the most valuable contest of the day, the Kia Quokka.

Race 7 Randwick

Broadsiding @ 4.20

Race 8 Randwick

Sunshine In Paris @ 5.00

Race 8 Ascot

King Of Sparta @ 7.00

Broadsiding to sparkle at Randwick

The first of Randwick’s Group 1 races is the 1400m Champagne Stakes over 1600m.

The race, restricted to two-year-olds, has attracted a field of eight including Manaal who is expected to start favourite for the in-form Michael Freedman team.

The youngster is the winner of three of her six starts to date with all three of those victories coming at this venue.

The daughter of Tassort jumped at $19 when breaking her maiden in the Group 3 Gimcrack Stakes over 1000m at the end of September.

Jamie Kah is set to ride here, with the filly going on to register two wins this prep including in the 1400m Group 1 Inglis Sires’ two weeks ago.

The step up in distance is expected to suit, but preference on this occasion is for BROADSIDING, who has shown improvement in recent starts.

The 4.20 pick suffered defeats on his first two starts, including when third in a 1300m handicap held on a good 4 track at Newcastle on his second outing.

While a further defeat in the Group 3 Hyle Race Colours Baillieu at Rosehill followed the colt showed improvement stepping up to 1400m that day.

The switch to a wet track proved no issue, with the juvenile breaking his maiden in impressive fashion in the Listed Jericho Capital Fernhill Mile here a week ago.

The selection was held up in the straight that day and represents top connections in this contest.

James McDonald was on board for the first time in that Listed contest is again in the saddle, with the pair taken to team up for Group 1 glory.

Paris to shine in All Aged

The following contest is the 1400m All Aged Stakes, which is expected to see Espiona prove popular with punters when tackling this distance for the first time this prep.

The five-year-old has shown good form over shorter this time around, including when third in the Group 1 Jamse Squire Canterbury Stakes over 1300m here last month.

The mare followed that effort up with a sixth, when beaten less than a length in the 1200m Group 1 James Squire T J Smith Stakes over 1200m here two weeks ago.

That latest effort came on a heavy surface, while the step up to 1400m is no issue having won over further in the past.

She is set to renew rivalry with SUNSHINE IN PARIS, fifth in the previously mentioned James Squire T J Smith Stakes, with preference for her year younger rival in this event.

Trained by Annabel Neasham, the daughter of Invader lacks the experience of some in this field having made just eight starts to date.

However, those eight starts include wins on four occasions, including at this Group 1 level when taking the Surround Stakes over this track and trip in February last year.

The 5.00 selection won by a narrow margin that day and, while she has made just three subsequent starts, those efforts include a win and two top five finishes.

The filly caught the eye when narrowly beaten in the Group 1 Kia Ora Galaxy over 1100m at Rosehill when racing first up this prep and she looks ready to strike in this event.

Sparta to rule in Quokka

While Randwick’s Group 1 events take centre stage in Sydney, the most valuable race of the day is set to take place in Perth with the Quokka due to be held at Ascot.

A field of 18 have been declared for the 1200m contest, with KING OF SPARTA shipping in from Sydney and selected to register a win here.

The five-year-old performed well at the top level in 2023, including when fourth in both the Oakleigh Plate and the Kingsford Smith Cup.

The 7.00 selection has been in good form so far this season, including when delivering a two-length win when odds-on for a valuable contest over 1200m at Gold Coast in January.

The son of I Am Invincible has won at Group 2 level in Randwick’s James Squire Expressway Stakes since and he looks up to completing a hat-trick.

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