Australia: Purse Money, Prestige In Abundance This Week

Fans of top-quality Australian racing will experience sensory overload this Friday night, with prestige and purse money in abundance at Sydney (Rosehill) and Melbourne (Flemington) tracks. 

Sydney’s slate of rich, new races continues with the third running of the Golden Eagle. Rosehill Racecourse has long hosted the world’s richest 2-year-old race, the Golden Slipper. More recently, the track introduced a million-dollar race for 3-year-olds called the Golden Rose. This Friday night’s Golden Eagle, for 4-year-olds at 7-1/2 furlongs, is the nation’s 3rd-richest race with a whopping $7.5 million purse. The 18-strong field (plus four Also Eligibles) features a geographic plethora of form lines:

#1 Private Eye (5-1) is a last-start winner of Sydney’s G1 Epsom Handicap. #2 I’m Thunderstruck (7-2 favorite) is a last-start winner of Melbourne’s G1 Toorak Handicap. #13 Maximal (10-1) is one of three northern hemisphere 3-year-olds making his Australian debut (with a two-pound weight allowance versus the Australian horses, who turned four on August 1st). Maximal is a ¾-brother to Frankel, with imposing form lines in Ireland and England. The strongly credentialled import had been heavily bet in futures wagering, but his odds drifted back up from 7-1 after he drew the extreme outside gate.

The 6-1/2 furlong Classique Legend Stakes features six horses who contested the world’s richest turf race The Everest two weeks ago, including 2nd-placed #2 Masked Crusader (5-2 favorite) and 3rd-placed #1 Eduardo (7-2). #9 Top Ranked (20-1) is a new shooter who was G1-placed in England but – like Maximal in the Golden Eagle – has drawn the extreme outside gate for his Aussie debut. 

While Sydney is the unquestioned capital of racing innovation, purists consider Friday night’s card at Melbourne’s Flemington Racecourse to perennially be the best in Australia. Known as “Derby Day,” the all-graded stakes program (Track B) includes four Group Ones averaging 16 horses:

Race 5: The Empire Rose Stakes is for fillies and mares at a mile. #3 Tofane (5-2 favorite) is a three-time Group One winner at seven furlongs. This campaign, she is targeting mile races and comes off a strong 2nd to Golden Eagle favorite, I’m Thunderstruck. 

Race 6: The Victoria Derby, Australia’s oldest Classic, dates to 1855. Its 1-9/16 miles provides a stern stamina test just three months into the southern hemisphere season. No runners have raced beyond 1-3/8 miles. #1 Forgot You and #4 Gunstock share favoritism at 3-1 and give every indication – on performance and breeding – of staying the distance. Gunstock must overcome a horror post position with a short run to the sharp first turn.

Race 7: The Coolmore Stud Stakes, for 3-year-olds, will provide a great spectacle on Flemington’s famous “Straight Six”-furlongs course. #9 Extreme Warrior (7-2 equal favorite) has burst onto the scene this campaign with impressive wins in a maiden and Group Three. #4 In the Congo (9-2 into 7-2 in the immediate aftermath of the field being finalized) won the Golden Rose in Sydney a month ago and adds blinkers. #6 Paulele (5-1) was considered for Godolphin’s slot in The Everest. #5 Home Affairs (11-1) did contest The Everest, as the race’s lone 3-year-old. Coolmore’s colt adds a shadow roll and tongue tie, as his owners strive to win this stallion-making race that carries their sponsorship.  

Race 8: The Kennedy Cantala Stakes is a wide open, one-mile contest whose 7-2 favorite, #14 Mr Brightside, has never contested a Group/Graded race. Supporters will look on the bright side and point to his six consecutive wins while cutting a swath through restricted ranks.  

Look for a special preview of Monday night’s $8 million Melbourne Cup, the two-mile “race that stops a nation.” 

The Rosehill and Flemington cards will be broadcast live on TVG this Friday night (First Post: 9:20pm ET / 6:20pm PT) alongside cards from Eagle Farm and Ascot. All races will be live-streamed in HD on the new Sky Racing World and major ADW platforms such as TVG, TwinSpiresXpressbet, NYRABets, WatchandWagerHPIbet, DRF Bets and AmWager. Wagering is also available via these ADW platforms. Fans can get free access to live-streaming, past performances and expert picks on all races at


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