The last two Melbourne Cup winners, Green Moon and Fiorente, are among the massive number of nominations for the flagship of the ‘The Championhips’, the Group 1 $4m Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 19.
The newly established ‘The Championships” in a revamped Sydney Autumn Carnival will see the running of four Group 1 races on both April 12 and April 19 at Randwick.
2012 Melbourne Cup winner Green Moon and last year’s winner Fiorente headline the Queen Elizabeth Stakes that has attracted one hundred and twelve entries.
Fiorente is one of nine horses nominated from the powerful Gai Waterhouse stable with other notable entrants being last Saturday’s Rosehill winner Ecuador, Group 1 winners Glencadam Gold and Romantic Touch, imports Michelangelo and Tres Blue and the Her Majesty The Queen’s horse Carlton House.
Leading Sydney trainer Chris Waller has also nominated nine which include dual Group 1 winner Foreteller and Queensland Derby winner Hawkespur, last Spring’s star Boban as well as Doncaster winner Sacred Falls and Australian Oaks winner Royal Descent.
Horses from over the globe have been nominated for the ten key races of ‘The Champioships’ which totalled 1207, including gallopers from New Zealand, Japan and Ireland.
“We are over the moon with the response to The Championships,” The Championships CEO, Ian Mackay said.
“We were hoping for strong nominations and are thrilled to see the total number edge past the 1200 mark.
“Owners and trainers have embraced The Championships and it’s now full steam ahead for what will be two days of superb racing in April.”
ATC Executive General Manager of Racing, Matt Rudolph added that the number of quality entrants has elevated the BMW Sydney Carnival to be on par with the best carnivals around the world.
“Horses who traditionally might have targeted international races such as Zoustar or Fiorente, are instead staying for the BMW Sydney Carnival as their grand finals,” Rudolph said.
“From one of the best crops of two-year-olds in many years, through to a three-year-old ATC Triple Crown winner in It’s A Dundeel and winners of all the major Group One races in Australia, there is outstanding quality across all ages and distances.”
Also run on the second day of the ‘The Championships’ are the Group 1 $1m Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m) (97 noms), the Group 1 $1m Australian Oaks (2400m) (132 noms), the Group 1 $1m Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m) (107 noms), the Group 2 $500,000 Arrowfield Royal Sovereign Stakes (1200m) (103 noms) and the Group 3 $500,000 Royal Randwick Stakes (1200m) (109 noms).
Multi million colt Zoustar is one of the stars on the first day of the ‘The Championships’ on April 12 with Waller nominating him for the Group 1 $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) (77 noms) and the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) (127 noms).
The premiership winning trainer has entered sixteen for the Doncaster Mile while Arinosa, Red Tracer and Zoustar are his only entrants for the T J Smith.
The other Group 1 races on the first day are the $2m BMW Australian Derby (2400m) with one hundred and thirty-eight nominated and the Group 1 $1m Inglis ATC Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) with one hundred and ninety-five nominations.