The G2 Dato' Tan Chin Nam Stakes, named after the late, great Bart Cummings' most successful owner, is the feature attraction at Moonee Valley; Contributer is an odds-on favourite for the WFA race over 1600m and his rivals include tough campaigners Mourinho and The Cleaner. The G2 McEwen Stakes over 1000m, Listed Cup Club Stakes over 1200m and Listed Atlantic Jewel Stakes for 3-Y-O fillies over 1200m are other highlights at Moonee Valley. The G2 Chelmsford Stakes over 1600m is the feature attraction at Randwick. Other highlights include the G2 Tramway Stakes over 1400m , G2 Furious Stakes for 3-Y-O fillies over 1200m, G3 Concorde Stakes over 1000m and G3 Bart Cummings Tribute Ming Dynasty Quality for 3-Y-O over 1400m.
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Group 1 action returns on Saturday with the running of the WFA Memsie Stakes over 1400m at Caulfield. Other highlights at Caulfield include the G3 McNeil Stakes for three year olds over 1200m, G3 Heath 1100 Stakes, G3 William Hill Sprint Series Stakes for mares over 1200m and Listed Heatherlie Stakes over 1700m. At Rosehill the features are the G2 Run To The Rose for three year olds over 1200m and Listed Premier's Cup over 1800m.
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The G2 Warwick Stakes at Randwick is the feature race in Australia and the field for this weight-for-age race over 1400m includes Doncaster Mile winner Kermadec and Doomben Cup winner Pornichet. Other highlights at Randwick are the G2 Silver Shadow Stakes for three year old fillies over 1200m, G3 Up And Coming Stakes for three year olds over 1300m, G3 Toy Show Quality for fillies and mares over 1300m and G3 Show County Quality over 1200m. The highlights at Moonee Valley are the Listed Carlyon Stakes over 1000m and Listed McKenzie Stakes for three year old colts and geldings over 1200m. Potential star Alpine Eagle returns to racing in the Listed Penny Edition Stakes over 1400m at Morphettville Parks.
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Golden Slipper winner Vancouver returns to racing in the G3 San Domenico Stakes for three year olds over 1100m at Rosehill; Vancouver took all before him in his two year old season and all eyes will be on him to see if he can keep his unbeaten record intact. At Caulfield the G2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes over 1400m is the feature attraction; other black-type races at Caulfield are the G3 Vain Stakes for three year old colts and geldings over 1100m, G3 Quezette Stakes for three year old fillies over 1100m and the Listed Regal Roller Stakes over 1200m.
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The Group 2 Missile Stakes at Randwick is the main race of the day; however an average group of sprinters ranging in age from five to ten years old line-up in this WFA race over 1200 metres. The Listed Rosebud for three year olds over 1200 metres is the other black-type race at Randwick. At Flemington the Group 3 Aurie's Star Handicap over 1200 metres is the feature attraction with two-time Group 1 winner Trust In A Gust taking-on impressive Sydney sprinter Shiraz. Group 1 winner Happy Trails makes his return to racing in the Group 3 Spring Stakes over 1200 metres at Morphettville.
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The first Saturday of the new racing season has only one black-type race with the Listed Winter Challenge over 1500 metres at Rosehill; the Chris Waller trio of You'll Never, Rugged Cross and Eigelstein are the early favourites for this $100,000 race. The Darwin Cup Carnival is in full swing with the $135,000 Palmerston Sprint on Saturday and the $200,000 Darwin Cup on Monday; Moss'n Time is striving to make it seven wins in a row in the Palmerston Sprint and he is the early favorite.
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The Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes at Caulfield is the premier race across Australia on Saturday in which Lord Of The Sky will attempt to redeem his fading reputation. The other black-type race is the Listed Lightning Stakes for two and three year olds over 1050 metres at Morphettville. Other highlights include the $150,000 VOBIS Gold Heath for three and four year olds over 2000 metres at Caulfield, the July Sprint over 1100 metres at Canterbury and the SCTC 30th Anniversary Cup over 1400 metres at the Sunshine Coast.
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The Listed Winter Stakes over 1400 metres at Rosehill, the Listed Tattersall's Mile Handicap at Doomben and the Listed Belmont Classic over 2200 metres are the black-type races in Australia on Saturday. There is another good meeting at Flemington with the VRC Recognition Handicap over 1000 metres, Briseis Handicap over 2000 metres and Rising Stars Final for fillies and mares over 1800 metres being among the highlights.
Read more: Winter Stakes Day
Flemington is the centre of attention on Saturday with every race on the program being a series final; the Listed Winter Championship Series Final over 1600 metres is the feature attraction and the All Victorian Sprint Series Final over 1200 metres and the Banjo Paterson Series Final over 2600 metres are two of the other highlights.
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The Spring Carnival proper is still a couple of months away but Group racing returns with the running of the WFA Sir John Monash Stakes over 1100m at Caulfield; last year's winner Lord Of The Sky has not won since but his recent form has been very strong and he is the one to beat. At Rosehill the Listed Civic Stakes over 1350m is the highlight while the Sunshine Coast has another stand-alone meeting for which the Listed Queensland Cup over 3200 metres is the feature attraction.
Read more: Sir John Monash Stakes Day