History of the Royal Randwick Racecourse
The Championships is a premier Australian horse racing event that is held at the Royal Randwick racecourse on an annual basis. The Royal Randwick is situated in the Eastern suburbs in Sydney, New South Wales, where it is operated by the Australian Turf Club. To locals, the Royal Randwick is more commonly known as “Headquarters”. This Australian racecourse has recently undergone a redevelopment valued at AUD$170 million, creating modern and luxurious amenities for spectators. A 5 level Grandstand, an outdoor tiered amphitheatre and other contemporary facilities such as a Wi-Fi hotspot are now available for visitors to this long-established racecourse, which was first established in 1860.
The Championships at Royal Randwick
The Championships is a world renowned horse racing event that was first hosted at the Royal Randwick in 2014. This series is considered to be a global racing event, attracting local and international participants and spectators. The Championships event spans over 2 separate Saturdays in April, and features 12 different races including 8 Group 1 events. In total, the event offers more than $18 million in prize money.
In 2015, Royal Randwick hosted the very first The Championships Country and Provincial series, which included 5 provincial heats and 7 country heats and spanned over 2 months in total. The winners and place-holders from these country and provincial heats will be invited to participate in the subsequent day 1 and day 2 of The Championships event.
The Championships Day 1
Day 1 of The Championships at the Royal Randwick racecourse is highlighted by the 1,600 metre, $3 million Doncaster Mile, which was first run in 1866. In 2015, this particular race was won by Glen Boss and Kermadec, with Real Impact coming in 2nd and Royal Descent claiming 3rd place. Past historical winners of the Doncaster Mile race include Sunline in 1999 and again in 2002, Super Impose in both 1990 and 1991, and Tobin Bronze in 1967.
Other races like the TJ Smith Stakes, ATC Australian Derby, Kindergarten Stakes and Carbine Club Stakes also feature on the first day, making for a full day of racing entertainment. In 2015, the Country Championship Final race was held on the first day of The Championships at the Royal Randwick.
The Championships Day 2
On day 2, the $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes race forms the central event. This historical race dates as far back as 1851, when it was known as the Queen’s Plate, and was renamed in 1954 in honour of Queen Elizabeth II’s visit to Australia. Past winners of the Queen Elizabeth Stakes race include Grand Armee in 2004 and 2005, Lonhro in 2003, and contender Tulloch, who claimed 1st place in years 1958, 1960 and 1961.
In 2015, the Queen Elizabeth Stakes was won by New Zealand jockey Craig Williams and Criterion. Additional races like the Sydney Cup, Queen of the Turf Stakes and Australian Oaks also feature to fill the day’s itinerary. In 2015, the Provincial Championship final was also held on day 2.