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Flemington form on show on Day 1 of The Championships

4 April 2022 Written by VRC

Six winners from the Flemington Racing Spectacular headline this Saturday's Day 1 of The Championships at Randwick, led by Kennedy Australian Guineas hero Hitotsu in the Group 1 ATC Australian Derby and Yulong Stud Newmarket Handicap star Roch 'n' Horse in the Group 1 T J Smith Stakes.

Flemington has a storied history of producing not just fantastic racing action but also a tremendous surface that ensures horses are well-prepared for the biggest and best races in the country.

That has been on show already this autumn with Monday's rescheduled card at Newcastle proving particularly fruitful. TAB Australian Cup heroine Duais was a phenomenal winner of the Group 1 Tancred Stakes (2400m), while Fangirl - a winner of the Paramount+ Carbine Club Stakes to open the Melbourne Cup Carnival - took out the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes (1850m).

With the two-weekend The Championships getting underway in Sydney this weekend, recent winners at headquarters as well as Flemington-trained horses look primed for a big meeting.

Hitotsu will be aiming to join the great Mahogany in winning the Victoria Derby (2500m), Australian Guineas (1600m) and Australian Derby (2400m) treble, a feat unmatched in nearly three decades since.

He has proven time and time again though that history is no barrier, becoming the first horse in more than 60 years to progress directly from the Caulfield Guineas to win the Penfolds Victoria Derby while also being the first ever to win the Group 1 Australian Guineas at the first start of the calendar year.

This time, he is joined in making the leap from a mile straight to a mile and a half by Group 1 Penfolds Victoria Derby runner-up Alegron, who finished six lengths from Hitotsu when 11th in the Australian Guineas.

Other Australian Guineas runners to line up in the Sydney classic are Forgot You (fourth) and Maurice's Medad (eighth); they both finished third since in the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) and the Listed Albury Cup (2000m) respectively.

Meanwhile, six of the runners from October's Group 1 Penfolds Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington have made the final field at Randwick - quinella Hitotsu and Alegron are joined by fourth Raging Bull, fifth Forgot You, eighth Character and ninth Clyde.

Group 1 Yulong Stud Newmarket Handicap (1200m) winner Roch 'n' Horse will be out to emulate her Super Saturday co-star Duais when she contests the T J Smith Stakes, facing three of her rivals from the mid-March contest: Masked Crusader (seventh), defending champion Zoutori (eighth) and Count De Rupee (16th).

Also among her rivals is February's Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) runner-up Nature Strip, a three-time Group 1 winner already at Flemington, while another Flemington Racing Spectacular winner - $750,000 Inglis Sprint (1200m) hero Overpass - will bid for victory.

Image caption: Australian Guineas winner Hitotsu will attempt to join Mahogany in winning both the Victoria Derby and the ATC Australian Derby as well as the Guineas.

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