Race-by-race guide to The Championships Day One at Randwick

Hawkspur is one of our picks at Randwick.

The Championships gets underway at Randwick on Saturday with four Groups 1s and we've taken a look at all nine races in our preview of the day's action.

Money back for second in all nine races at Randwick on Saturday at sportingbet.com.au.

The Doncaster Mile, Australian Derby, TJ Smith Stakes and Sires Produce Stakes are the four Group 1s but there is an afternoon packed with top-class racing.

Here is a race-by-race guide to the action at Randwick:

Race 1 - Group 3 Kindergarden Stakes (1100m)

There is a big wrap on the first starter Kaepernick who has been strongly supported in betting. He has trialled fairly and is out of the red-hot Hawkes stable but despite the money suggesting he will be very competitive we haven't seen enough of him and I can't tip him. Other first starters Redoubtable Heart and Washington Heights have trialled nicely and could run a bold race. Hallowed Crown was impressive on debut, and although he will find this much tougher he looks capable of stepping up, and Klammer is a real gutsy type who seems to love racing and for me he looks the one to beat at good odds. We should be backing Klamma to win, but we should also be having something on Loved Up at 40/1. He was dynamite on debut at Wagga (1050m) when he came from a long last and rocketed home to score by a good margin whilst running a solid time. This is a big jump in grade but he is massive overs and well worth an each-way bet. 
Bet: Win Klamma ($9.00 Luxbet)
Bet: Each-way Loved Up ($41.00 sportsbet.com.au)

Race 2 - Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) 

Gypsy Diamond has returned in sensational order this prep and is clearly the one the beat here. When first up she flew late to grab second in the G2 Light Fingers stakes (1200m). Then when second up she was again doing her best work late in the G2 Surround Stakes (1400m). She was then absolutely outstanding in the G1 Coolmore Classic (1500m) against the older horses last start, recording some of the best sectionals of the day as she ran past the likes of Dear Demi, and took good ground off superstars Catkins, Steps In Time and Sweet Idea. She now takes a big step back in grade, comes back against her own age group and everything is set for her to win this race. She will run out a very strong 1600m and has drawn a perfect gate. She is beautifully suited to the big Royal Randwick track and will definitely handle the wet surface. Being fourth up now she should be ready to peak, and with in-form jockey James McDonald riding she does look a very good bet. 
Bet: Win Gypsy Diamond ($3.00 ladbrokes.com.au)

Race 3 - Group 3 PJ Bell Stakes (1200m)

Very difficult race to assess with many runners in this big field of 3yo fillies having genuine claims. The three I like best are Calming Influence, Miniature and Politeness. They all have an excellent winning chance and represent good value as well. Both Miniature and Calming Influence perform well fresh, they should handle the track and will be hard to beat. Politeness was impressive last start when she made up a mountain of ground over the final furlong, she has placed on a slow surface against quality opposition so the wet track shouldn't bother her and if she can overcome the wide the barrier they will have a lot of trouble holding her out. 
Bet: Each-way Politeness ($15.00 sportingbet.com.au)

Race 4 - Group 2 Chairmans Handicap (2600m)

The Offer and Opinion go head-to-head again with the latter receiving a handy 3kg weight turnaround. However this time they meet some serious competition in the shape of Sertorius, Epingle and Hippopus who I like best. Hippopus was extremely brave when finishing a close second behind Junoob in the G3 Neville Selwood Stakes (2000m) last start. Both The Offer and Opinion finished five lengths in arrears of Junoob just two starts back which makes the $15.00 available on Hippopus look very appealing. He won the Listed VRC St Leger over 2800m this time last year and although he hasn't been overly competitive since, in that last outing he came widest around the turn and just kept finding something extra all the way down the straight hitting the line very strongly, and it appears he has regained his will to win. He has always been a horse with plenty of promise and now with the light weight on his back on a soft track over the 2600m, he looks perfectly placed and I reckon he's a great each-way bet. 
Bet: Each-way Hippopus ($15.00 Luxbet)

Race 5 - Group 1 Inglis Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) 

This looks like a two horse race to me and I'm expecting Believe Yourself and Peggy Jean to fight this one out. In the G1 Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) Believe Yourself was absolutely eating up the ground over the final furlong, she is obviously a swimmer and the step up to 1400m will suit this filly down to the ground. Peggy Jean was also extremely strong on a heavy track two weeks back in the Magic Night Stakes (1200m) when she was just pipped by Bring Me The Maid who then went on to run third in the Golden Slipper beating Believe Yourself home. I'm just in Peggy Jean's corner. The extra trip looks ideal for her and she appears to be the type than really enjoys the fight, meaning if things do go wrong or she gets a tough run she will still pick herself and do her very best to win. 
Bet: Win Peggy Jean ($4.60 Betezy)

Race 6 - Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m)

I've been a big supporter of Criterion right throughout his career and have always known this galloper would become a superstar over the longer distances. I did go off him in the Rosehill Guineas however as a thought Teronado was a better wet-tracker, but Criterion's an extremely tough colt and he proved me wrong. His win was ultra-impressive and on that performance it hard to see any of these other 3yo's turning the tables. Teronado and Thunder Fantasy were solid behind Criterion last start and appear the two most likely to threaten. Both Puccini and Tupac Amaru had excuses in the Guineas and should improve, while Gallatin, Best Case, Surging Wave, Singing Flame, Crime Fighter and Solo Saga all come through a different form-line, albeit a much weaker one. They would need to improve many lengths to trouble Criterion who is the best 2400m horse in the race, oozes class and should be winning.
Bet: Win Criterion ($3.50 sportsbet.com.au)

Race 7 - Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m)

This field is phenomenal and we will be talki

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Race-by-race guide to The Championships Day One at Randwick

The Championships gets underway at Randwick on Saturday with four Groups 1s and we've taken a look at all nine races in our preview of the day's action.

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