Australian Triple Crown
One of the prestigious events in horse racing the world over is the Triple Crown for 3 year olds
Canada, England, USA, France, and Australia, have their own versions of the Triple Crown, which guarantees a horse a notable place in horse racing history.
The Australian Triple Crown series is followed very closely by racegoers all over the country and attracts the very best race horses around at the time. The first Australian Triple Crown was held in 1935 and included the Canterbury Guineas, Rosehill Guineas, and the AJC Australian Derby. Later in 2005, the Canterbury Guineas was replaced with the Randwick Guineas and is the first in the Triple Crown series.
The last horse to claim the Triple Crown was Octagonal in 1996. The Randwick Guineas and AJC Australian Derby are held at Royal Randwick Racecourse in Sydney while the best horses compete in the Rosehill Guineas at Rosehill Racecourse, also Sydney’s well known race track. All the three races are Group 1 events, restricted to three-year-olds who come under the starter’s orders under set weights. The event sets apart the cream of three-year-old talent from the rest with an increase of 400m in every event.
The Randwick Guineas is held over 1600m and are then tested to the limit at the Rosehill track in the 2000m Rosehill Guineas. The $550,000 Randwick Guineas is held in mid-March followed by the $500,000 Rosehill Guineas at the end of March. Next up is the prestigious and richest of the three races worth $1.3 million in prize money, the AJC Australian Derby, held two weeks later over 2400m of the Randwick track, the final leg of the Triple Crown.
Australian punters have had to wait a while for another Triple Crown winner, with Octagonal the last to oblige. The Randwick Guineas held in mid March as part of the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival attracts a classy field where trainers enter their best milers with the potential to prove their staying ability and then face the ultimate test in the Rosehill Guineas, which ultimately decides whether there is a strong contender for the Triple Crown for the year.
Metal Bender in 2009 became a strong contender for the title after scoring a Randwick Guineas/Rosehill Guineas double. However, the gelding remained unplaced in the final leg in the AJC Australian Derby over the traditional derby distance of 2400m. Prior to Octagonal in 1996, only three other horses have managed to win the Triple Crown, which includes Moorland in 1943 and Martello Towers in 1959, while Imagele obliged his connections in 1973.
Will we see another Triple Crown winner like Octagonal in the making? For now, Australian racegoers will have to wait until 2013 for the answer. However, each leg of the series will always witness a fierce battle with the best three-year-old Australian thoroughbreds taking to Sydney’s race tracks.