The Breeders’ Cup Challenge is a run of horse races for Thoroughbreds in the USA, Canada, Japan, South Africa, Europe, Australia and South America. The winners of each of these races automatically earn a spot in a specified Breeders’ Cup race, and the Challenge races are subject to some alteration each year.
The Inauguration of the Win and You’re in Races
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge series started in 2007, with two countries hosting 24 Win and You’re In races. By the year 2014 this sequence had grown to 71 races across 13 countries, and, over that period, 24 horses that eventually went on to win the Breeders’ Cup had managed to qualify thanks to the Challenge series.
As of 2011, the Breeders’ Cup additionally pays the entry fee and further provides an allowance for travel for the connections of the winners of the Challenge race.
On the 12th of April of this year, the organisation announced that the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Challenge would consist of 81 races from a total of 13 countries. The news got horse racing fans chomping at the bit, as 81 races is an impressive amount in anyone’s estimation.
April is Australia’s Month for the Breeders’ Cup Challenge
Australia has three races that qualify their winners for the Breeders’ Cup, each of which take place in April:
- The Doncaster Mile/Breeder’s Cup Mile at Randwick Racecourse
The Doncaster Mile, or Doncaster Handicap, is an Australian Turf Club Group One handicap race for Thoroughbred horses of at least three-years of age. It takes place over 1 600 meters at the Royal Randwick Racecourse in Sydney, and, needless to say, horse racing betting sites go wild over this period. The race has usually been held on Easter Monday, but now takes place on the first day of the Royal Randwick ATC Championships Carnival, with a purse of AU$3 000 000.
Many illustrious horses have won the Doncaster Handicap, including some who also managed to take the spring equivalent, the Epsom Handicap. Super Impose created history in 1990 and 1991, when he became the only horse to go on to win both races on two separate occasions.
The famous trainer, T.J. Smith, managed to win the race a total of seven times, and the record time was set in 1979 by Belmura Lad: 1: 33.7.
- The TJ Smith Stakes/Breeder’s Cup Turf Sprint at Randwick Racecourse
The TJ Smith Stakes, named for the legendary trainer, is an Australian Turf Club Group One race for Thoroughbred horses at Weight-for-Age. It is run over 1 200 metres at Sydney’s Randwick Racecourse in autumn, during the ATC Championship Series. Punters make use of the many horse racing tips NZ sites offer during this race, as they try to predict who is going to take the purse of AU$2 500 000.
- The Queen of the Turf Stakes/Breeder’s Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Randwick Australia
The Queen of the Turf Stakes gets raced as the Coolmore Legacy Stakes. It is an Australian Turf Club Group One Weight-for-Age horse race, with fillies and mares of at least three-years old taking part over a distance of 1 600 metres at the Royal Randwick Racecourse. The total prize money for the winner is a cool AU$1 000 000.