Richards Gears Up for Randwick Return

Date: 15 Apr 2021

Richards Gears Up for Randwick Return


Raceform's Richard Edmunds reports:


“We've got three lovely horses in action on Saturday, and they're all high up in the betting markets over there in Australia.”


Probabeel is a winning hope in Saturday's Gr. 1 Coolmore Legacy (Queen of the Turf) Stakes at Randwick.

Jamie Richards and Te Akau Racing have enjoyed significant success in Australia in recent times, and as the team gears up for another super Saturday at Randwick, Richards has headed across the Tasman for the first time in more than a year.

Covid-19 travel restrictions have kept Richards grounded in New Zealand since a memorable Randwick Group One double with Probabeel and Te Akau Shark in the Surround Stakes and Chipping Norton Stakes in late February of last year.

Richards has been running the ship remotely for numerous big-race raids in Sydney and Melbourne over the 14 months since then, including Probabeel's outstanding Group One exploits in the Epsom Handicap and Futurity Stakes.

But with a trans-Tasman travel bubble opening up on Monday, Richards was able to fly to Sydney on Wednesday to oversee the stable's three-pronged attack on the second day of The Championships at Randwick this weekend - Probabeel in the Gr. 1 Coolmore Legacy (Queen of the Turf) Stakes, Amarelinha in the Gr. 1 The Star Australian Oaks, and Entriviere in the Gr. 2 Sapphire Stakes.

“I'm really looking forward to heading over there,” Richards told RaceForm on Tuesday.

“It's exciting for the whole team, including Dave (Ellis, Te Akau principal) and Karyn (Fenton-Ellis), and the owners and staff - everybody has got a spring in their step this week as we head towards The Championships.

“We've got three lovely horses in action on Saturday, and they're all high up in the betting markets over there in Australia. That's always a really encouraging sign and gives you a bit of confidence when you're taking horses across the Tasman.”

Australian bookmakers rate Probabeel a $2.50 favourite for the Coolmore Legacy, where she will attempt to bounce back from a last-start 12th in the All Star Mile on a rapidly deteriorating Moonee Valley track.



“You can virtually forget she ran in that race,” Richards said. “We've just got to put a line through it. It was a very wet track, and Damian Lane (jockey) looked after her and she looked after herself as well.

“She's done everything right since then. She trialled well at Randwick the other day (winning a 1200-metre heat on April 9) and her work's been good. She's heading into this race in good shape.”

With the exception of Aegon's Gr. 2 Hobartville Stakes win on his Australian debut in February, the Sydney carnival has been a disappointing one for New Zealand's three-year-olds. Amarelinha, the outstanding winner of the Gr. 2 Eight Carat Classic, Gr. 2 David & Karyn Ellis Fillies' Classic, Gr. 3 Sunline Vase and Gr. 1 New Zealand Oaks, could be the one to change that.

The Savabeel filly came from last for an exceptional trial win at Ellerslie last week, and she is a respected $6 chance on Saturday with Opie Bosson crossing the Tasman to take the mount.



Amarelinha flew to Sydney on Monday alongside Entriviere, who has been a highly impressive winner of five of her six starts including the Gr. 3 Concorde Handicap and King's Plate.

“Both Amarelinha and Entriviere did some nice work here on Sunday morning, then travelled over to Sydney together on Monday,” Richards said. “They've stepped out for a nice, quiet canter this morning, and they'll do some three-quarter work on Thursday, and that should be all they need.

“Amarelinha trialled well at Ellerslie, and we've been very pleased with her since she won the New Zealand Oaks. She's had a good build-up into this.

“Saturday is going to be an interesting test for Entriviere. She's a very good mare, there's no doubt about that, and it was an excellent trial win at Matamata against a quality field (Avantage, Levante and Familia).

“It's going to be very interesting to find out where she fits in against some good company in Sydney.”



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