Top of the pile in terms of money is the A$14-million (R141.4-million) Everest at Sydney’s Randwick racecourse on Saturday (7.15am SA time). This is the richest race in Australia and the richest in the world on turf.
The Everest has only been staged twice thus far – being launched in 2017 in direct competition with Melbourne’s Caulfield Cup meeting – and Redzel was the victor on both occasions.
Top jockey Kerrin McEvoy’s mount is aiming for a hat-trick, but punters aren’t overly confident and he sits at 10-1 in the betting. Favourite is Santa Ana Lane, second in world sprint rankings and on offer at 9-2.
A big runner is British raider Ten Sovereigns, under guidance of formidable trainer-jockey team Aiden O’Brien and Ryan Moore.
The Caulfield Cup – Australia’s second most famous race after the Melbourne Cup – is jumps at Flemington racecourse an hour after the Everest.
Bookmakers’ odds for the 16 runners suggest this is a wide-open affair, with the Chris Waller-trained favourite Finche at 5-1.
Japan’s rapid emergence as a racing power (not to mention rugby!) could gain another notch if 6-1 shot Mer De Glace runs anything like he does back home, where he has recorded five wins in a row.
Local racing gets its Saturday showing from Turffontein and Durbanville.
At the Big T, a lot of attention will be on trainer Mike de Kock’s precocious fillies Risk Taker and Tallinn as they emerge from the juvenile ranks.
In Cape Town, top-class Twist Of Fate makes his seasonal debut and will be a banker in all bets for most punters.
Ascot hosts the UK’s grand finale to the Flat racing season, Qipco Champions Day, with four Group 1 contests, including the QEII Stakes.
The bet of the weekend comes in Ascot’s Race 2 when popular stayer Stradivarius tackles the Long Distance Cup for trainer John Gosden and jockey Frankie Dettori.
South Africa’s feature race of the weekend comes at Greyville on Sunday with the Listed Michaelmas Handicap. Seldom do feature races look this competitive and, with just eight runners, “the field” looks like a wise option for the exotics.
Earlier on Sunday, the action is at Sha Tin in Hong Kong, where superstar Beauty Generation steps out in the Sha Tin Trophy – carrying the heavy expectations of a racing-mad city.
However, in Mzansi, we’ll be rooting for Singapore Sling – formerly in Geoff Woodruff’s stable at Randjesfontein – who has tested Beauty Generation several times and might just come right this time. SA champion jockey Lyle Hewitson rides him for Tony Millard.