show me:

news preview


Art and music, refined themes inextricably woven throughout history, have inspired the names of the favorites in this Friday night's pair of Group/Grade 1 feature races in Sydney.

Post Impressionist winning the G3 Manion Cup at Rosehill in Australia.
Post Impressionist winning the G3 Manion Cup at Rosehill in Australia. Picture: Steve Hart

By Michael Wrona
Thursday, 28 March 2024

Post Impressionist and Orchestral are strongly fancied to win the Tancred Stakes and Vinery Stud Stakes, respectively, on a 10-race card at Rosehill that includes six other graded stakes. Sydney's "Autumn Racing Carnival" continues its build-up towards The Championships at Randwick, where more than AU$25 million in purses will be distributed across two cards on April 5 and 12. For this Friday night's program, which begins at 9:30 p.m. Eastern / 6:30 p.m. Pacific ( / FanDuel TV), fans are anticipating that Post Impressionist and Orchestral will prove aesthetically pleasing as well as financially rewarding. 

The career of 63-year-old William Haggas has traversed the upper echelons of the sport since he won the 1996 English Derby. More recently, Haggas received worldwide acclaim as the trainer of Baaeed, winner of 10 from 11 career starts and the world's top-rated turf horse in 2022. Concurrent to Baaeed's European dominance, Haggas became a major player during Sydney's lucrative "Autumn Racing Carnival" in March/April. Addeybb won a G1 Ranvet Stakes and two G1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes, while having a series of memorable duels with the late, great Verry Elleegant. Dubai Honour swept the same pair of races last year, and Haggas has again identified the right horse to bring Down Under in 2024. Post Impressionist's Australian debut, in last weekend's G3 Manion Cup at 1-1/2 miles, was the first layer on the canvass of the two-mile Sydney Cup on April 12. There was nothing abstract about the quality of Post Impressionist's performance: such was his dominance, the decision was quickly made to send him around again this Friday night in the AU$1.5 million Tancred Stakes. The 5-year-old gelded son of Teofilo is 3-2 favorite but, if one of the characteristics of Post-Impressionism painting was to "distort form," it's possible that everything is not as it appears when assessing the Tancred. The two originally planned races for Post Impressionist are handicaps, while the Tancred is weight-for-age. A former European horse now in the Chris Waller yard, Buckaroo, is winless in four Australian starts but has competed exclusively in weight-for-age races (generally regarded as superior quality to handicaps). Like Post Impressionist, Buckaroo is on a one-week turnaround. However, he exits a 3rd-place finish in the G1 Ranvet Stakes behind yet another Euro invader, the brilliant mare Via Sistina, when making his move along the inferior inside section of the home stretch. Buckaroo (9-2) steps up a ¼-mile in distance for his third race of this form cycle and is poised to peak. Post Impressionist's visually spectacular finishing burst came against lesser opposition and needs to be reproduced at the same distance, in a race that is an afterthought en route to a two-miler.   



While not attaining the global profile of William Haggas, New Zealand trainer Roger James has enjoyed an equally successful career on both sides of the Tasman Sea. Renowned for raiding Australian feature races, James seeks a second consecutive victory in the Vinery Stud Stakes at Rosehill this Friday night. His latest star is Orchestral, a filly James already rates on a par with the best racehorses he's trained. From the stakes-placed mare Symphonic, Orchestral became the 33rd individual Group 1 winner for champion New Zealand sire Savabeel when she crushed colts in the New Zealand Derby a month ago. The victory was a stakes-record sixth for Roger James in New Zealand's best race for 3-year-olds, and Orchestral was immediately pointed towards Sydney's riches. Friday night's AU$750,000 Vinery Stud Stakes, at 1-1/4 miles for fillies, is the traditional prep race to the million-dollar Australian Oaks on April 12. The Oaks, like the New Zealand Derby, is at 1-1/2 miles. Orchestral will need to be finely tuned, as she faces a legitimate rival in Zardozi (3-1). The Godolphin filly captured the G1 Victoria Oaks in Melbourne last November, in the first half of the southern hemisphere season, and powerfully won her second start from a layoff in the G2 Phar Lap Stakes against colts a fortnight ago.

Among the six other graded stakes, an unusual level of interest surrounds the scratches in Race 9, the Doncaster Prelude. The lightly raced, highly promising favorite, Another Wil, is first Also Eligible. He needs a scratch and a win to make the field for the AU$4 million Doncaster Mile next Friday night, April 5, on Day 1 of The Championships at Randwick. 

The Rosehill card will be broadcast live on FanDuel TV this Friday night (First Post: 9.30 p.m. ET / 6.30 p.m. PT) alongside cards from Wyong, Doomben and Beaudesert. All races will be live-streamed in HD on theSky Racing World App, and major ADW platforms such as TVG, TwinSpires, Xpressbet, NYRABets, WatchandWager, HPIbet, FanDuel and AmWager. Wagering is also available via these ADW platforms. Fans can get free access to live-streaming, past performances, and expert picks on all races at 


About Michael Wrona 

A native of Brisbane, Australia, Michael Wrona has called races in six countries. Michael's vast U.S. experience includes; race calling at Los Alamitos, Hollywood Park, Arlington and Santa Anita, calling the 2000 Preakness on a national radio network and the 2016 Breeders' Cup on the International simulcast network. Michael also performed a race call voiceover for a Seinfeld episode called The Subway.

Racing and Sports