The Championships - an early taste
Happy Clapper, Vega Magic, Zousain and Osborne Bulls were just some of the star attractions at the Randwick trials this morning.
Such was the star power going around in the official trials that some of the hitouts were worthy of a metropolitan or Group race!
Happy Clapper, in search of further riches during The Championships, won the opening trial over 1200 metres while Zousain warmed up for the carnival with success in the second. Shoals, which is aiming for the TJ Smith Stakes, was third.
Trial four of the morning was arguably the most impressive and could be a good guide to the TJ Smith in a few weeks.
Vega Magic went like a jet to claim the 1045 metres in a time of 1:03.2. Sitting wide and outside the leader Fox Swift, Vega Magic hit the line strongly to hold off the fast-finishing Military Zone with Fox Swift in third. Santa Ana Lane worked home nicely from last to be a close fourth while Osborne Bulls was given a quiet time and finished 3.5 lengths off the winner.
Vega Magic is currently double-figure odds in the TJ Smith and could represent value in the feature if he returns to racing as good as this trial indicates.
A further perspective on the TJ Smith came in the fourth trial of the morning when Trapeze Artist, the defending champ, sat outside the leader and won narrowly at the finish. Blake Shinn didn't really ask the multiple Group One winner for much until the latter stages.
Finally, Lean Mean Machine sat behind the leader in trial number five before the 'J Mac' peeled around the heels of the frontrunner and raced away to win by nearly two lengths.