The Challenge Stakes is a Group 2 weight-for-age race held annually each March at Randwick racecourse in Sydney, New South Wales during the autumn racing carnival. The race is run over a distance of 1000 metres and worth $400,000 in prizemoney. The 2014 Challenge Stakes was won by Villa Verde from Snitzerland with Famous Seamus third.
Held on on the same day as the Gr1 Randwick Guineas and Gr1 Canterbury Stakes, the Challenge Stakes is one of the better weight-for-age sprint events of the early autumn.
The Challenge Stakes is a good quality sprint race run under weight-for-age conditions and generally sees a field of more than handy sprinters assembled. The better quality horses entered for the race have a decided advantage under the weight scale and more often than not the classier gallopers will figure in the finish.
Sprinters from this race may consider upping the ante and taking on the elite gallopers in the upcoming Gr1 The Galaxy on Golden Slipper day at Rosehill or the Gr1 TJ Smith Stakes on Doncaster day at Randwick.
Villa Verde (2014) resumed from a spring spell to win this event and recent Challenge Stakes winners include Snitzerland (2013) and Rain Affair (2012).
2014 Challenge Stakes result
1. $14.00 Villa Verde 54.0 James McDonald
2. $3.10 Snitzerland 56.5 Brenton Avdulla
3. $61.00 Famous Seamus 58.5 Tim Clark
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