Triumph and tragedy – the full range of emotions were experienced in a massive week of racing around the weekend.

From the 2,000 Guineas to the Kentucky Derby to the Champions Mile, major events were on offer across five continents.

Let’s go through them in chronological order.


After the iconic Warrnambool carnival, the focus of Australian racing moved to Adelaide on Saturday for the first A$1 million race in South Australia, the Group One Robert Sangster Stakes (1,200m) for fillies and mares.

Officials brought the Magic Man Joao Moreira to town to ride the favourite Sheidel, but she wasn’t the one who got the chocolates. Instead it was the Mick Price-trained Secret Agenda, who landed the prize thanks to a top front-running ride from leading jockey Damien Oliver.

The other Group One at the meeting, the Australasian Oaks, was taken out by Egg Tart, for the outstanding combination of Chris Waller and Kerrin McEvoy.


The South African Derby headlined a programme of four Grade One races for Champions Day at Turffontein on Saturday with the Sean Tarry-trained Al Sahem proving too strong, beating Pagoda and even-money favourite Heavenly Blue.

While Anthony Delpech was winning jockey in that one, young gun Callan Murray kept the other majors to himself.

Murray claimed The Premier’s Champions Challenge aboard 25-1 shot Deo Juvente for Geoff Woodruff, before landing a Grade One double for Mike de Kock with Mustaaqeem in the SA Nursery and Rafeef in the Computaform Sprint.

That’s a fair day for the 20-year-old.


Odds-on favourite Churchill justified his price with a convincing performance in the first of the British Classics, the 2,000 Guineas.

In his first start for the season, the Aidan O’Brien-trained colt was a class above with Ryan Moore piloting him to an easy win.

Churchill has now won three straight Group Ones with the master trainer, who has now won an unprecedented eight 2,000 Guineas, waiting to see how he pulls up before deciding where he heads to next.

O’Brien continued his domination on Sunday with the filly Winter, ridden by Wayne Lordan, beating stablemate Rhododendron in the Group One 1,000 Guineas.

It’s the third time the Ballydoyle boss has completed the 1,000 Guineas and 2,000 Guineas double, also achieving the feat in 2005 and 2012.


The most iconic race in the USA was held on Saturday with some of the biggest names in the world making the trip to Churchill Downs and braving the wet to be apart of the astonishing crowd of 158,070.

The favourite Always Dreaming, trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by John Velazquez, relished the conditions to run away for an easy win and become the fifth straight favourite to prevail.

He’s now an even money favourite to capture the Preakness Stakes next start, the second leg of the American Triple Crown.

Unfortunately for Godolphin, one horse didn’t want to take part with Thunder Snow losing the plot as the gates opened.


The Grade One NHK Mile Cup in Tokyo on Sunday was taken out by the filly Aerolithe.

Trainer Takanori Kikuzawa decided against heading to the Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) and the move paid off, beating Rieno Tesoro and Bom Servico.


On Sunday, Hong Kong’s dual Group One meeting of the Champions Mile and Chairman’s Sprint Prize was shrouded in tragedy with the death of Hong Kong Derby hero Rapper Dragon.

The four-year-old was favourite for the Champions Mile, but broke his pelvis halfway through the race with Moreira immediately pulling him out of the race and jumping off him.

While the Jockey Club medical team got him to hospital, complications from the injury meant he couldn’t be saved.

‘He wouldn’t go down, even with a fractured pelvis’: Joao Moreira pays tribute to brave Rapper Dragon

The John Size-trained Contentment went on to win the race, beating Beauty Only and Helene Paragon.

Brett Prebble finds Contentment in Champions Mile triumph

Lucky Bubbles landed his first Group One, and the first for trainer Francis Lui Kin-wai, thanks to a peach of a ride from Hugh Bowman.

The Australian settled him in the box seat and waited patiently for an opening to beat the short-priced favourite Mr Stunning and Not Listenin’tome.

Old face could replace Hugh Bowman after Lucky Bubbles’ Group One breakthrough

And finally, you see plenty of weird things on the racetrack but this one caught our attention from Australia.