The Autumn Group 1 races are starting to shape up nicely

By:
Scott Mcglynn
25/01/2024
Horse Racing Betting Tips
Horse Racing News
The Autumn Group 1 races are starting to shape up nicely

Lots of autumn targets have been named by connections this week for some of the top Group 1 horses in Australia. 

News Insights

  • Gold to take an interstate trip
  • Imperatriz looking for a Lightning strike
  • Private Eye to take the mare on
  • Round 12 in an epic clash in All-Star Mile

February is not far around the corner now, and the return of Group 1 racing comes with it. We have seen some exciting trials in recent weeks, and the betting sites are buzzing with the news this week of the targets that some of the top thoroughbreds in Australia will be aiming at shortly. 

While we all love the summer days in the sun, top-class racing is a little lacking at this time of year. That will change once we move into February, we start to tick closer to autumn again, and the big guns are unleashed once more onto the racetrack.   

Gold Trip 

The Queen Elizabeth Stakes is the target for the 2022 Melbourne Cup hero as Ciaron Maher looks to take his stayer to Sydney. That is not until April 13, and we know from preps in the past that Gold Trip is a horse who takes his racing well, so we are very likely to see him more than once in the interim. 
 
He was given a trial at The Valley this week, with his trainer saying afterwards that he has kept the horse fairly busy since he was last seen, when down the field in the Melbourne Cup in November.  

Imperatriz 

We only have to wait until February 17 to see the top sprinter back in action in the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes. She was the winner of all four of her spring prep starts, including a trio of Group 1 wins. 
 
That was only enough to see her ranked in a tie as the 69th-best horse in the world in the 2023 Longines rankings, which seems a bit low to us. She won eight of her nine races last year and is expected to run up another sequence in 2024. 

Private Eye  

The Everest third will not shirk the fight and will head to Flemington to take on Imperatriz in the Lightning Stakes. That will be a mouthwatering clash so early in the Group 1 action this autumn and will hopefully only be a taste of what is to come. 
 
He was seen just three times in the spring, winning The Group 2 Shorts first and finishing his prep with a runner-up effort in the Winners. He has a record of 4/8 first up, so Joseph Pride hopes to catch Imperatriz cold. 

Mr Brightside vs Alligator Blood 

The regular clashes between this pair have been a great story as their paths gradually merge. With both of them given a wildcard for the All-Star Mile, we will enjoy their 12th battle on March 16. 
 
So far, Mr Brightside has had the better of the fight, leading 7-4, including a win in the 2023 All-Star Mile. He had six races in the spring, winning his first three before finishing runner-up in his other three. 
 
Alligator Blood is one of the toughest horses in training. The seven-time Group 1 winner also had six starts in the spring, winning a pair at the top table in the Underwood and the Caulfield Stakes. He was only 4th in the All-Star Mile last year so that connections will be hoping for a three-place improvement.  

There is an awful lot to look forward to during the autumn as we see the stars of the spring back in action once more. The Group 1 contests are at least shaping up to be spectacular on paper. We have the targets set for some of the top horses in the country - now, we just need to wait until the days themselves.