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 Facts about the Epsom

Following are some facts and figures about the Group One $600,000 Epsom Handicap (1600m) to be held at Randwick on Saturday.-
  • Named after the famous Epsom Downs racecourse in the south of England where the highly prestigious three-year-old Classic the Epsom Derby has been contested since 1780.
  • The Epsom Handicap has been run at Randwick since 1865 and has been won by many of the finest gallopers ever to grace the Australian turf.
  • Regarded as one of the most sought-after mile races in the country, past winners include Amounis (1926, 1928), Nightmarch (1929), Chatham (1932-33), Shannon (1945), Sky High (1961), Toi Port (1963-64), Gunsynd (1971), Super Impose (1990-91) and Shogun Lodge (2000).
  • The inaugural Epsom was won by the four-year-old Dundee who would prove his victory was no fluke by completing the classic mile double at Randwick in the Doncaster Hcp the following autumn.
  • Other horses to have completed the Epsom-Doncaster double in the same season include Marvel (1891-92), Chatham (1933-34), Blue Legend (1946-47), Brokers Tip (1969-70), Gunsynd (1971-72), Authentic Air (1975-76) and Super Impose (1990-91).
  • Dual Epsom Hcp winners include Masquera (1882-83), Melodrama (1907-08), Amounis (1926-28), Chatham (1932-33), Toi Port (1963-1964) and in more recent times Super Impose (1990-91).
  • The late TJ Smith is the most successful trainer, having won it seven times with Speed of Sound (1968), Gunsynd (1971), Lord Nelson (1973), Authentic Heir (1975), Imposing (1979), Bold Diplomat (1980) and Chanteclair (1986).
  • The fastest metric Epsom was recorded in 1996 by the Jack Denham-trained Filante who slashed 0.5s off Raffindale's 1977 record time, winning in 1:33.3.
  • Thirteen favourites have been successful in the Epsom since 1949, the shortest-priced winner being Sky High in 1961. The shortest-priced beaten favourite in that period was Prince Cortauld (4-5) who was runner-up to Connaught in 1954, while Dodge (13-2 eq fav) was the last favourite to win in 1998.
  • Donald Nicholson, a champion jockey from the 19th century, had a virtual mortgage on the race during the 1880s with five successive winners from 1880 to 1884. He would finish a close-up fifth in 1885 but his life was tragically cut short a few weeks later when his mount Exeter was involved in a horrific 16-horse fall in the 1885 Caulfield Cup.
  • In the Epsom's history three jockeys have saluted the judge on four occasions: J Barden (between 1889-1908), N Sellwood (1947-1956) and J Munro (1925-1934).
  • Of the modern day hoops, Darren Beadman boasts three Epsom victories with his first aboard the Bob Thomsen-trained Regal Native in 1988. He guided Super Impose to the horse's second successive win in 1991 and would only have to wait another three years to partner the pint-sized Newcastle galloper Navy Seal to victory. Beadman will ride Our Egyptian Raine this year.
  • Five mares will contest the race this year - Our Egyptian Raine, Shamekha, Miss Potential, Unearthly and Irongail - but history is against them with no mares having won the race in the past two decades.
  • Four-year-olds have a good record in the race winning 12 of the last 20 runnings.
  • Recent record of jockeys with rides in this year's race: Corey Brown - This Manshood (Clangalang 2003), Jim Cassidy - Shamekha (Excellerator 2002), Chris Munce - So Assertive (Iron Horse 1997, Nick's Joy 1995), Darren Beadman - Our Egyptian Raine (Navy Seal 1994, Super Impose 1991, Regal Native 1988).
  • Recent record of trainers with runners this year: Gerald Ryan - Reclaim (Clangalang 2003), Gai Waterhouse - Grand Armee, Shamekha, So Assertive, Desert War (Excellerator 2002, Iron Horse 1997), Bart Cummings - Kingside, My Chanticleer (Allez Suez 1999), Jack Denham - Tsuimai (Filante 1996).
  • Super Impose carted 58.5kg to victory in 1991, the same weight favourite Grand Armee will carry this year.

AJC Spring Carnival
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