4Racing this weekend launches the Johannesburg horseracing season with The Championships – an exciting series of five big race days over three months, which climaxes with the Champions Day finale on 29 April.
The Championships kicks off at 12h00 this Saturday, 4 February, with the Gauteng Guineas Day, which will see the first leg of the eagerly anticipated World Sports Betting Triple Crown and Wilgerbosdrift Triple Tiara for champion three-year-olds.
Turffontein is an iconic place where legends are made and there’s nothing quite as intoxicating and exciting as a day at the races on this majestic course with its stunning views of Joburg’s skyline. 4Racing invites the country’s horseracing punters and fun lovers to be part of The Championships this summer.
Entry for all five race days of The Championships is free, while punters can also watch all the action on 4Racing.TV and Racing 240.
The Triple Series, with its R2 million bonus for the winner of all three legs of the World Sports Betting Triple Crown and R1 million bonus for fillies winning all three legs of the Wilgerbosdrift Triple Tiara, is considered the ‘ultimate test’ in South African horseracing and is a feat few thoroughbreds have been able to achieve over the years.
History was sensationally made in 2021 when the Triple Crown and Triple Tiara was won on the same day for the first time, with Varsfontein Stud’s Malmoos winning the Triple Crown and Summerhill-bred filly War of Athena winning the Triple Tiara in scintillating fashion.
Last year Drakenstein Stud’s mercurial champion filly, Rain in Holland, won the Wilgerbosdrift Triple Tiara for trainer Sean Tarry, as the Triple series lived up to its reputation of producing sizzling racing and good value for punters.
More of the same high-quality, adrenaline fuelled racing is expected during The Championships season, with the World Sports Betting Triple Crown wide open with the likes of Shoemaker, East Coast, Royal Victory, Jimmy Don, KZN visitor Money Heist and the talented Anfields Rocket putting up their hands for a tilt at glory when Guineas final fields came out. Interestingly, Brett Crawford has also nominated Le Morne and Allez Moris.
In the hunt for the Wilgerbosdrift Triple Tiara, promising fillies Gimme A Shot, Feather Boa, Miss Cool, Orarari Gold, Lady Of Power and Sean Tarry’s duo of Bless My Stars and Rock The Fox are among the strong contenders to try and emulate Rain In Holland’s Triple Tiara feat.
The second day of The Championships and Triple Series is Classic Day on 4 March, which will consist of two of the country’s foremost events for three-year-olds: the WSB SA Classic and the Wilgerbosdrift SA Fillies Classic, which are both Grade 1 races over 1800m.
The Triple series will conclude with its third leg on Derby Day on 1 April with the Grade 1 WSB SA Derby and Grade 2 Wilgerbosdrift SA Oaks, both over 2450m. The Grade 1 H F Oppenheimer Horse Chestnut Stakes over 1600m is a further attraction on this big day.
Day four of The Championships is Ladies Day at Turffontein on April 15 and is headlined by the Grade 1 HSH Princess Charlene Empress Club Stakes for fillies and mares over 1600m, sponsored by and held in honour of long-time partner and supporter, Princess Charlene of Monaco.
The Championships concludes with the high-octane Champions Day on April 29, a major highlight on the South African horseracing calendar packed with top quality races.
Champions Day races include the Grade 1 Premier’s Champions Challenge over 2000m, the Grade 1 Jonsson Workwear Computaform Sprint, regarded as the quickest 1000m event in the country, and a host of Graded races for Juveniles, as well as for fillies and mares.
“The Championships is the biggest summer series of races on the South African horse racing calendar, bringing punters and racegoers the highest graded races the sport has to offer across all categories,” said 4Racing CEO, Fundi Sithebe.
“Championship seasons generate huge excitement the world over in the sport of horse racing, and we are really looking forward to this inaugural The Championships season and to three months and five great days of major horseracing, which honours the best of the generation.
“These high-grade, quality race days will be something that all racegoers will thoroughly enjoy, bringing the people of Joburg together for a sizzling summer of racing at Turffontein.”
The Championships race days details are as follows:
Day 1: Gauteng Guineas Day, 4 February:
Day 2: Classic Day, 4 March:
Day 3: Derby Day, 1 April:
Day 4: Ladies Day, 15 April:
Day 5: Championships Finale, Champions Day, 29 April:
Entrance to the Turffontein Racecourse is free throughout The Championships season.