Challenge Stakes

The Challenge Stakes is a Group 2 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival sprint run on Randwick Guineas Day offering $500,000 in prize money.

2020 Challenge Stakes Results

  • 1st: #2 Nature Strip
  • 2nd: #3 Redzel
  • 3rd: #6 Jungle Edge



The Challenge Stakes is a Group 2 weight-for-age race held at Sydney’s Royal Randwick Racecourse in early March as a part of the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival. A 1000m open sprint the Challenge Stakes has increased notably in prize money in recent years and is now worth a lucrative $500,000.

The Challenge Stakes is one of the key support races on Randwick Guineas Day and accompanies the Group 1 $1 million Randwick Guineas (1600m) and $500,000 Group 1 Canterbury Stakes (1300m).

A possible lead-up race into the Challenge Stakes field is the Group 3 Southern Cross Stakes (1200m) held at Randwick in February, but many of the horses race first-up in the half-a-million-dollar showdown.

The likely next-up autumn targets for horses out of the Challenge Stakes include the Group 1 The Galaxy (1100m) and April’s Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) held as part of ‘The Championships’.

In 2016 the Challenge Stakes winner English ran third in the TJ Smith Stakes two starts later before success in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) to round-out her autumn. English also returned to take out the 2017 Challenge Stakes results going back-to-back in the race for the first time since Star Of Florida (2003-04). In 2017, Redzel ran second in both the Challenge Stakes and The Galaxy results before returning to win the following year’s Challenge Stakes (2018) ahead of a second in the TJ Smith Stakes. Redzel also ran in the 2019 Challenge Stakes crossing second to Ball Of Muscle and placed second again in 2020 adding to his incredible record when beaten home by Nature Strip.

The Challenge Stakes 2020 ran on Saturday March 7, 2020 and saw the favourite Nature Strip fly home for a three length win. 

2020 Challenge Stakes
Date: Saturday March 7, 2020
Track: Royal Randwick
Distance: 1000m
Race Type: Weight-For-Age
Status: Group 2
Prize Money: $500,000

2020 Challenge Stakes Results

  • 1st: #2 Nature Strip
  • 2nd: #3 Redzel
  • 3rd: #6 Jungle Edge

Nature Strip was a big drifter in betting, the favourite eventually out to $3.10 after starting the day odds-on, but proved far too good for his rivals in the 2020 Challenge Stakes result powering home for a three length win over the race’s 2018 winner and now three-time runner-up Redzel. Known wet tracker Jungle Edge also ran a huge race for third at $31.

Click here to read more on the impressive Challenge Stakes 2020 winner Nature Strip who is now TJ Smith Stakes-bound.

Place # Horse Trainer Jockey Margin Barrier Weight SP
1 2 NATURE STRIP Chris Waller James McDonald 1 58.5kg $3.10F
2 3 REDZEL Peter & Paul Snowden Kerrin McEvoy 3L 2 58.5kg $4.40
3 6 JUNGLE EDGE Mick Bell Ms Jade Darose 3.2L 3 58.5kg $31
4 7 MISS LEONIDAS Shaun Dwyer Joe Bowditch 3.7L 4 56.5kg $31
5 5 DEPRIVE James Cummings Hugh Bowman 3.9L 5 58.5kg $3.70
6 1 SANTA ANA LANE Anthony Freedman Mark Zahra 4.7L 7 58.5kg $5.50
7 4 BALL OF MUSCLE Joseph Pride Glyn Schofield 6.5L 6 58.5kg $31
8 8 I AM IMMORTAL Anthony Freedman Tim Clark 15.6L 8 56kg $26

2020 Challenge Stakes Odds

This autumn’s top Challenge Stakes 2020 betting odds will be available below complete with pricing from Ladbrokes.com.au as soon as betting on the TJ Smith Stakes lead-up opens.

2020 Challenge Stakes Field

The Challenge Stakes field attracts a class line-up of short-distance sprinters chasing the lucrative prize money on offer in the Group 2 including runners down in grade off a Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m) start over the same metres at Flemington earlier in the autumn. The 2018 Challenge Stakes winner Redzel was the last to come off the Black Caviar Lightning improving on his second to salute for the punters as the odds-on favourite. In 2020 Nature Strip ran fourth in the Black Caviar Lightning before atoning to win the Challenge Stakes, Redzel placing second in both races.

The 2020 Challenge Stakes field will be provided by Racing NSW  on the Wednesday of race week.

A small but class field of eight sprinters make-up the Challenge Stakes 2020 final field including the 2018 winner Redzel and the Chris Waller-trained odds-on favourite Nature Strip drawn in barriers two and one respectively. The reigning champion Ball Of Muscle also returns for his fourth Challenge Stakes assignment, the $34 outsider looking to be the first back-to-back winner since English (2016-17).

Click here to read more on the 2020 Challenge Stakes field and odds led by Nature Strip.

# Form (Last 10) Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight Hcp. Rating
1 1x514x225x SANTA ANA LANE Anthony Freedman Mark Zahra 7 58.5kg 119
2 014x4141x4 NATURE STRIP Chris Waller James McDonald 1 58.5kg 117
3 2862x138x2 REDZEL Peter & Paul Snowden Kerrin McEvoy 2 58.5kg 117
4 x19x3022x0 BALL OF MUSCLE Joseph Pride Glyn Schofield 6 58.5kg 108
5 x11x12714x DEPRIVE James Cummings Hugh Bowman 5 58.5kg 107
6 13226x7x13 JUNGLE EDGE Mick Bell Ms Jade Darose 3 58.5kg 107
7 2132x721x0 MISS LEONIDAS Shaun Dwyer Joe Bowditch 4 56.5kg 107
8 117x7x2 I AM IMMORTAL Anthony Freedman Tim Clark 8 56kg 84

Challenge Stakes History

The first recorded winning of the AJC Challenge Stakes took place in 1966 when Tar Girl won with a finishing time of 58.5 seconds. Since then, the race has recorded a number of triple and double winners including English (2016-17), Star Of Florida in 2003-04, Cangronde in 1997-98, At Sea from 1985 to 1987 and Razor Sharp from 1982 to 1984.

See below for the full Challenge Stakes results dating back to 2000.

In 2018 Redzel set a Challenge Stakes winning record saluting in a time of 55.73 seconds. Redzel also ran third in the Challenge Stakes three times (2017, 2019, 2020).

Ball Of Muscle won the 2019 Challenge Stakes at his third attempt in the race.

Recent Challenge Stakes Winners

Year Place Horse Time
2020
Challenge Stakes
1st Nature Strip 56.87 seconds
2nd Redzel
3rd Jungle Edge
2019
Challenge Stakes
1st Ball Of Muscle 55.78 seconds
2nd Redzel
3rd Viridine
2018
Challenge Stakes
1st Redzel 55.73 seconds
2nd Jungle Edge
3rd Super Too
2017
Challenge Stakes
1st English 59.99 seconds
2nd Redzel
3rd Supido
2016
Challenge Stakes
1st English 56.5 seconds
2nd Kinglike
3rd Boss Lane
2015
Challenge Stakes
1st Miracles Of Life 56.7 seconds
2nd Va Pensiero
3rd Rubick
2014
Challenge Stakes
1st Villa Verde 57.30 seconds
2nd Snitzerland
3rd Famous Seamus
2013
Challenge Stakes
1st Snitzerland 56.16 seconds
2nd Decision Time
3rd Howmuchdoyouloveme
2012
Challenge Stakes
1st Rain Affair 1:03.7 seconds
2nd Satin Shoes
3rd Neeson
2011
Challenge Stakes
1st Hay List 56.8 seconds
2nd Keen Commander
3rd Solar Charged
2010
Challenge Stakes
1st De Lightning Ridge 55.92 seconds
2nd Dorf Command
3rd Stryker
2009
Challenge Stakes
1st Olonana 56.92 seconds
2nd Hoystar
3rd Fantene
2008
Challenge Stakes
1st Hurried Choice 57.35 seconds
2nd Keen Commander
3rd German Chocolate
2007
Challenge Stakes
1st Spark Of Life 56.89 seconds
2nd Whoever
3rd Biscayne Bay
2006
Challenge Stakes
1st Snitzel 56.8 seconds
2nd Spark Of Life
3rd Media
2005
Challenge Stakes
1st Impaler 56.25 seconds
2nd Snippetson
3rd Charge Forward
2004
Challenge Stakes
1st Star Of Florida 56.39 seconds
2nd Mistegic
3rd Majestic Fiesta
2003
Challenge Stakes
1st Star Of Florida 56.58 seconds
2nd Snowland
3rd Fair Embrace
2002
Challenge Stakes
1st Bomber Bill 56.54 seconds
2nd Mistegic
3rd Ateates
2001
Challenge Stakes
1st Pimpala Prince 59.24 seconds
2nd Ateates
3rd Notoire
2000
Challenge Stakes
1st Easy Rocking 56.90 seconds
2nd Ab Initio
3rd Adam

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