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.

2022 Challenge Stakes Results

  • 1st: #2 Eduardo
  • 2nd: #6 Shelby Sixtysix
  • 3rd: #1 Nature Strip



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.

Nature Strip (2020) is the latest horse to have completed the Challenge Stakes – TJ Smith Stakes double.

In 2021 Nature Strip returned to run second as the beaten odds-on favourite in the Challenge Stakes won by Eduardo in a new record time of 55.2 seconds.

That form was franked with Eduardo (2021) going on to complete the Challenge Stakes – The Galaxy double before a TJ Smith Stakes third behind Nature Strip.

Nature Strip went on to win the $15 million The Everest (1200m) that spring, with Eduardo third in the world’s richest turf race.

The 2022 Challenge Stakes saw great guns Nature Strip and Eduardo clash for the ninth time in their careers. Eduardo managed to go back-to-back and successfully defend his Challenge Stakes title, while Nature Strip was forced to settle for third after a shock late run by $61 roughie Shelby Sixtysix who finished second.

The Challenge Stakes 2022 ran on Saturday March 5, 2022 and saw the Joe Pride-trained Eduardo ($2.30) successfully defend his title holding off a late challenge by outsider Shelby Sixtysix. 

2022 Challenge Stakes
Date: Saturday March 5, 2022
Track: Royal Randwick
Distance: 1000m
Race Type: Weight-For-Age
Status: Group 2
Prize Money: $500,000

2022 Challenge Stakes Results

  • 1st: #2 Eduardo ($2.30)
  • 2nd: #6 Shelby Sixtysix
  • 3rd: #1 Nature Strip

Eduardo ($2.30) enjoyed back-to-back wins in the Challenge Stakes 2022 results leading all-the-way on Heavy going to hold off a late challenge by the Danny Williams-trained roughie Shelby Sixtysix ($61) who denied the odds-on favourite Nature Strip ($1.70) a spot in the quinella.

Click here to read more on the impressive 2022 Challenge Stakes win by last year’s champ Eduardo.

2022 Challenge Stakes Results & Finishing Order

Finish No. Horse Trainer Jockey Margin Bar. Weight Penalty Starting Price
1 2 EDUARDO Joseph Pride Nash Rawiller 1 58.5kg $2.30
2 6 SHELBY SIXTYSIX Danny Williams Tim Clark 0.2L 2 58.5kg $61
3 1 NATURE STRIP Chris Waller James McDonald 1.3L 3 58.5kg $1.70F
4 4 SPLINTEX Mark Newnham Tom Sherry (a) 4.9L 4 58.5kg $20
7 SEPTEMBER RUN Chris Waller Tommy Berry 0
8 REMARQUE Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes William Pike 0
5 AHEAD START Danny Williams Jason Collett 0
3 TREKKING James Cummings Kerrin McEvoy 0

Table Credit: Racing Australia. 

2022 Challenge Stakes Betting Odds

This autumn’s top Challenge Stakes 2022 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.

2022 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.

In 2022 Eduardo improved on a lead-up Black Caviar Lightning third to successfully defend his Challenge Stakes title.

The 2022 Challenge Stakes field will be provided by Racing NSW  on the Wednesday of race week.

Chris Waller’s champion sprinter Nature Strip headlines a small but quality Challenge Stakes 2022 final field in Sydney this weekend.

Click here to read more on the key chances in the 2022 Challenge Stakes field and betting markets.

  • SCRATCHINGS UPDATE: #3 Trekking (2); #5 Ahead Start (3); #7 September Run (1); #8 Remarque (4).
No Last 10 Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight Probable Weight Penalty Hcp Rating
1 121x1211x2 NATURE STRIP Chris Waller James McDonald 7 58.5kg 121
2 1131x131x3 EDUARDO Joseph Pride Nash Rawiller 5 58.5kg 118
3 x554x3360x TREKKING James Cummings Kerrin McEvoy 2 58.5kg 113
4 0168x4147x SPLINTEX Mark Newnham Tom Sherry (a) 8 58.5kg 107
5 13x119x24x AHEAD START Danny Williams Jason Collett 3 58.5kg 66
6 2282602521 SHELBY SIXTYSIX Danny Williams Tim Clark 6 58.5kg 62
7 048x37664x SEPTEMBER RUN Chris Waller Tommy Berry 1 56.5kg 107
8 15x330x REMARQUE Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes William Pike 4 56kg 90

Table Credit: Racing Australia.

2022 Challenge Stakes Nominations

Early nominations for the Challenge Stakes in 2022 close the Monday of race week and will be updated below once confirmed.

The 2022 Challenge Stakes nominations drew 10 early entries dominated by Chris Waller’s The Everest hero Nature Strip looking to atone for his first-up loss in the Black Caviar Lightning in Melbourne when blowing the start.

Last 10 Horse Sex Age Trainer Ballot Weight True Weight Penalty Hcp Rating
1 121x1211x2 NATURE STRIP G 7 Chris Waller 1 58.5kg 121
2 1131x131x3 EDUARDO G 8 Joseph Pride 2 58.5kg 118
3 x554x3360x TREKKING G 7 James Cummings 3 58.5kg 113
4 0168x4147x SPLINTEX H 5 Mark Newnham 4 58.5kg 107
5 x297x11111 RULE OF LAW G 4 Bjorn Baker 5 58.5kg 95
6 15x330x REMARQUE C 3 Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes 6 56kg 90
7 1127x621x6 PROFITEER C 3 Mick Price & Michael Kent (Jnr) 7 56kg 88
8 13x119x24x AHEAD START G 4 Danny Williams 8 58.5kg 66
9 2282602521 SHELBY SIXTYSIX G 5 Danny Williams 9 58.5kg 62
10 048x37664x SEPTEMBER RUN M 4 Chris Waller 10 56.5kg 107

Table Credit: Racing Australia. 

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.

The 2021 Challenge Stakes winner Eduardo set a new record time saluting in a slick 55.2 seconds when defeating the previous year’s champion and subsequent 2021 The Everest hero Nature Strip.

The Challenge Stakes result in 2022 nearly saw one of the biggest upsets in Australian sprinting history with Shelby Sixtysix ($61) running into second behind the back-to-back winner Eduardo and forcing the beaten odds-on favourite Nature Strip to finish third.

Recent Challenge Stakes Winners

Year Place Horse Time
2022
Challenge Stakes
1st Eduardo 59.06 seconds
2nd Shelby Sixtysix
3rd Nature Strip
2021
Challenge Stakes
1st Eduardo 55.2 seconds (R)
2nd Nature Strip
3rd Bella Vella
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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