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.

2021 Challenge Stakes Results

  • 1st: #2 Eduardo
  • 2nd: #1 Nature Strip
  • 3rd: #7 Bella Vella



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.

The Challenge Stakes 2021 ran on Saturday March 6, 2021 and saw Eduardo upset the favourite Nature Strip.  

2021 Challenge Stakes
Date: Saturday March 6, 2021
Track: Royal Randwick
Distance: 1000m
Race Type: Weight-For-Age
Status: Group 2
Prize Money: $500,000

2021 Challenge Stakes Results

  • 1st: #2 Eduardo
  • 2nd: #1 Nature Strip
  • 3rd: #7 Bella Vella

The Joe Pride-trained Eduardo ($8.50) scored an upset win over the beaten odds-on favourite, last year’s champion Nature Strip ($1.95), in a thrilling Challenge Stakes 2021 result ahead of The Galaxy.

Click here to read more on the upset 2021 Challenge Stakes victory by Eduardo.

Finish No. Horse Trainer Jockey Margin Bar. Weight Penalty Starting Price
1 2 EDUARDO Joseph Pride Nash Rawiller 6 58.5kg $8.50
2 1 NATURE STRIP Chris Waller James McDonald 0.1L 8 58.5kg $1.95F
3 7 BELLA VELLA Will Clarken Jason Collett 3.9L 1 56.5kg $26
4 4 SPLINTEX Mark Newnham Joshua Parr 5.6L 4 58.5kg $11
5 6 SPACEBOY Gary Portelli Ms Kathy O’Hara 5.8L 2 58.5kg $51
6 8 WRITTEN BEAUTY Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes Tommy Berry 6.2L 3 54kg $3.10
7 5 THE ODYSSEY Kelly Schweida Ms Stephanie Thornton 11.2L 7 58.5kg $41
8 3 JUNGLE EDGE Mick Bell Ms Jade Darose 12.4L 5 58.5kg $101

Table Credit: Racing Australia. 

2021 Challenge Stakes Odds

This autumn’s top Challenge Stakes 2021 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.

2021 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 2021 Challenge Stakes field will be provided by Racing NSW  on the Wednesday of race week.

Reigning champion Nature Strip heads the eight-horse Challenge Stakes 2021 field in Sydney this weekend.

No Last 10 Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight Probable Weight Penalty Hcp Rating
1 411x2472x1 NATURE STRIP Chris Waller James McDonald 8 58.5kg 119
2 x07x11204x EDUARDO Joseph Pride Nash Rawiller 6 58.5kg 108
3 D0517x072x JUNGLE EDGE Mick Bell Ms Jade Darose 5 58.5kg 105
4 1911x5658x SPLINTEX Mark Newnham Joshua Parr 4 58.5kg 103
5 127×102921 THE ODYSSEY Kelly Schweida Ms Stephanie Thornton 7 58.5kg 100
6 11×2283427 SPACEBOY Gary Portelli Ms Kathy O’Hara 2 58.5kg 86
7 x111x139x0 BELLA VELLA Will Clarken Jason Collett 1 56.5kg 105
8 21x111x1 WRITTEN BEAUTY Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes Tommy Berry 3 54kg 94

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.

Recent Challenge Stakes Winners

Year Place Horse Time
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

Spring Racing

Sandown Guineas 2020 Field �...

2020 Zipping Classic Field �...

2020 Zipping Classic Field & Odds Update: Avilius Firming Favourite

Despite a last start failure in the Melbourne Cup the Godolphin-raced Avilius...

2020 Kennedy Oaks Results: Oli...

2020 Kennedy Oaks Results: Oliver Rides Sixth Winner on Personal

Jockey Damien Oliver celebrated his sixth success in the 162nd running of the...

Kennedy Oaks Day Results 2020:...

Kennedy Oaks Day Results 2020: Personal Wins The Oaks

2020 Kennedy Oaks Day continues the racing action of the Melbourne Cup...

2020 Kennedy Oaks Day: Fleming...

2020 Kennedy Oaks Day: Flemington Scratchings & Track Report

Day 3 of the Melbourne Cup Carnival takes place at Flemington Racecourse...

Horse Racing Today

2021 Queen Of The Turf Stakes ...

Queen Elizabeth Stakes 2021 Re...

Queen Elizabeth Stakes 2021 Results: Addeybb Fights Off Verry Elleegant in Another Thriller

The horse dubbed the ‘Beast of Britain’ once again proved his champion status...

Waller Wins Fifth Sydney Cup i...

Waller Wins Fifth Sydney Cup in 2021 With Selino

Master horseman Chris Waller celebrated his fifth Sydney Cup success in 2021...

2021 Arrowfield 3YO Sprint Res...

2021 Arrowfield 3YO Sprint Results: Wild Ruler Holds Off Isotope

The Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Wild Ruler continued his undefeated...

2021 Australian Oaks Results: ...

2021 Australian Oaks Results: Hungry Heart Wins for Waller

Trainer Chris Waller celebrated yet another Group 1 feature race win with his...

Race Results

2021 Queen Of The Turf Stakes Winner Nettoyer Back in Form

Queen Elizabeth Stakes 2021 Results: Addeybb Fights Off Verry Elleegant in Another Thriller

Waller Wins Fifth Sydney Cup in 2021 With Selino

2021 Arrowfield 3YO Sprint Results: Wild Ruler Holds Off Isotope

2021 Australian Oaks Results: Hungry Heart Wins for Waller

Race Previews

2021 The Championships Day 2: Randwick Scratchings & Track Report

2021 Arrowfield 3YO Sprint Field & Odds Update: September Run v Isotope

Probabeel Heads 2021 Queen Of The Turf Stakes Field & Odds

Australian Oaks 2021 Field & Betting Wide Open: Harmony Rose Narrow Favourite

2021 Queen Elizabeth Stakes Field: Betting Has Verry Elleegant Ahead of Addeybb

Fields & Form

2021 The Championships Day 2: Randwick Scratchings & Track Report

2021 Arrowfield 3YO Sprint Field & Odds Update: September Run v Isotope

Probabeel Heads 2021 Queen Of The Turf Stakes Field & Odds

Australian Oaks 2021 Field & Betting Wide Open: Harmony Rose Narrow Favourite

2021 Queen Elizabeth Stakes Field: Betting Has Verry Elleegant Ahead of Addeybb