As we enter a busy Autumn season of racing, the sixth season of the All-Weather Championships nears with launch day taking place once again at Newcastle Racecourse, on Tuesday 23 October. The Championships has thrown up a number of spectacular performances on the Tapeta from equine superstars that have gone on to great successes, here's a look at a few of the most notable horses.
Owned by Bjorn Nielsen and trained by John Gosden, Stradivarius (pictured) broke his maiden tag at Newcastle during Season 4 of the All-Weather Championships. Through 2017 he won the Group 2 Queen's Vase at Royal Ascot and Group 1 Goodwood Cup, whilst also placing in the St Leger at Doncaster and on British Champions Day at Ascot in the Long Distance Cup. However, 2018 proved even more fruitful for the son of Sea The Stars, with victories in the Yorkshire Cup, the Goodwood Cup and the Lonsdale Cup, and in doing so he became the first winner of the Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers' Million.
A son of Frankel, trained by John Gosden and owned by the father-daughter partnership of John and Tanya Gunther, Without Parole burst onto the racing scene with a highly impressive debut victory at Newcastle in Season 5 of the All-Weather Championships, setting a one mile track time similar to Enable's. He followed that up with three further wins in his three-year-old season, including successes in the Listed Heron Stakes at Sandown and the Group 1 St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Sporting the colours of Prince Khalid Abdullah and trained by John Gosden, Enable won on her racecourse debut, a maiden at Newcastle during Season 4 of the All-Weather Championships. In her remarkable three-year-old season she won the Cheshire Oaks, the Epsom Oaks, the Irish Oaks, the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, the Yorkshire Oaks and signed off her year with victory in Europe's flat showpiece, the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. She is the first Classic winner to feature in the All-Weather Championships.
Owned by Phoenix Thoroughbreds, Gronkowski won on his first All-Weather Championships start at Chelmsford in November of the fifth season, before arriving at Newcastle for the first of two runs here in February. On that first run, he was an odds on favourite, and duly delivered in impressive style. After a trip to Kempton for a further AWC victory, the three-year-old returned to Newcastle to line up in the Listed Burradon Stakes on Good Friday for the feature race of the Season Finale Raceday. He once again justified favouritism and was then sent to America to contest in the Kentucky Derby. Unfortunately, injury ruled him out but he stayed stateside in order to take on the Triple Crown seeking Justify in the Belmont Stakes. A sublime run in the race saw Gronkowski beaten into second. There's perhaps greater things to come from the colt.
We look forward to another fantastic All-Weather Championships season with more potential stars on show.