Kembla interest in The Champs

Kerry Parker at Kembla Grange. Picture: Robert Peet
Kerry Parker at Kembla Grange. Picture: Robert Peet

Group 1 hopefuls from the Kembla stables of Gwenda Markwell, Kerry Parker and Theresa Bateup will be out to make an impression as part of a record number of nominations for The Championships in April. 

A total of 1454 nominations were made for two day feature carnival at Royal Randwick after the closing deadline was reached earlier this week.

It’s an increase of 5% (75 horses) from last year’s nominations.

Most Kembla trainers will likely target the Provincial Championships, which kicks-off with the opening qualifer at Wyong next month.

But Markwell, Parker and Bateup also have runners nominated for Group 1s.

Markwell has nominated Excelsior $2 million BMW Australian Derby on day one of The Championships on April 7.

A colt by Poet’s Voice, Excelsior scored at his maiden start for Markwell at Kembla Grange on February 6.

Parker’s staying duo Red Dream and Misty Mountain Hop are among the 114 nominations for the Group 1 Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m). 

Bateup has kept Burden Of Proof in the mix for the $1 million James Boags Australian Oaks (2400m). 

Bateup told The Punt last month the filly could potentially head towards the Kembla Grange Classic for three-year-old fillies or the Provincial Championships.

The Provincial final will be run on day two of The Championships, with the carnival also attracting a large number of overseas runners for the coveted Group 1 races.

“The Championships has now established its own place on the world stage and these events are the undisputed grand finals of racing in this country,” Mr Peter V’landys AM, Racing NSW’s Chief Executive said.

“It’s also very pleasing to see a marked increase in interest from international stables this year after nearly 40 overseas horses were nominated.

“Their accommodation will be first class with the excellent Canterbury Park quarantine centre now boasting a brand new Polytrack.”

Kembla Grange will host its qualifier for the Provincial Championships on March 24 over 1400m.