For the first time in many years a 15-horse capacity field of talented two-year-olds will take to the Randwick track on Saturday in the $300,000 Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m).
The capacity sized field shows the quality and strength of the two-year-olds getting around this season, still standing and racing after a testing autumn campaign.
This year only one youngster that ran in the premier two-year-olds race, the Golden Slipper, is backing up with a run in the 2010 Champagne Stakes, the Paul Messara-trained Beneteau.
Currently close second favourite in the betting markets at $4.40 with Ladbrokes.com.au, Beneteau had a number of eye-catching runs this season including his fifth to Crystal Lily in the Golden Slipper last start.
Beneteau will jump from barrier five with big race expert Michael Rodd aboard.
The biggest danger to Beneteau on Saturday looks to be the Tim Martin-trained filly Sasa drawn mid-field in barrier nine, currently the odds-on favourite at $4.20.
Meanwhile top mentor David Payne will have three horses representing him in the Champagne Stakes on Saturday, as roughie Bombay, Praecido and Iron Lace line up, Iron Lace gaining a start after the scratching of Another Sunday.
Other top chances are Yosei and Skilled who ran the Group 1 AJC Sires Produce Stakes quinella last start.
The Stuart Webb-trained Yosei has drawn the prized inside running from barrier one on Saturday. If the rain holds off and the track firms up a bit, Yosei and jockey Michelle Payne will be well positioned to make it back-to-back Group 1 success for the impressive filly.
Peter Snowden’s Skilled will jump from barrier 11 with Joshua Parr behind the reins and is currently at generous odds of $11 for a win through Ladbrokes.com.au.
A more detailed preview of the 2010 Champagne Stakes can be found by clicking on the race name.
The $400,000 Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) is the day’s scheduled highlight featuring a 12-horse staying showdown, while other races not to miss include the $350,000 Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) and the $300,000 Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m).
*UPDATE: One of David Payne’s runners, Bombay, has been scratched from the 2010 Champagne Stakes with Anthony Cummings’ emergency Shadows In The Sun now gaining a start.
2010 Champagne Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
|Paul Messara||Michael Rodd||5||56.5|
|Rick Hore-Lacy||Jim Cassidy||10||56.5|
|Peter Snowden||Joshua Parr||11||56.5|
|Bart Cummings||Blake Shinn||3||56.5|
|David Payne||Damien Oliver||7||56.5|
|Lee Freedman||Hugh Bowman||4||56.5|
|Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||12||56.5|
|Stuart Webb||Michelle Payne||1||54.5|
|Gai Waterhouse||Nash Rawiller||6||54.5|
|Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||13||54.5|
|Anthony Cummings||Glyn Schofield||17||54.5|
|Clarry Conners||Stathi Katsidis||2||54.5|
|Tim Martin||Tye Angland||9||54.5|
|David Payne||Tim Clark||15||54.5|
|Peter G Moody||Craig Newitt||14||54.5|
|David Payne||Craig Williams||8||54.5|
SHADOWS IN THE SUN