Peter Snowden’s in-form colt Skilled claimed his break-through Group 1 win on Saturday in the $300,000 Champagne Stakes (1600m) at Randwick.
It was a tight finish as Skilled ($10) narrowly defeated Sasa ($8) by a head, with another from the Snowden stables, Divorces ($15), a further neck away in a gallant third.
There was less than four lengths separating all fifteen two-year-olds in the 2010 Champagne Stakes and the blanket finish saw the odds-on favourite Beneteau ($4.60) finish sixth, still just over a length back from the winner.
After the photo-finish result was announced, the connections of runner-up Sasa lodged a protest alleging interference in the early stages of the race, but it was swiftly dismissed by the stewards.
Skilled’s exciting win gave hoop Josh Parr his maiden Group 1 victory and broke Snowden’s autumn drought that has seen him miss out on a black type win by one horse in 14 Group and Listed races as so many of his hopeful horses have run second at the Sydney autumn carnival.
Son of Commands, Skilled has now won three and placed second once in his six career starts with Saturday’s $180,000 first prize increasing his total career earnings to $388,850.
Jessicabeel secured back-to-back Group success on Saturday when the John O’Shea-trained mare took out the feature race at Randwick, the $400,000 Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m).
Other top-class events held at the meeting included the $350,000 Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) where Anthony Cumming’s impressive runner Road To Rock claimed victory, and the $300,000 All Aged Stakes (1400m) where six-year-old Hot Danish secured her long awaited maiden Group 1 win.
2010 Moet & Chandon Champagne Stakes Results
|Peter Snowden||Joshua Parr|
|Tim Martin||Tye Angland|
|Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy|
|Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen|
|Stuart Webb||Michelle Payne|
|Paul Messara||Michael Rodd|
|Rick Hore-Lacy||Jim Cassidy|
|Bart Cummings||Blake Shinn|
SHADOWS IN THE SUN
|Anthony Cummings||Craig Newitt|
|David Payne||Damien Oliver|
|Gai Waterhouse||Nash Rawiller|
|Lee Freedman||Hugh Bowman|
|Clarry Conners||Stathi Katsidis|
|David Payne||Craig Williams|
|Anthony Cummings||Glyn Schofield|