Mining mogul and the mind behind the hugely successful Patinack Farm racing operation, Nathan Tinkler is looking to taste Champagne Stakes glory for a second time and put an end to rival breeding giant Darley’s stunning success in the two-year-old arena this season.
There are 13 two-year-olds nominated for this year’s Champagne Stakes, the final leg of the coveted 2YO Triple Crown Series shaping up as a battle of the country’s top breeding powerhouses.
Premier Victorian trainer Peter Snowden and the Darley Stables operation enjoyed success in the opening two legs of the 2011 Triple Crown for two-year-olds.
Snowden took out the $1 million Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield for the first time with the ultra consistent Sepoy before his promising Exceed And Excel colt Helmet won the $500,000 Group 1 AJC Inglis Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on April 9.
While Sepoy is lapping up a well-deserved break ahead of the spring, Snowden will look to continue his wonderful training effort this season and snare Saturday’s $400,000 Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m) at Randwick for a Triple Crown clean sweep.
Representing Snowden and Darley in the Champagne on Saturday will be Helmet and their lesser-favoured stablemate Disputes, who ran fifth in the AJC Sires Produce Stakes.
However, Tinkler and the Patinack Farm stable are quietly confident with their two hopefuls Pane In The Glass and Boys On Tour.
“Everything is in order for them to run well on Saturday,” Patinack Farm racing manager Robyn Hartney said.
Tinkler first tasted Champagne Stakes success two years ago with Onemorenomore.
One of the first yearlings to enter Tinkler’s thoroughbred empire, the then two-year-old son of Red Ransom Onemorenomore claimed a stunning four length upset in the 2009 Champagne Stakes over Tickets.
This year Testa Rossa filly Pane In The Glass looks his best chance at another Champagne Stakes win.
Winning her first three races starts including the Inglis Nursery / Inglis Classic double, Pane In The Glass has gone on to perform consistently at Group level throughout this preparation.
After running third to the Gai Waterhouse-trained Shared Reflections in the Group 3 Sweet Embrace Stakes (1200m) at Warwick Farm on March 12, she then finished second to Altar in the Group 2 Magic Night Stakes (1200m) before her most recent effort when one length away third to Helmet in the AJC Inglis Sires Produce Stakes.
“Her finishing sectional (in the Sires Produce Stakes) was fantastic,” Hartney said of Pane In The Glass.
“The tempo of the race was too slow but the way she ran home it makes you think the mile will suit her to a tee.”
Jockey Jim Byrne, aboard for all six of Pane In The Glass’s career starts, will continue his association with the progressive filly in the Champagne Stakes.
General Nediym gelding Boys On Tour is not without claims either having shown promise when a game second to the Bart Cummings-trained Salade in the Group 2 Pago Pago Stakes (1200m) last month.
Boys On Tour was then blocked for a run in the Sires Produce Stakes so their eventual 10th place finish in the 11-starter field when three and a half lengths back from Helmet last start can be forgiven.
“It is a case of forgetting he went around in the Sires,” Hartney said.
“We’ll be looking to ride him a lot more positively on Saturday.”
Boys On Tour is due to be ridden by jockey Jim Cassidy for the first time.
Other notable Champagne Stakes nominees include Bart Cummings’ Snitzel colt Salade racing for the first time since finishing eighth in the Golden Slipper and the Kris Lees-trained Skyline Stakes winner Uate fresh off a second to Helmet in the Sires Produce.
Acceptances for the Champagne Stakes and the other Sydney Cup Day races will be taken tomorrow with the final fields published right here at Races.com.au.
2011 Champagne Stakes Nominations
|1||BOYS ON TOUR||John P Thompson|
|2||COCKY RAIDER||David Payne|
|4||DUCKWORTH LEWIS (NZ)||Leo Molloy|
|5||FAST AND SEXY||Chris Waller|
|7||HOUSTON BENEFACTOR||Anthony Cummings|
|9||PANE IN THE GLASS||John P Thompson|
|11||RUNNING TALL||Danny O’Brien|