A small but classy field of 11 two-year-olds has been accepted for the Champagne Classic 2012 at Doomben Racecourse this Saturday, Kelso Wood’s crack Snitzel colt Sizzling the one to beat.
Set to run as Doomben Race 2 at 12:45pm, this year’s edition of the $175,000 Group 2 Champagne Classic (1200m) is the major support race on Doomben Cup Day to the Group 1.
Drawn in barrier seven of 11 with Chris Munce to ride Sizzling is sure to open at the top of the Champagne Classic odds at bookmaker.com.au after their brilliant first-up win at the Gold Coast on May 5.
Running for the first time since their game fourth to Driefontein in the Magic Millions 2YO Classic, Sizzling and Munce ran away from their rivals to win the Listed Ken Russell Memorial Classic (1200m) by four and a half lengths on the Heavy (8) track.
The horse that ran second to Sizzling in the Ken Russell, Gerald Ryan’s Sydney galloper Dances On Stars, is also set to back up in the Champagne Classic this weekend.
Another Snitzel colt, Dances On Stars has had just four starts to date but is already a Group 3 winner thanks to their resuming victory in the Kindergarten Stakes (1100m) at Randwick on April 14.
Glyn Schofield will ride them for the third time this season, Dances On Stars drawn ideally in gate two.
Along with hot favourite Sizzling two other Champagne Classic hopefuls come off a last-start win.
The first is the David Lawlor-trained Noogoora Burr who has come up trumps with barrier three, Andrew Spinks to ride.
Spinks was aboard the Royal Academy gelding last start when they bounced back from their Ken Russell 13th in the mud, to beat home Hoss Amor by one and three quarter lengths in the Listed Hampden Stakes (1200m) at Doomben last Saturday as a $40 roughie.
Noogoora Burr also has winning form over Sizzling in the past having held on to defeat them by a long neck in the Listed Phelan Ready Stakes (1000m) at Eagle Farm back in December.
The other last start winner is then Steve Tregea’s Snippetson gelding Mac’s Addiction who will jump from the wide barrier 10 with Larry Cassidy in the saddle.
The youngster broke their maiden status at start number three last time out with a huge six and a half length victory at their home track in Toowoomba, albeit it was only over 850-metres.
The other big players look to then be the Peter Snowden-trained up-and-comer Academus (barrier nine) coming off a second on debut over 1200m at Hawkesbury, and Kelly Schweida’s Show A Heart filly Discreet (barrier four) who won the Listed Calaway Gal Stakes (1000m) at Eagle Farm by three and a half lengths last December.
Discreet resumed with a close first-up second to Regular at Ipswich on May 7 with her Calaway Gal Stakes winning jockey Chris Munce in the saddle, Damian Browne to take over riding duties on Saturday with Munce aboard the favourite.
See below for the full 2012 Champagne Classic field, barriers and jockeys.
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2012 Champagne Classic Final Field & Barrier Draw
Doomben Race 2 – 19/05/2012
|1||1224X1||SIZZLING||Kelso Wood||Chris Munce||7||57kg|
|2||1X150X601||NOOGOORA BURR||David Lawlor||Andrew Spinks||3||57kg|
|3||24X12||DANCES ON STARS (NZ)||Gerald Ryan||Glyn Schofield||2||57kg|
|4||13X7||SALUTER||Jason McLachlan||Jim Byrne||6||57kg|
|5||2||ACADEMUS||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||9||57kg|
|6||821||MAC’S ADDICTION||Steve Tregea||Larry Cassidy||10||57kg|
|7||2X168X2||DISCREET||Kelly Schweida||Damian Browne||4||55kg|
|8||61X6||NEVER DESPAIR||Michael Nolan||Luke Nolen||1||55kg|
|9||54X||SOOKIE||John P Thompson||Jeff Lloyd||8||55kg|
|10||4X||SUNSET AFFAIR||Gillian Heinrich||Ric McMahon||5||55kg|
|11||216X6||YOU’RE MINE||David Kelly||Corey Brown||11||55kg|