This Saturday the Group 1 racing action of the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival continues at Royal Randwick with two elite levels highlighting the card including the Champagne Stakes 2014.
There are just 10 two-year-olds making up the early entries for this year’s $400,000 Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m), five of which come off a last start win.
Currently sitting top of the Champagne Stakes nominations and ballot is the Brent Stanley-trained Veuvelicious.
The Kyneton-trained Northern Meteor filly ran third to Bachman in her Sydney debut on Golden Slipper Day in the Group 3 The Schweppervescence (1400m) in the wet before backing up to win her first Black Type last Saturday.
Veuvelicious relished her first look at a mile in the Listed Fernhill Handicap (1600m) and thrived from the inside alley on the Slow (7) Randwick track to beat home Careless by an impressive three and a half lengths.
She’ll be on the short back-up and up in class for the Champagne but sees the same track and distance so will likely start near the top of the markets.
Two other top last start winners in the mix are then the Gerald Ryan-trained duo of Peggy Jean and Bachman.
Consistent Myboycharlie filly Peggy Jean ran a good second to subsequent Golden Slipper third placegetter Bring Me The Maid in the Group 2 Magic Night Stakes (1200m) two back at Rosehill before running again on April 12 to defeat Scratch Me Lucky in the Group 1 Sires Produce Stakes (1400m).
Their Sires win was a beauty as they were forced to go back after getting hampered at the start before drawing away late to take it out by half a length, Peggy Jean now shooting for back-to-back Group 1s.
Sires Produce runner-up Scratch Me Lucky is also nominated for the Champagne Stakes on Saturday, Paul Perry’s smart Snitzel colt having also run second two starts back in The Schweppervescence.
The Schweppervescence winner Bachman meanwhile is after their third on the trot here having also won a non-Black Type at Warwick Farm in March.
Ryan has three in the Champagne this year too with his Encosta De Lago filly Lucky Raquie rounding out his chances, the youngster looking to atone for her disappointing eighth in the Sires’ Produce where she struggled to let down in the wet.
The other juveniles here shooting for successive wins are then Adelaide raider Go Indy Go and Wyong-based gelding Proxy.
The Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas-trained Bernardini filly Go Indy Go has been working her way up through the ranks in her three career openers back home at Morphettville this autumn including her breakthrough win on April 12.
Sporting blinkers for the first time Go Indy Go looked very sharp in the Group 2 Adelaide Sires’ Produce (1400m) winning the feature by an easy three and a half lengths.
The Allan Denham-trained Proxy meanwhile steps up to stakes company for the first time on the weekend, if accepted, following a win at Randwick’s Kensington track on April 16.
Other notable hopes then include the David Hayes-trained Group 2 winning Fastnet Rock colt Zululand who ran fifth in the Sires Produce in a decent run and Peter Snowden’s Lonhro colt Kumaon coming via a Sires Produce sixth.
The Champagne Stakes 2014 final field and barrier draw will be out on Wednesday and published right here at Races.com.au.
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2014 Champagne Stakes Nominations
Royal Randwick – 26/04/2014
|4||SCRATCH ME LUCKY||Paul Perry||3||56.5kg|
|6||GO INDY GO||Leon Macdonald & Andrew Gluyas||8||54.5kg|
|7||LUCKY RAQUIE||Gerald Ryan||4||54.5kg|
|8||PEGGY JEAN||Gerald Ryan||2||54.5kg|
|9||UNKNOWN DESTINY||John W Ramsey||10||54.5kg|