Sydney horseman Gerald Ryan is gearing up for a big BTC Cup Day at Doomben Racecourse on Saturday including saddling up likely favourite Time For War in the 2014 Champagne Classic.
The key support race of the opening Group 1 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival meeting, this year’s $175,000 Group 2 Bollinger Champagne Classic (1200m) runs as Race 4 at 1:55pm (AEST).
The two-year-olds’ feature has attracted 11 runners, many of whom are headed towards the $500,000 Group 1 JJ Atkins (1600m) at Eagle Farm on June 7 – Stradbroke Handicap Day.
Heading the Champagne Classic field but drawn out wide in barrier 10 is Ryan’s Snitzel colt Time For War.
Ryan also accepted for two more of Snitzel’s prodigy in the day’s Group 1 with Hot Snitzel and Snitzerland engaged to take on Buffering in the $400,000 Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m).
Time For War has won two of their three starts to date, most notably the Group 2 Pago Pago Stakes (1200m) in the mud at Rosehill back in March.
From there they went up to Group 1 company for a shot at the ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes at Randwick, also run on a Heavy (9), but was beaten six and a half lengths when fourth behind Peggy Jean.
Down in class on Saturday Time For War is set for an improved run and will likely get another rain-affected track for their interstate debut.
The two other most notable JJ Atkins 2014-bound juveniles running in the Champagne Classic are then the Chris Waller-trained Brazen Beau (barrier nine) and John O’Shea’s returning Mohave (barrier eight).
I Am Invincible colt Brazen Beau won their debut at Canterbury in early February and was last seen finishing fifth under two lengths off Alpha Miss in the Listed Lonhro Plate (1100m) at Warwick Farm on March 8.
It’s also been a while between runs for the fresh Mohave, the Exceed And Excel colt not having run since their good sixth behind the fellow Darley-owned youngster Earthquake in the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) on February 22.
There are then three last start winners in the Champagne Classic this year including Allan Denham’s undefeated Collate gelding Furbish.
They won at Eagle Farm on debut on April 11 after two winning Sydney trails and continued their good run in Brisbane with another win back at the track two weeks later defeating Deuced and Girls Command in a two-year-olds’ handicap over 1300m.
The Tony Gollan-trained Looks Like The Cat also won on debut, the Husson colt taking out a 1200m sprint at Eagle Farm in February that they’ll be looking to repeat here from the inside alley.
Eloping is then the last of the last start winners, the well-tried Choisir filly having her eighth career start on Saturday.
Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison’s talented galloper has won four times so far, most recently the Group 3 Keith MacKay Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 19.
Other notable Champagne Classic hopes then include Bryan Guy’s Magic Millions Classic fifth placed Real Saga filly Stroak and Keith MacKay third placed Shaumari also lining up for Darley’s new private trainer O’Shea.
Check out the complete Champagne Classic 2014 field, barriers and jockeys below.
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2014 Champagne Classic Final Field & Barrier Draw
Doomben Race 4 – 1:55pm (AEST) – 10/05/2014
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.|
|1||1×14||TIME FOR WAR||Gerald Ryan||Damien Thornton (a)||10||57kg|
|2||2x106x||MOHAVE||John O’Shea||James McDonald||8||57kg|
|3||11||FURBISH||Allan Denham||Jim Byrne||6||57kg|
|4||1x||LOOKS LIKE THE CAT||Tony Gollan||Damian Browne||1||57kg|
|5||122||DEUCED||Gillian Heinrich||Timothy Bell||3||57kg|
|6||15x||BRAZEN BEAU||Chris Waller||Nash Rawiller||9||57kg|
|7||45x||GROOMED FOR GLORY||Len Treloar||–||2||57kg|
|8||1124171||ELOPING||Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison||Stephen Baster||7||55kg|
|9||1125x||STROAK||Bryan Guy||Michael Cahill||4||55kg|
|10||13||SHAUMARI||John O’Shea||Kerrin McEvoy||5||55kg|
|11||12||AMIZADE||Desleigh Forster||Michael Rodd||11||55kg|