Eloping Leads 2014 Champagne Stakes Nominations

Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison’s smart young filly Eloping is one of the headliners nominated for Friday night’s Champagne Stakes 2014.


Eloping is one of the headline fillies nominated for Friday night's 2014 Champagne Stakes. Photo: Steve Hart.

The daughter of Choisir is one of a dozen entries for this year’s $150,000 Group 3 Champagne Stakes (1200m), nominations for which were extended by Racing Victoria until 10am on Tuesday morning.

Winner of the Group 3 Keith Mackay Stakes (1200m) in Sydney during the autumn, Eloping was last seen running third to Angelic Light in the Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) at the Moonee Valley track on September 6 after leading the field into the straight.

The best represented stable in the Champagne Stakes nominations meanwhile with dual entries is David Hayes & Tom Dabernig who have entered Afleet Esprit and Tawteen.

Bel Esprit filly Afleet Esprit has won three of her past five runs including a victory at this track and distance from last month, and the Listed Cap D’Antibes Stakes (1100m) at Flemington two weeks ago.

Stablemate, Stratum filly Tawteen is also in flying form having won her past three races including a 1200m win here at the Valley on September 6.

If all goes well Hayes & Dabernig are looking at a step up to the mile next start on October 11 for Tawteen in the $500,000 Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield Racecourse.

She currently pays $21 in the futures Thousand Guineas odds at Ladbrokes.com.au with Afleet Esprit at a shorter $17 for the stable in markets led by Bring Me The Maid ($4.20).

Runner-up to Afleet Esprit in the Cap D’Antibes, Fastnet Rock filly Lumosty, is also entered for Friday’s showdown.

The Robert Smerdon-trained up-and-comer has had three starts for two seconds and a third all in black type company including her third to subsequent Blue Diamond Stakes winner Earthquake in the fillies’ Prelude for that race back in February.

Other fillies coming into the Champagne Stakes in good form include Cristalina Lago for Mornington’s Pat Carey, last start Seymour winner Loved Up and the Clinton McDonald-trained Tahni Dancer.

Also in the mix are Domesday filly Sunset Rock who defeated subsequent Group 1 winner Go Indy Go at Morphettville in March and Blue Diamond failure Top Dolly kicking off her new season campaign if accepted.

See below for the current Champagne Stakes 2014 nominations with the final field due out on Wednesday.

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2014 Champagne Stakes Nominations

Moonee Valley Racecourse – 26/09/2014

# Horse Trainer Hcp. Rating
1 AFLEET ESPRIT David Hayes & Tom Dabernig 80
3 ELOPING S Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison 90
4 LOVED UP Brett Cavanough 70
5 LUMOSTY Robert Smerdon 73
6 PIENKNA Tony Gollan 69
7 ROYAL TRIESTE David Brideoake & David Feek 62
8 SILVERSANDS Richard Jolly 70
9 SUNSET ROCK Lloyd Kennewell 69
10 TAHNI DANCER Clinton McDonald 64
11 TAWTEEN David Hayes & Tom Dabernig 75
12 TOP DOLLY Tom Hughes 64


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