After holding on for a nice third behind upset winner Angelic Light at the track last start, Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison’s smart filly Eloping leads the Champagne Stakes 2014 field back at Moonee Valley this Friday night.
One of five Group races on the evening line-up for Moir Stakes Night, this year’s $150,000 Group 3 Blackwoods Champagne Stakes (1200m) has attracted 10 three-year-old fillies.
Leading the way as the top rated and fancied hopeful is Morgan & Widdison’s dual stakes winning daughter of Choisir, Eloping.
Winner of the Group 3 Keith Mackay Stakes (1200m) at Randwick in April, the Group 1 performer returned to racing on September 6 leading the field into the straight in the Group 2 Mitty’s McEwen Stakes (1000m).
The fast finishing Angelic Light stole the show then nabbing the odds-on favourite, the world’s highest rated sprinter Lankan Rupee, in the final stride while Eloping was far from disgraced holding on to finish off the trifecta.
Angelic Light and Lankan Rupee will do battle again in the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m) on Friday night while Eloping will face an easier assignment taking on her own kind in the Champagne Stakes.
There are three last start winners in the race meanwhile including the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Tawteen.
Drawn nicely in barrier four with Damien Oliver to ride, the in-form Stratum filly has won three of her four starts to date with that hat-trick of wins all being in succession.
This time in she’s gone back-to-back in Melbourne most recently over the 1200m at Moonee Valley three weeks ago in a run she’ll be out to repeat against better company7.
Tawteen won that day by over three lengths though and so should be able to handle the class rise on the weekend.
She was one of 45 second acceptors for the $500,000 Group 1 Thousand Guineas (1600m) yesterday and could still go into the Caulfield feature on October 11 for which she pays $15 to win through Ladbrokes.com.au.
Also heading towards the 2014 Thousand Guineas and paying $26 in the futures odds is the Pat Carey-trained Cristalina Lago.
Yet to finish out of the money with a win, two seconds and a third from four runs so far the Encosta De Lago filly has her maiden stakes start here after a second over 1000m first-up at Sandown at the start of the month.
The other last start winners along with Tawteen meanwhile are then the Brett Cavanough-trained Loved Up with the inside alley and Tahni Dancer out wide in gate eight for trainer Clinton McDonald.
Nicconi filly Loved Up won over 1200m at Seymour on September 11 while the nicely-bred Sebring filly Tahni Dancer was a Cranbourne over the same distance three days later.
The full Champagne Stakes 2014 field, barriers, jockeys and set weights are detailed below.
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2014 Champagne Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Moonee Valley Race 5 (8:45pm) – 26/09/2014
|No.||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||11241714×3||ELOPING||Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison||Stephen Baster||5||56kg||90|
|2||31x8x3||SILVERSANDS||Richard Jolly||Michael Walker||10||56kg||70|
|3||51×11||TAWTEEN||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Damien Oliver||4||56kg||75|
|4||21×50||SUNSET ROCK||Lloyd Kennewell||Mark Zahra||3||56kg||69|
|5||118||PIENKNA||Tony Gollan||Michael Rodd||9||56kg||69|
|6||16216×1||LOVED UP||Brett Cavanough||Damian Lane||1||56kg||70|
|7||2x80x9||TOP DOLLY||Tom Hughes||Brian Werner||2||56kg||64|
|8||67×31||TAHNI DANCER||Clinton McDonald||Glen Boss||8||56kg||64|
|9||2x13x2||CRISTALINA LAGO||Pat Carey||Steven King||7||56kg||65|
|10||1×7||ROYAL TRIESTE||David Brideoake & David Feek||Dwayne Dunn||6||56kg||62|