Melbourne racing kicks it up a notch at Moonee Valley this evening with a crack Moir Stakes Night racing program taking centre stage, one of the support races on the card being the 2014 Champagne Stakes for the three-year-old fillies.
Running as Moonee Valley Race 5 with an 8:45pm jump, this year’s $150,000 Group 3 Blackwoods Champagne Stakes (1200m) features a final field of 10 hopefuls.
The Champagne Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au feature two top fancies battling it out for top spot with Eloping ($2.60) and Tawteen ($2.80) shaping up as the duo to beat.
Drawn in barrier five is the current top pick, Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison’s Choisir filly Eloping second-up for the season after a brave third behind upset winner Angelic Light and the beaten odds-on favourite Lankan Rupee in the Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) at the track on September 6.
She’s undefeated second-up however and is ready to strut her stuff and make it a 50% win rate with her fifth win at career start number 10 here.
Hot on Group 1 performer Eloping’s heels in Champagne Stakes betting is then the aforementioned Tawteen who has been backed in from $3.
Drawn one inside of her major rival in gate four, Damien Oliver rides the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained daughter of Stratum.
Tawteen has won her past three on the trot with her only loss being a fifth on debut to Eloping in the Listed Blue Diamond Fillies’ Preview back in January.
Since then she’s undefeated including her latest effort over this track and distance three weeks ago.
So will Eloping and Tawteen turn tonight’s Champagne Stakes into a two horse race?
Or is there another filly in the mix at juicer odds with genuine claims such as Tony Gollan’s Brisbane-trained More Than Ready filly Pienkna ($11) or last start Cranbourne winner Tahni Dancer ($15) from the Caulfield stables of Clinton McDonald?
#1 Eloping ($2.60)
Think the bookies have the Champagne Stakes quinella spot on with Eloping the one to beat. She will enjoy a big drop back in class to a fillies-only Group 3 here after a brave third in the McEwen to kick off her spring. The top two in that do battle in the Group 1 Moir Stakes, also running tonight, so the form is there. She’s a Group 3 winner from April in Sydney and will have improvement in her having now faced the tight turns of the Valley track. Second-up record is also good so stick with the favourite.
#3 Tawteen ($2.80)
Don’t think there’ll be much in the top two on the line and this flying filly will be challenging. She’s only been beaten once in four starts, and that was by tonight’s favourite Eloping back in her January debut. Hasn’t been in stakes company since however, but the win her at the track and distance by over three lengths on September 6 was impressive enough to suggest she’s ready for the challenge of a Group race again.
#2 Silversands ($21)
Richard Jolly-trained Adelaide filly in her second run at Moonee Valley. This daughter of Dubleo got her confidence up with a resuming run at home on September 13 where she was defeated under a length running third to Éclair Choice. Gets up in distance now and returns to the track where she won the Inglis 2YO Banner race back on Cox Plate Day 2013.
If you think Eloping will get rolled in tonight’s Champagne Stakes then head to Ladbrokes.com.au and take advantage of their Favourite vs Field markets where you can back any other runner except the top pick at jump to win at a set price!
*All odds quoted are Fixed Win from Ladbrokes.com.au and subject to change