Messara’s Forgotten Spring Champion Stakes Hope

Paul Messara is looking forward to flying under the radar and into the winners’ stall in Sydney on Saturday as he saddles-up what he calls the “forgotten horse” in Randwick’s 2014 Spring Champion Stakes in Panzer Division.

Panzer Division

Panzer Division is a nice value chance in Saturday’s 2014 Spring Champion Stakes. Photo: Steve Hart.

The talented Redoute’s Choice colt is one of just nine three-year-olds facing off in the closing elite level of the Sydney Spring Racing Carnival, Panzer Division jumping from the outside barrier in the $400,000 Group 1 Moet & Chandon Spring Champion Stakes (2000m).

All the rage in the Spring Champion Stakes betting markets has been on John Thompson’s star filly First Seal who is odds-on favourite through, paying $1.85 to secure back-to-back Group 1 wins at the track on successive Saturdays.

Last weekend the daughter of Fastnet Rock posted her second Randwick win on the trot backing up from an upset over Winx and Earthquake in the Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes (1400m) to prove her form no fluke with a Group 1 Flight Stakes (1600m) victory over the mile.

She jumped from barrier four of seven that day and gets the same draw seven days later as she takes on the boys in the Spring Champion Stakes.

First Seal however does have a jockey change with Blake Shinn jumping off and Jason Collett coming in, Shinn opting to partner with her main rival Sweynesse.

Seemingly the only other horse punters are willing to take a shot with, the Godolphin-owned Sweynesse is on trial for the Victoria Derby (2500m) on November 1 and pays $3.50 to retain his undefeated status.

Panzer Division meanwhile is the last runner at single figures to win paying $7, a juicy price according to Messara who is thrilled with his horse’s lead-up form.

“I think he is a bit of a forgotten horse when you look at the form in this field … and I can’t see any reason for it,” Messara told AAP.

First-up on the back of a Kembla Grange debut win in July, Panzer Division ran a close second in the Group 3 Up & Coming Stakes (1300m) behind stable mate Scissor Kick in the mud on August 23.

His next two runs were also at Randwick and included a win in the Group 3 Ming Dynasty Quality (1400m) and then his first look at a mile and Group 1 company on September 20 in the George Main Stakes won by dual Doncaster Mile champ Sacred Falls who is a top fancy for the Cox Plate at the end of the month.

“I thought it was a very solid run and I think he is going to improve a lot,” Messara said of Panzer Divison’s George Main performance.

Up in distance but facing a field of his own age here, Messara is confident Panzer Division can give the top two in Spring Champion Stakes betting a run for their money on Saturday afternoon after the horse worked well on Tuesday morning.

“He just breezed up three furlongs on the bridle and did it really well,” Messara said.

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