An upset win in the 2014 Spring Champion Stakes in Sydney by the Gai Waterhouse-trained Hampton Court has the in-form colt on track for a Victoria Derby run at Flemington this Melbourne Cup Carnival.
The Redoute’s Choice three-year-old was a maiden up until last week when he backed up off a fourth to Sweynesse in the Group 3 Spring Stakes (1600m) at Newcastle and won the Listed Dulcify Quality (1600m) at Randwick.
Up in class and distance, and on the short seven-day back-up today Hampton Court went out at juicy $16 odds at Ladbrokes.com.au for the $400,000 Group 1 Moet & Chandon Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) back at Royal Randwick.
The only two horses the punters had an eye for were the undefeated Sweynesse coming off a Gloaming Stakes win at Rosehill and last Saturday’s Group 1 Flight Stakes winning filly First Seal.
But in an upset Hampton Court raced past both of them down the outside on the home straight saluting at big odds with Waterhouse saying he’d booked his ticket to Melbourne.
In Melbourne she plans to target the $1.5 million Group Victoria Derby (2500m) on November 1, a race Sweynesse was top fancy for before today’s loss.
John Thompson’s good filly First Seal was away well from her centre draw while Panzer Division was ridden aggressively to lead.
Settling in fourth First Seal was biding her time as was the John O’Shea-trained Sweynesse sitting on the favourite’s back getting a trail into the race.
First Seal was put under the whip turning for home with Sweynesse moving up to join in on the outside, the top two in betting coming together and looking like fighting it out for the win before Hampton Court ran it in.
“His turn of foot when he got balanced was incredible,” winning hoop Josh Parr said.
“Geez this is good!”
Absolutely wrapped in his winning photo, Parr hit to go button on Hampton Court of the closing stages and the galloper won running away with First Seal ($2.15) a gallant second and Sweynesse ($2.90) holding for third after being pushed a bit early.
“There’s a horse that couldn’t win a race until last week,” Waterhouse said after the race.
“Once he was able to mature and find his feet look what he’s done.
“He won the Dulcify last week and I backed him up this week and now he’s bought his ticket to Melbourne.
“I would think me might run in a Derby on the first Tuesday of November.”
When asked if the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 25 under weight-for-age conditions before the Derby could be an option Waterhouse said she didn’t think so and that he was probably suited to more distance.
To check out the updated Victoria Derby odds and get behind Hampton Court next race head to Ladbrokes.com.au and enjoy up to $500 in bonus bets this season!
2014 Spring Champion Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Randwick Race 6 – 11/10/2014
|1||4||HAMPTON COURT||Gai Waterhouse||Joshua Parr||–||7||56.5kg||$16|
|2||8||FIRST SEAL||John P Thompson||Jason Collett||2.3L||4||54.5kg||$2.15F|
|3||1||SWEYNESSE||John O’Shea||Blake Shinn||2.6L||3||56.5kg||$2.80|
|4||9||PRESS REPORT||Lee Curtis||Ms Winona Costin (a)||5.8L||1||54.5kg||$51|
|5||3||PANZER DIVISION||Paul Messara||Tye Angland||13.2L||9||56.5kg||$9|
|6||6||LIE DIRECT||Steve Englebrecht||Brenton Avdulla||14.8L||8||56.5kg||$101|
|7||7||DRUM ROLL||David Vandyke||Ms Kathy O’Hara||15.1L||6||56.5kg||$71|
|8||5||POUNAMU||Allan Denham||Glyn Schofield||16.4L||2||56.5kg||$61|
|9||2||VALENTIA||Gai Waterhouse||Tim Clark||20.9L||5||56.5kg||$15|