2015 Champagne Classic Nominations Feature Big Tree

Last start Ken Russell Memorial Classic winner Big Tree is one of the headline nominees for the two-year-olds’ feature on Doomben Cup Day in Brisbane this weekend, the Champagne Classic 2015.

Big Tree

Ken Russell Memorial Classic winner Big Tree headlines the 2015 Champagne Classic nominations for Doomben on Saturday. Photo: Daniel Costello.

Peter Balzen’s Gold Coast-trained Snitzel colt is one of 18 nominations taken for the $175,000 Group 2 Bollinger Champagne Classic (1200m), the juvenile’s set weights clash running as one of five Group features at Doomben Racecourse on Saturday.

Last time out Big Tree enjoyed his first career win at his second start with a quarter-length victory in the Group 3 Ken Russell Memorial Classic (1200m) on his home track on April 25.

Now the progressive youngster heads back to Doomben, where he ran fifth on debut to Secret Saga on April 11, stepping up in class for a shot at the Champagne Classic.

Also coming off a gun run in the Ken Russell on Anzac Day at the Gold Coast and nominated for a Champagne Classic back-up on Saturday is Liam Birchely’s classy filly Blueberry Hill.

The daughter of Myboycharlie won her opening two career starts with victories over 1050m at Doomben in late February and the Sunshine Coast in the mud over 1200m on April 5 before her narrow defeat in her first black-type run a fortnight ago.

A known wet-track performer, she can handle any type of ground and is sure to feature high up the markets at Ladbrokes.com.au if accepted on Saturday.

There is a host of other exciting fillies nominated to take on the boys in this year’s Champagne Classic including Stuart Kendrick’s last start winner Banda Spice, the Clarry Conners-trained Ken Russell fourth placed Look To The Stars who has Group 2 form in Sydney, Magic Millions 2YO Classic fourth placed Madotti and runner-up in that same January feature Pepperano also representing Birchley.

Another notable last start winner in the mix is the Chris Waller-trained Sydney raider Counterattack, the Redoute’s Choice colt having broken his maiden status at start number four over the 1200m at Warwick Farm on April 15.

Other headliners nominated for the Group 2 feature include Phelan Ready Stakes third placegetter It’s Vegas Baby, Darryl Hansen’s Magic Millions Classic winner Le Chef who hasn’t raced since the $2 million feature on January 10, the John O’Shea-trained Sampeah last seen running third in the Group 2 VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes at Flemington on March 14, Tony Gollan’s dual winner at the track Secret Saga and Gai Waterhouse’s 2015 JJ Atkins-bound Sempre Libera.

See below for the full Champagne Classic 2015 nominations, the final field and barriers due out on Wednesday.

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2015 Champagne Classic Nominations

Doomben Racecourse – 09/05/2015

# Horse Sex Age Trainer
1 BANDA SPICE F 2 Stuart Kendrick
2 BIG TREE C 2 Peter Balzen
3 BLUEBERRY HILL F 2 Liam Birchley
4 COUNTERATTACK C 2 Chris Waller
5 DE LAGO JET C 2 Tina Cotsiopoulos
6 DESERT MAN C 2 Gillian Heinrich
7 IT’S VEGAS BABY G 2 Brad Herne
8 LE CHEF G 2 Darryl Hansen
9 LOOK TO THE STARS F 2 Clarry Conners
10 MADOTTI F 2 Matthew Dunn
11 MAJOR CONSUL C 2 Stephen Jones
12 PEPPERANO F 2 Liam Birchley
13 SAMPEAH C 2 John O’Shea
14 SECRET SAGA F 2 Tony Gollan
15 SEMPRE LIBERA F 2 Gai Waterhouse
16 SINGLE GAZE F 2 Nick Olive
17 STEAL A DIAMOND F 2 Fred Adams
18 WICKED INTENT C 2 Chris Munce

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