The 2016 Champagne Classic nominations have been released and Magic Millions Classic runner-up Nikitas is set to return to the races in the Group 2 event at Doomben on Saturday.
Nikitas made his racing debut with a dominant five lengths victory in the Canadian Club Handicap (1200m) at Doomben on December 5 and he was far from disgraced when third behind Zelady’s Night Out and Slumber Party in the Group 3 BJ McLachlan Stakes (1200m) at Gold Coast on Boxing Day.
The Snitzel colt was a drifter in the lead-up to the Magic Millions Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast on January 9 and he was no match for subsequent Golden Slipper winner Capitalist, but he was still able to find the line strongly to finish second.
Nikitas is on track to contest the Group 2 Champagne Classic (1200m) at Doomben on May 14 and could press on to the Group 2 BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1350m) at the same venue on May 28 and the Group 1 JJ Atkins (1600m) at Eagle Farm on June 11.
Another horse that could return to the races in the Champagne Classic is Godolphin-owned Souchez.
Souchez made his racing debut with a win in the Schweppes Plate (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens on December 19 and he finished third behind Good Standing and Lionhearted in the Group 2 Skyline Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on February 27 before he led from start to finish in the Group 2 Pago Pago Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 12.
Attention is another Sydney-based horse that could make the trip North for the Champagne Classic and he has not been seen at the races since he failed to fire behind Yankee Rose in the Group 1 Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on April 2.
The Champagne Classic is set prove a key form reference for the rest of the two-year-old races during the 2016 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival and Lipsync, Redouble, Tiyatrolani and Winning Rupert are all set to defend their unbeaten records this weekend.
The 2016 Champagne Classic nominations are rounded out by Magic Millions Classic placegetter Candika, last start winner Crack Me Up, John Zielke-trained Dreams Aplenty, promising maiden Earth and promising gelding Endless Days.
You can find the best odds for every runner in the 2016 Champagne Classic betting market and every other race at Doomben on Saturday with leading online bookmaker Ladbrokes.com.au.