A field full of JJ Atkins-bound juveniles will face off at Doomben Racecourse this Saturday in the Champagne Classic 2016 on BTC Cup Day.
Set to run as Doomben Race 5 at 2:46pm (AEST), this season’s $175,000 Group 2 Moet & Chandon Champagne Classic (1200m) features a final field of 10 two-year-olds after the early scratching of Redouble (9) from the Hawkes Racing stable.
Many are heading towards a run in the $600,000 Group 1 JJ Atkins (1600m) on Stradbroke Handicap Day at Eagle Farm on June 11, including the John O’Shea-trained Souchez.
The nicely-bred Lonhro colt is the current $7 equal favourite with Prompt Response and Winning Rupert in futures JJ Atkins betting at Ladbrokes.com.au.
A winner of two of his three career starts to date, he will look to continue his good form and remain in JJ Atkins contention on the weekend in his first run since winning Rosehill’s Group 2 Pago Pago Stakes (1200m) on March 12.
Another one of those early JJ Atkins favourites in the Champagne Classic mix this weekend is Bjorn Baker’s undefeated Winning Rupert drawn the outside alley (11 into 10).
The Written Tycoon colt has had one run at the Sunshine Coast for a win over 1000m on April 23, his hoop that day Jeff Lloyd retaining the ride for Saturday’s tougher test.
Third in the same Sunshine Coast race, Oink backed up to run a brave second to Royal Tithe in the Group 3 Ken Russell Classic (1200m) on the Gold Coast last Saturday and Winning Rupert is out to further frank that form a week later.
Also high up the all-in JJ Atkins odds and running in the Champagne Classic are the Steven O’Dea-trained Sebring filly Candika ($8) and Nikitas ($9) for Brisbane horseman Kelso Wood.
The best fancied of the fillies in Saturday’s race, Candika has Paul Hammersley aboard for the third time on the trot.
She has had four starts to date for two wins and two thirds, including her brave place behind Capitalist in the $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m) in January.
Her latest start was a third over 1100m at Doomben on April 30 behind Tiyatrolani from a wide barrier, the Tony Gollan-trained winner of that race also having won at Ipswich on debut a fortnight earlier.
A young daughter of Captain Sonador, Tiyatrolani is the other filly taking on the boys in this season’s Champagne Classic and she gets the gun run from barrier one looking to keep her flawless record intact.
Tegan Harrison rides her for the third time on the trot after the two successful runs leading into the Champagne Classic, including a big 4.3 length success in the race Candika placed third in late last month.
Snitzel colt Nikitas meanwhile is first-up on Saturday in barrier five with Michael Cahill aboard for the fourth time.
From three earlier runs Nikitas has finished first, second and third including his last start second in the Magic Millions Classic on the Gold Coast at the start of the year.
See below for the full Champagne Classic 2016 field, barriers and jockeys before heading to Ladbrokes.com.au to sign-up, deposit and quote the code BETBONUS to enjoy up to $500 in bonuses for a short time only!
2016 Champagne Classic Final Field & Barrier Draw
Doomben Race 5 (2:46pm) – 14/05/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.|
|1||132x||NIKITAS||Kelso Wood||Michael Cahill||5||57kg|
|2||1x31x||SOUCHEZ||John O’Shea||Jason Collett||2||57kg|
|3||2×710||ATTENTION||Peter & Paul Snowden||TBA||3||57kg|
|4||9×21||CRACK ME UP (NZ)||Liam Birchley||Damian Browne||10||57kg|
|5||1||WINNING RUPERT||Bjorn Baker||Jeff Lloyd||11||57kg|
|6||72×176||ENDLESS DAYS||Peter & William Hulbert||Brad Stewart||4||57kg|
|7||12||DREAMS APLENTY||John Zielke||Luke Dittman (a)||7||57kg|
|8||1||REDOUBLE||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||–||9||57kg|
|9||2×53||EARTH||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||6||57kg|
|10||113×3||CANDIKA||Steven O’dea||Paul Hammersley||8||55kg|
|11||11||TIYATROLANI||Tony Gollan||Ms Tegan Harrison||1||55kg|