Bjorn Baker’s progressive two-year-old Winning Rupert continued his run towards a possible JJ Atkins bid at Eagle Farm next month with his second win from as many starts in Saturday’s Champagne Classic 2016 at Doomben Racecourse.
First-up the nicely-bred colt by the same sire as Golden Slipper winner Capitalist, Written Tycoon, posted a nice win over 1000m at the Sunshine Coast on April 23.
He backed-up three weeks later in his big city and 1200m debut on BTC Cup Day in the $175,000 Group 2 Moet & Chandon Champagne Classic (1200m).
Drawn the outside barrier in the 10-starter field of juveniles, jockey Jeff Lloyd enjoyed a brilliant jump from the gates to take his mount up into third early behind the short-priced favourite Tiyatrolani.
A winner of her opening two career starts before the Champagne Classic, Tony Gollan’s filly Tiyatrolani was sharp away from the inside alley with Tegan Harrison aboard, going forward to lead from Dreams Aplenty.
Midway through the race Dreams Aplenty moved up into the lead from the favourite while Winning Rupert continued to track nicely in third just ahead of the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Group 3 winner and Group 1 performer from Sydney Attention.
Winning Rupert started to move up 500m out on the outside of Dreams Aplenty, Tiyatrolani still third on the rail before dropping out on the straight.
The eventual winner led his rivals toward the line and was off and gone at the 150m, Winning Rupert ($5.50) first-past-the-post ahead of Stratum colt Attention ($16) who just held off the John O’Shea-trained Pago Pago winner Souchez ($6) who got through late into third.
Connections of the Champagne Classic winner Winning Rupert took out not only the $112,000 first prize but also a $24,500 QTIS Bonus thanks to the improving galloper’s strong effort second-up when taking advantage of the tiering leaders.
The next logical step for Winning Rupert is to return to Doomben in a fortnight on May 28 in the $250,000 Group 2 BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1350m) on Doomben 10,000 Day.
From there he could go all the way to Eagle Farm on June 11 for a shot at the $600,000 Group 1 JJ Atkins (1600m) over the mile on Stradbroke Handicap Day.
Access the best prices for all of the upcoming Group 1 winter features online at Ladbrokes.com.au – home of Odds Boost!
2016 Champagne Classic Results & Finishing Order
Doomben Race 5 – 14/05/2016
|1||5||WINNING RUPERT||Bjorn Baker||Jeff Lloyd||–||10||57kg||$5|
|2||3||ATTENTION||Peter & Paul Snowden||Blake Shinn||0.2L||3||57kg||$16|
|3||2||SOUCHEZ||John O’Shea||Jason Collett||0.3L||2||57kg||$5|
|4||7||DREAMS APLENTY||John Zielke||Luke Dittman (a)||0.6L||7||57kg||$19|
|5||11||TIYATROLANI Q||Tony Gollan||Ms Tegan Harrison||2.4L||1||55kg||$2.40F|
|6||10||CANDIKA||Steven O’dea||Paul Hammersley||2.5L||8||55kg||$18|
|7||9||EARTH||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||3.3L||6||57kg||$31|
|8||1||NIKITAS||Kelso Wood||Michael Cahill||4.6L||5||57kg||$8.50|
|9||4||CRACK ME UP (NZ)||Liam Birchley||Damian Browne||4.9L||9||57kg||$14|
|10||6||ENDLESS DAYS||Peter & William Hulbert||Brad Stewart||8.4L||4||57kg||$101|
|–||8||REDOUBLE||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||–||–||0||–||–|