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The first of the two Randwick Group 1 races running on Saturday is the 2017 Champagne Stakes for two-year-old where the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained favourite Invader has come up trumps with barrier one.
Set to run as Randwick Race 6 at 3:05pm (AEST) on All Aged Stakes Day, this season’s $500,000 Group 1 Moet & Chandon Champagne Stakes (1600m) field attracted ten young hopefuls fighting it out for the final 2YO feature race of the carnival.
Heading the Champagne Stakes betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au is in-form Snitzel colt Invader who also drew barrier one for jockey Hugh Bowman.
No Champagne Stakes winner has saluted from the inside gate since Mentality (2006), while Bowman chases his third victory in the race after previously riding the fillies Samantha Miss (2008) and Pasadena Girl (2015) to victory.
Invader was last seen winning the Group 1 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at the track on April 1, while Saturday sees him step up to a mile for the first time.
The ATC Sires’ Produce form has the one to follow into the Champagne Stakes over the years, with the double last completed by another Snowden-trained hopeful Guelph (2013).
Also coming off a lead-up win are the Lindsay Park-trained Eshtiraak and James Cummings’ progressive filly Whispered Secret drawn barriers seven and eight respectively.
The race’s 1999 winning hoop aboard Quick Star, Damien Oliver rides the consistent Eshtiraak in the race on Saturday.
A nicely-bred son of Street Cry, the colt races for the first time since a Mornington Sires’ win over 1500m in late March.
Whispered Secret meanwhile represents last year’s winning trainer, Cummings having prepared Prized Icon to victory.
Prized Icon won the Champagne Stakes off a lead-up win at the same track and distance in the Fernhill Handicap, the same black-type feature High Chaparral filly Whispered Secret won last Saturday.
Fillies have won three of the past four editions of the mile classic and with the Golden Slipper winner Frolic a non-acceptor for the race, Whispered Secret is the top fancied female galloper in the race in 2017.
“She had six runs this preparation and the last three of those were on very heavy tracks,” Frolic’s trainer Michael Freedman told The Daily Telegraph.
“We just weighed everything up and thought [going for a spell] was the best way to go.”
Three other fillies feature in the Champagne Stakes field including Sweet Embrace Stakes winner One More Honey out to improve on her ATC Sires’ Produce ninth last time out.
See below for the full Champagne Stakes 2017 field, barriers and jockeys before heading to Ladbrokes.com.au for top odds on all the Sydney races on Saturday.
2017 Champagne Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Randwick Race 6 (3:05pm) – 15/04/2017
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.|
|1||4×25121||INVADER||Peter & Paul Snowden||Hugh Bowman||1||56.5kg|
|2||04×23416||THE MISSION||Paul Perry||Damian Lane||5||56.5kg|
|3||311161||ESHTIRAAK||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Damien Oliver||7||56.5kg|
|4||2×6556||ACE HIGH||David Payne||Blake Shinn||3||56.5kg|
|5||2×83||REFLECTIVITY||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Tommy Berry||4||56.5kg|
|6||22||ABERRO||Matt Laurie||James Doyle||2||56.5kg|
|7||1519||ONE MORE HONEY||John P Thompson||Craig Williams||6||54.5kg|
|8||3×411||WHISPERED SECRET||James Cummings||Glyn Schofield||8||54.5kg|
|9||2×234||MEMENTO||Anthony & Edward Cummings||Kerrin McEvoy||10||54.5kg|
|10||22||NASHVILLE SKYLINE||Bryan & Daniel Guy||Brenton Avdulla||9||54.5kg|
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