The airborne Kelly Schweida-trained...
Bjorn Baker’s Golden Rose runner-up Champagne Cuddles could be backed-up this weekend heading to Royal Randwick for a shot at the Flight Stakes 2017 on Epsom Handicap Day.
Nominations for this year’s Group 1 $500,000 Flight Stakes (1600m) have been extended until 11am (AEST) on Tuesday after just 11 three-year-old fillies were entered for the event.
Among the possible contenders is perennial runner-up Champagne Cuddles who has run second in her past three starts.
She was on a seven day turnaround last weekend when backing-up from a second in the Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes (1400m) at Randwick to finish second past the post behind runaway winner Trapeze Artist in the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m).
Baker is now looking at running Champagne Cuddles on three straight Saturdays with a possible step-up to the mile in store for the flying daughter of Not A Single Doubt.
If successful she will emulate Speak Fondly (2015) who backed-up from a Golden Rose second two years ago to win the Flight Stakes for Gai Waterhouse.
Waterhouse also won last year’s Flight Stakes with subsequent Thousand Guineas winner Global Glamour (2016) who was the master trainer’s ninth winner of the Sydney mile classic.
Waterhouse has just one filly in the mix this season with Pandemonium out to atone for a last start ninth in the Tea Rose Stakes when five lengths beaten.
The Sebring filly previously won back-to-back races in August, including an eye-catching mile victory at Warwick Farm.
She didn’t look to enjoy the step down to 1400m in the Tea Rose Stakes, so could be the improver getting out over a mile again in the Flight Stakes on Saturday if accepted.
Pandemonium is currently at $8 in pre-field Flight Stakes odds online through Ladbrokes.com.au, while Champagne Cuddles is the $3 second elect behind Alizee.
Alizee ($2.80) leads early Flight Stakes betting, the Godolphin-raced daughter of Sepoy having won the Tea Rose Stakes a fortnight back by over a length.
That race has proved the form line to follow into the Flight Stakes over the past 30 plus years, including producing five of the past six winners.
The Tea Rose Stakes – Flight Stakes double was last completed by First Seal (2014).
The other early single-figure fancy of the Flight Stakes nominations at $7 is Cellargirl, another Tea Rose Stakes graduate.
Kelly Schweida’s Brisbane-trained More Than Ready filly stepped-up in grade for the Randwick Group 2 and was good late finishing third.
Check out the current Flight Stakes 2017 nominations below, early betting also open now at Ladbrokes.com.au.
2017 Flight Stakes Nominations
Extended until 11am (AEST) – 26/09/2017
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Hcp. Rating|
|3||1x1x3222||CHAMPAGNE CUDDLES||F||3||Bjorn Baker||90|
|4||31×537||I AM EXCITED||F||3||David Pfieffer||77|
|5||6x57130x21||LEGAL GIRL||F||3||Clarry Conners||68|
|6||177||LUVALUVA (NZ)||F||3||John Sargent||57|
|7||15195×45||ONE MORE HONEY||F||3||John P Thompson||78|
|8||359×4119||PANDEMONIUM||F||3||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||70|
|9||674×348||SMOOTH LANDING||F||3||John P Thompson||–|
|10||324×6216||SWEET DEAL||F||3||John P Thompson||66|
|11||643×3||TOUCH OF MINK||F||3||Matthew Smith||–|
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