The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
The Chris Waller-trained Militarize is clear favourite to keep the Group 1 autumn wins coming when the last start Inglis Sires’ champ lines-up over a mile in the 2023 Champagne Stakes field on Saturday.
The final elite level races of the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival take place at Royal Randwick this weekend on All Aged Stakes Day including the two-year-olds facing off in the Group 1 $600,000 Champagne Stakes (1600m).
The event is the final leg of the Sydney 2YO Triple Crown and has the Sires’ winner Militarize leading markets at $2.20 and firming through Ladbrokes.com.au to do the double last completed by King’s Legacy (2020).
The Dundeel colt was huge on a Heavy (9) track here a fortnight back scoring at upset at 25/1 in with a 3.54 length romp home in the Group 1 Inglis Sires’ (1400m).
That was a massive improvement off his luckless Golden Slipper 13th and he will only take benefit from the run going up an extra furlong on Saturday for the Champagne Stakes.
The top elect gets the run of the race from barrier seven with the ‘Magic Man’ Joao Moreira retaining the ride.
Waller chases his maiden Champagne Stakes success and also saddles-up the rails-drawn Tannhauser ($21) with the fellow Dundeel colt up notable in grade after a fourth in the Listed Fernhill Handicap (1600m) on Easter Saturday.
The distant runner-up in the Sires’, the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Don Corleone, is dubbed the “danger” again this weekend drawing out wide in gate 11 for jockey James McDonald.
The consistent Extreme Choice colt was runner-up in Melbourne’s Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) back in February before a Slipper fourth and his second in the Inglis Sires’.
Proven on all going the versatile up-and-comer occupies the second line of Champagne Stakes betting at $4.40 to turn the tables on his last start conqueror.
Co-trainer Peter Snowden has a terrific record in the race having prepared five previous winners including two of the last three taking it out with King’s Legacy (2020) and Captivant (2021) in partnership with his son Paul.
The Snowden’s have fellow Extreme Choice colt Make A Call ($23) in the Champagne Stakes field looking to break his maiden status at career start number eight with Queen Elizabeth Stakes winning jockey Tom Marquand to ride.
Make A Call has been consistent against some good horses this campaign without winning including his narrow second in the Fernhill over the mile last weekend.
Outside of the dominant duo no other Champagne Stakes hopefuls are under $10 for the win.
The next best in the markets at more generous Champagne Stakes odds include the James Cummings-trained stablemates Tom Kitten ($11) and Amur ($12) both coming off lead-up victories.
Harry Angel colt Tom Kitten is on the quick back-up after winning the Fernhill at the track and distance last Saturday on a Heavy (8) course.
Snitzel colt Amur meanwhile was good franking the Melbourne form off a Group 2 VRC Sires’ third winning the Group 3 TL Baillieu Handicap (1400m) with 59kg on March 25.
He has been kept fresh since and comes back to 56.5kg at set weights on Saturday.
2023 Champagne Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Probable Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||14242||DON CORLEONE||Peter & Paul Snowden||James McDonald||11||56.5kg|
|2||1301||MILITARIZE (NZ)||Chris Waller||Joao Moreira||7||56.5kg|
|3||11931||AMUR||James Cummings||Chad Schofield||9||56.5kg|
|4||4151||TOM KITTEN||James Cummings||Nash Rawiller||6||56.5kg|
|5||1335||BASES LOADED||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Tim Clark||10||56.5kg|
|6||4×326342||MAKE A CALL||Peter & Paul Snowden||Tom Marquand||4||56.5kg|
|7||53×12||FELIX THE SCAT||Peter & Will Hulbert||Brenton Avdulla||12||56.5kg|
|8||90×6125||KINTYRE||Gary Portelli||Craig Williams||5||56.5kg|
|9||13||TOWNSEND||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Brett Prebble||8||56.5kg|
|10||304||TANNHAUSER||Chris Waller||Jason Collett||1||56.5kg|
|11||353||PIER PRESSURE||Kris Lees||Dylan Gibbons (a)||2||54.5kg|
|12||4||MAH ALI||Benjamin Smith||3||54.5kg|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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