The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
Chris Waller’s classy young colt Militarize took advantage of a firming Randwick track completing a Group 1 double with an impressive victory in Saturday’s 2023 Champagne Stake results.
The gun son of Dundeel jumped the short-priced favourite at $2.05 in the Group 1 $600,000 Champagne Stakes (1600m) on All Aged Stakes Day and did not disappoint the punters.
With the course rated Heavy at the start of the meeting, by the time Race 7 rolled around the track was upgraded to a Soft (7) for the two-year-old’s feature of the day.
The ‘Magic Man’, Brazilian hoop Joao Moreira, was at his brilliant best again guiding Militarize to an emphatic 1.7 length victory over the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained roughie Bases Loaded ($17).
Waterhouse & Bott also prepared third past the post with another 16/1 roughie, Townsend, finishing a distant 2.66 lengths off the winner to complete the Champagne Stakes trifecta.
Moreira stayed cool under pressure despite finding himself three-wide the trip without cover before rounding up the field and charging home in style.
“That proves I was on such a good horse,” Moreira told Sky Thoroughbred Central post-win.
“He impressed me with the way how he attacked the line.
“He deserved the win because he’s a trier and no doubt about it you can’t get any better.
“He’s a good horse, he’s given me that feeling before. I went to the race with plenty of confidence.”
With the win Militarize became the first horse since King’s Legacy (2020) to complete the ATC Sires’ Produce – Champagne Stakes double.
The now three-time winner posted a big 3.54 length upset at 25/1 in the Inglis Sires’ on Heavy going a fortnight back before an equally impressive win in the Champagne out over a mile for the first time.
For Waller the win was his first in the final leg of the Sydney 2YO Triple Crown, which he completed as a trainer this autumn thanks to Militarize’s double and the Golden Slipper Stakes success by Shinzo.
“I haven’t put that much thought into it but as soon as you said it, as you can tell it makes me a little bit emotional,” Waller said of completing the Triple Crown.
“We haven’t done anything different, just looked after these great crop of two-year-olds, and they’ve looked after us haven’t they?”
“He was in a class of his own in my opinion, which I can say.
“But realistically he’s a decent horse.
“He was three-wide today, didn’t have any cover.
“Joao (Moreira) didn’t panic. The most exciting part is we haven’t pushed him yet.”
After rolling the field by the big margin there looks a big future ahead for Militarize who is turning out to be a very serious colt ahead of the spring carnival later in the year.
“We’re certainly looking forward to the spring,” Waller said.
Moreira agreed adding he thought Militarize could even develop into a competitive 2000m horse in events like the Group 1 $5 million Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) in October.
“I think the sky is the limit for this horse,” he said.
“Based on the way of how he has done it today, mile is not a problem and I can see him even running 2000m or maybe even further.
“Just by the way how he travels underneath, respecting the rider. He will be such a versatile type of horse.”
It was a day for favourite backers at Randwick with the Clayton Douglas-trained The Everest winning three-year-old Giga Kick saluting in the next with a 1.66 length victory in the Group 1 $1.5 million All Aged Stakes (1400m).
2023 Champagne Stakes Results & Finishing Order
|1||2||MILITARIZE (NZ)||Chris Waller||Joao Moreira||6||56.5kg||$2.05F|
|2||5||BASES LOADED||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Tim Clark||1.7L||8||56.5kg||$17|
|3||9||TOWNSEND||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Brett Prebble||2.66L||7||56.5kg||$17|
|4||4||TOM KITTEN||James Cummings||Nash Rawiller||4.09L||5||56.5kg||$6.50|
|5||6||MAKE A CALL||Peter & Paul Snowden||Tom Marquand||4.38L||3||56.5kg||$19|
|6||1||DON CORLEONE||Peter & Paul Snowden||James McDonald||4.42L||9||56.5kg||$4.40|
|7||8||KINTYRE||Gary Portelli||Craig Williams||8.5L||4||56.5kg||$31|
|8||11||PIER PRESSURE||Kris Lees||Dylan Gibbons (a)||10.31L||1||54.5kg||$16|
|9||12||MAH ALI||Benjamin Smith||Robbie Dolan||10.74L||2||54.5kg||$101|
|10||7||FELIX THE SCAT||Peter & Will Hulbert||Brenton Avdulla||18.97L||10||56.5kg||$31|
|3||AMUR||James Cummings||Chad Schofield||0|
|10||TANNHAUSER||Chris Waller||Jason Collett||0|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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