2023 VRC Champions Stakes Field & Betting: West Wind Blows Favourite

November 8, 2023

2023 VRC Champions Stakes Field & Betting: West Wind Blows Favourite

The Simon & Ed Crisford-trained UK raider West Wind Blows is tipped to return to winning form third-up down under as firm favourite in 2023 Champions Stakes betting at Flemington this weekend.

Zaaki | Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos | Races.com.au

Zaaki is the dual defending champion in the 2023 VRC Champions Stakes field at Flemington on Saturday. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos.

The four-day Melbourne Cup Carnival comes to a close on Saturday at headquarters with the card highlighted by three elite level races including the marquee event – the Group 1 $3 million Champions Stakes (2000m).

This year’s Champions Stakes field features a top-class line-up of 11 stars with the latest markets at Ladbrokes.com.au led by the international visitor West Wind Blows at $2.60.

The five-year-old son of Teofilo is third-up and fit down under now well acclimatised and coming off two good seconds against the best of the spring.

He was runner-up fresh to last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Gold Trip at this track and trip in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m).

Then he finished second best by a narrow margin to his former stablemate, Without A Fight, when up in distance for the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 21.

Without A Fight franked that form on Tuesday with his barnstorming two length victory in the 163rd edition of the Group 1 $8.41 million Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) becoming the first to do the double since Ethereal in 2001.

Now the markets suggest West Wind Blows can further frank the Caulfield Cup form when he comes back in distance with Jamie Spencer continuing associations from a favourable barrier two draw.

In an open market a further four runners are at single-figure Champions Stakes odds this spring including the $5.50 second elects Prowess and Duais drawn in barriers four and three respectively.

The New Zealand form from across the Tasman has been stacking-up well in Australia this spring and that could continue with the Roger James & Robert Wellwood-trained Prowess going well.

A winner of eight of her 11 starts to date the four-year-old daughter of Proisir still has plenty of upside and is a proven Group 1 winner in Australia.

She took out the Vinery Stud Stakes over the 2000m at Rosehill by over three lengths in the autumn and comes off a Group 2 Crystal Mile (1600m) victory at The Valley on Cox Plate Day.

Fitter now and back up to 2000m she looks a danger especially with Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup winning jockey Mark Zahra retaining the ride and full of confidence.

Damien Oliver continues his swansong Cup Carnival in the Champions Stakes aboard the talented Edward Cummings-trained Duais.

The six-year-old daughter of Shamus Award hasn’t won a race since completing the Group 1 Australian Cup – Tancred Stakes double in March last year.

She has been racing closer to her best this prep however with back-to-back thirds to Alligator Blood in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes and Caulfield Stakes before a slashing Cox Plate fourth at 30/1 only a length off the winner Romantic Warrior a fortnight back.

Rounding out the hopes under $10 for the win are the Chris Waller-trained Atishu ($7) and Annabel Neasham’s dual defending champion Zaaki ($7.50).

Waller ran second and third in the Melbourne Cup with Soulcombe and his triple-figure roughie Sheraz filling the placings in the world’s richest handicap and will be hoping his good run continues on Stakes Day.

He is yet to prepared a Champions Stakes winner but is well-represented by Empire Rose Stakes runner-up Atishu and fellow Group 1 winning mare Montefilia ($23) in the mix.

Zaaki meanwhile lines-up looking for his third win in the event as a nine-year-old from out in gate 10 with Jamie Kah hoping to deliver the fairy-tale on the evergreen veteran.

The 2023 Champions Stakes is scheduled to run as Flemington Race 8 at 5:10pm (AEDT) as the penultimate event on the card with full markets thanks to Ladbrokes.com.au available here.

2023 Champions Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw

No Last 10 Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight Probable Weight Penalty Hcp Rating
1 41x217x326 ZAAKI (GB) Annabel Neasham Ms Jamie Kah 10 59kg 116
2 0653216×06 HUETOR (FR) Peter & Paul Snowden Kerrin McEvoy 11 59kg 110
3 746×403116 YOUNG WERTHER (NZ) Danny O’Brien Billy Egan 6 59kg 106
4 13×3123222 WEST WIND BLOWS (IRE) Simon & Ed Crisford Jamie Spencer 2 59kg 110
5 1735×45401 ZEYREK (FR) Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes Ben Melham 7 59kg 108
6 34113×2150 PINSTRIPED Enver Jusufovic Ben Allen 9 59kg 107
7 216x143x27 BUCKAROO (GB) Joseph O’Brien Blake Shinn 8 59kg 107
8 5229×86310 MONTEFILIA Chris Waller Michael Dee 1 57kg 112
9 0x43x79334 DUAIS Edward Cummings Damien Oliver 3 57kg 112
10 x216Px5202 ATISHU (NZ) Chris Waller James McDonald 5 57kg 110
11 3311111×21 PROWESS (NZ) Roger James & Robert Wellwood Mark Zahra 4 56.5kg 110

Table Credit: Racing Australia. 


THINK. IS THIS A BET YOU REALLY WANT TO PLACE?

For free and confidential support call 1800 858 858 or visit gamblinghelponline.org.au.

Racing fields and data are copyright 2011-2021 © Racing Australia Pty Ltd (RA) (and other parties working with it).
Racing materials, including fields, form and results, is subject to copyright which is owned by RA and other parties working with it. Full copyright notice.

Spring Racing

Cox Plate 2024 Calls for JJ At...

Melbourne Cup 2024 Talks for B...

Melbourne Cup 2024 Talks for Brisbane Cup Winner Alegron

Talks of the first Tuesday of November now surround former Godolphin galloper...

Military Mission Fires in 2023...

Military Mission Fires in 2023 Zipping Classic Results

The Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained Melbourne Cup graduate Military...

Zipping Classic 2023 Field �...

Zipping Classic 2023 Field & Odds Update: Vow And Declare Defends Title

Danny O’Brien’s 2019 Melbourne Cup winner Vow And Declare continues to show a...

Overpass Heads 2023 Winterbott...

Overpass Heads 2023 Winterbottom Stakes Field & Betting Markets

Bjron Baker’s The Everest performer Overpass is tipped to return to winning...

Horse Racing Today

The Q22 2024 Results: Fawkner ...

2024 Stradbroke Handicap Resul...

2024 Stradbroke Handicap Results: Three-Year-Old Filly Stefi Magnetica Beats Bella Nipotina

In an incredible finish to Queensland’s best race, Bjorn Baker’s...

Stradbroke Calls For 2024 The ...

Stradbroke Calls For 2024 The Goodwood Winner Benedetta

Brisbane’s Stradbroke Handicap is on the agenda this winter for Jason Warren’s...

Numerian Wins Hollindale Stake...

Numerian Wins Hollindale Stakes 2024 First-Up, Firms in Doomben Cup Betting

Trainer Annabel Neasham made it four straight wins in the A.D. Hollindale...

2024 SA Derby Winner Coco Sun ...

2024 SA Derby Winner Coco Sun Aims at Queensland Oaks

Brisbane’s Queensland Oaks is a likely winter target for the talented Tony...

Race Results

The Q22 2024 Results: Fawkner Park Bolts Home Ahead of Spring Cups

2024 Stradbroke Handicap Results: Three-Year-Old Filly Stefi Magnetica Beats Bella Nipotina

Cox Plate 2024 Calls for JJ Atkins Winner Broadsiding

Melbourne Cup 2024 Talks for Brisbane Cup Winner Alegron

Stradbroke Calls For 2024 The Goodwood Winner Benedetta

Race Previews

2024 Stradbroke Handicap Tips & Best Bets

Brisbane Cup 2024 Field & Odds Update: Mostly Cloudy Top Elect

2024 The Q22 Field & Betting Update: Fawkner Park Favourite

2024 Stradbroke Handicap Field, Barriers & Betting Update

2024 JJ Atkins Field & Betting Update: Broadsiding Odds-On Favourite

Fields & Form

2024 Stradbroke Handicap Tips & Best Bets

Brisbane Cup 2024 Field & Odds Update: Mostly Cloudy Top Elect

2024 The Q22 Field & Betting Update: Fawkner Park Favourite

2024 Stradbroke Handicap Field, Barriers & Betting Update

2024 JJ Atkins Field & Betting Update: Broadsiding Odds-On Favourite