2018 Champagne Stakes – Preview and Tips
The Champagne Stakes is the penultimate race for two-year-olds this Autumn. They step it up to a mile, and on a good track, this will be a race to watch with interest. Top chances include: Outrageous, Seabrook, Not A Single Cent, El Dorado Dreaming and Long Leaf.
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Here’s the field as they line up for the 2018 Champagne Stakes:
22516 1. Encryption (10), J: H Bowman, W: 56.5 Kgs, 15.00
11064 2. Long Leaf (9), J: K McEvoy, W: 56.5 Kgs, 7.50
X2103 3. Outrageous (3), J: B Avdulla, W: 56.5 Kgs, 5.50
26988 4. Ragged Rascal (13), J: J Parr, W: 56.5 Kgs, 34.00
__510 5. Not A Single Cent (5), J: B Shinn, W: 56.5 Kgs, 5.50
8x251 6. Irukandji (4), J: C Brown, W: 56.5 Kgs, 12.00
36317 7. Bondi (2), J: M Zahra, W: 56.5 Kgs, 11.00
41420 8. Seberate (11), J: T Clark, W: 56.5 Kgs, 20.00
46430 9. Akkadian (6), J: J Childs, W: 56.5 Kgs, 18.00
___14 10. Blazing Issue (8), J: M Walker, W: 56.5 Kgs, 81.00
____1 11. Guerrier (1), J: J Van Overmeire, W: 56.5 Kgs, 21.00
3x421 12. El Dorado Dreaming (7), J: J Collett, W: 54.5 Kgs, 9.50
X3159 13. Seabrook (12), J: D Oliver, W: 54.5 Kgs, 5.50
It’s not the strongest field assembled for a two-year-old Group 1 following the Blue Diamond, Golden Slipper and ATC Sires Produce earlier this year. The Autumn was marked by indifferent conditions with track bias causing issues at Caulfield and Flemington, while soft tracks dominated Sydney prior to the Championships, where, for the first time in ages, we’ve seen decent track conditions at Royal Randwick, to the point of being rated a Good 3, which is unheard of.
So for the Champagne Stakes, those colts and fillies who prefer a firmer track will come into contention, while those who enjoyed the softer conditions previously might find this challenging. Also, the elevation in distance up to a mile (1600m) will suit those looking for extra ground.
She won the ATC Sire Produce the other week as a 100/1 boilover, but El Dorado Dreaming might not be the fluke winner some think she is. That was an impressive victory, and apart from the increase in distance, everything is much the same as it was a fortnight ago.
If not for getting a clear passage late, Outrageous might have improved his chances some what in the Sires Produce, but the two in front of him (El Dorado Dreaming and Oohood) had the race sewn up by then. It was an encouraging run, which has seen him come into equal favourite for this year’s Champagne.
I like both Encryption and Long Leaf. Their form earlier in the Autumn was outstanding. If they can keep their mind on the job, then one of them could potentially increase their value upon life after racing.
Seabrook the filly found it a bit tough in the Sires Produce, and while she finished ninth, she was only three lengths from the winner. On that run, I probably couldn’t back her, though the market suggests she could be right in it.
Another to fail in the ATC Sires Produce was Not A Single Cent. The Melbourne colt who had beaten a few of his rivals in the VRC Sires Produce at only his second start, found the going much tougher in Sydney. He’d need to go up a notch to feature here. The market says he can. In form Blake Shinn to ride.
Another Melbourne colt to watch is Irukandji, who is from the first crop of juveniles from former star galloper Dundeel (It’s A Dundeel). Winner at his last start at Rosehill (Group 3), and prior to that some good runs in Melbourne. One to keep an eye on.
The Snowden colt Bondi has just broken maiden ranks, and his run in the ATC Sires Produce was solid. Whether he can break through for a Group 1 so soon remains the unknown quantity. I’m not sure he can.
This time around, I’m going to go with Long Leaf to take the Champagne Stakes, with El Dorado Dreaming to back up her Sires Produce win for second, with Irukandji back in third.
Long Leaf, El Dorado Dreaming, Irukandji
Encryption at $15.00
Champagne Stakes – check the odds on William Hill