Chris Waller will be looking to claim the Triple Crown for the two-year-olds with a win in Saturday’s Champagne Stakes at Royal Randwick Racecourse. Shinzo took out the Group 1 Golden Slipper for Waller, while Militarized will be looking for back-to-back wins after taking out the Group 1 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes in stylish fashion.
We’ve got a field of 12 gallopers set to take their place in this year’s edition of the race, with 10 colts and just two fillies lining up. Serving as the grand final for most of these two-year-olds, the Group 1 feature is over the 1600m and has a prize packet of $600,000 on offer.
2023 CHAMPAGNE STAKES ODDS
There is little surprise that online bookmakers have marked Militarize as favourite for this year’s Champagne Stakes at $2.90 after a dominant display last time out. Don Corleone ($4.60) was the runner-up in the Sires’ Produce and is a clear second favourite this weekend, while the Godolphin pair Amur ($8.50) and Tom Kitten ($9) round out the gallopers with early money. The best of the double-figure hopes are Pier Pressure ($11), one of the two fillies engaged for the event, and Bases Loaded ($11), one of the likely leaders.
2023 CHAMPAGNE STAKES SPEED MAP
The Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained pairing of Bases Loaded (10) and Townsend (8) looks the obvious speed in this year’s Champagne Stakes with the former crossing to lead. Tannhauser (1) and Pier Pressure (2) should find perfect positions in behind the speed, leaving Make A Call (4) and Kintyre (5) as the mid-field duo. Amur (9) has been positive in the past but could be forced back due to the awkward draw, and Militarize (7) won’t want to give them too much of a head start from barrier seven.
Continue reading for HorseBetting’s top selections and $100 betting strategy for the 2023 Champagne Stakes.
2023 CHAMPAGNE STAKES FORM & BETTING PREVIEW
It’s too hard to be against Militarize following his breathtaking 3.5-length win in the Sires’ Produce Stakes. He got a perfect steer from Joao Moreira, who takes the reins yet again and will only be needing to find a mid-field sit with some cover throughout the 1600m journey. It’s hard to see anything from that race turning the tables, and with plenty of gallopers having come through the Sires’ form-line to take out this race, Militarize is the only one we can follow from that terrific win.
Tom Kitten is the main danger, and you’re getting a fair price to save on him. He is on the one-week backup from last Saturday’s Listed Fernhill Handicap, and although this looks much tougher, his win was impressive to the eye. He was back towards the rear of the field before Nash Rawiller produced a stunning ride to weave a passage and steer Tom Kitten to his second career win. The mile poses no issue for this son of Harry Angel, and although he may be a better three-year-old of the future, there’s no reason he can’t replicate his performance from last start on Saturday afternoon. He should be stalking the favourite every step of the way, and if there’s a horse that can outsprint Militarize to the wire, it could be Tom Kitten.
Don Corleone continues to be around the minor money in the two-year-old feature events, and you’ve got to think he can do it again based off his run in the ATC Sires’ Produce. He draws gate 11, though, and will need luck to figure in the finish. James McDonald is an ideal booking, but we’re happy to leave Don Corleone in the exotics.
The same can be said for Pier Pressure, Make A Call and Amur. They all have claims but could struggle to get by the favourite.