The Group 1 VRC Champions Mile has attracted a small field of seven runners who will do battle over the 1600m at Flemington on Saturday afternoon, with four runners from the Cox Plate set to clash for the second time in as many weeks.
Mr Brightside, Alligator Blood and the unlucky Fangirl – who finished second, third and seventh, respectively, behind Romantic Warrior in last week’s Moonee Valley feature – will all meet again in the Champions Mile, and all three of them are fancied in the market.
Fangirl has opened as the race favourite at +150 with online bookmakers after running up backsides for most of the straight in the Cox Plate.
Her form is otherwise stellar, as the Chris Waller-trained mare defeated Mr Brightside in the Group 1 King Charles III Stakes at Randwick two starts back.
In her only start at the Flemington mile, she destroyed her rivals in the Carbine Club Stakes as a three-year-old, and after four strong performances this preparation, she returns to headquarters looking to keep her undefeated record at the track intact.
After going down in a tight photo in the Cox Plate, the Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Mr Brightside (+200) will be looking to bounce back from his first defeat in Victoria since February.
The son of Bullbars will be seeking back-to-back victories at the Flemington mile having claimed the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes three starts back.
The Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott stable has chosen to target the Champions Mile instead of the Champions Stakes with Alligator Blood after his third-place finish in the Cox Plate, where he appeared to peak on his run 100m from the winning post.
From five starts at Flemington, the son of All Too Hard has never finished outside the top two, but he currently sits on the third line of betting at +220.
Pride Of Jenni (+1100) will be on the seven-day backup after claiming the Group 1 Empire Rose Stakes thanks to a daring front-running ride by Declan Bates last Saturday.
The Ciaron Maher & David Eustace-trained mare will be the unknown factor going into the Champions Mile and is expected to set a hot tempo once again.
The VRC Champions Mile will be race seven on the Flemington program and is scheduled to jump at 4:30pm AEDT.
2023 Champions Mile Final Field