Off the back of her impressive win last week Victorian filly Veuvelicious has opened up the favourite for the final leg of the 2yo Triple Crown, the Champagne Stakes. At $3.10, Veuvelicious shades Peggy Jean who last start, took out the middle leg of the series when victorious in the G1 Sires Produce Stakes. The Gerald Ryan trained filly is $3.30, just in advance of her stable-mate Bachman at $5.00. The only other runner in the field ten under double figure odds in Adelaide visitor Go Indy Go at $6.00
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1. SCRATCH ME LUCKY – B Shinn (4)
The Paul Perry trained Snitzel colt has bumped into a couple of smart ones in each of his recent starts. He had a nice run in the G3 The Schweppes (1400m) but was no match for the winner Bachman late, running second (2 ¼ lengths) before pushing Peggy Jean to a half a length when again second in the G1 Sires Produce a fortnight ago. As he did last start, he has drawn well and will get a good run in transit but hard to see him turning the table on his two previous successors.
2. ZULULAND – S Baster (7)
Winner of the G2 VRC Sires Produce Stakes (1400m), when hitting the line in good style from near last on the turn at Flemington, this well bred son of Fastnet Rock had a month off after that victory before lining up in the G1 Sires Produce at Randwick a fortnight ago. He got back near last from a wide draw and made steady ground in the straight, running fifth (6.7 lengths) behind Peggy Jean. The David Hayes running should be much better on a drier track, for stepping up to the mile, and for having had that run under his belt. Capable of a bold showing at odds.
3. BACHMAN – J Bowman (3)
Got the right run from on the turn when too good in a Restricted race (1300m) at Warwick Farm two starts ago, defeating Double Happy by a comfortably length and a half. Off of that effort, the All American colt then stepped out as the 9/2 favourite in the G3 The Schweppes (1400m) and didn’t let punters down, finishing strongly down the centre of the heavy rated track to win by 2 ¼ lengths. Second and third in the race, Scratch Me Lucky and Veuvelicious, have franked the form very well with respective efforts since. Improving rapidly with each start and the mile looks ideal. Will be very hard to beat.
4. KUMAON – K McEvoy (1)
Snuck home from last along the fence in the G2 Pago Pago Stakes (1200m) when resuming from an eleven week spell, running a head second to Time For War. The Darley runner’s next and most recent start came in the G1 Sires Produce where, after drawing the widest gate in the field of eleven, he settled last but this time, wasn’t able to make up much ground in the run home and finished sixth (6 ¾ lengths) from Peggy Jean. Drawn much better here and a drier surface will help (ran third to smart Fighting Sun earlier in the year on a good track) but taking on a smart field here.
5. PROXY – C Reith (8)
Wyong Trainer Alan Denham has entered his Authorized gelding for this race after he was successful at Kensington just over a week ago. That was his first win from three starts and to most, it was unexpected given he started at 25/1. He is improving with each of his runs but not at a rate that would see him win a race like at this level off a mid-week victory.
6. PEGGY JEAN – N Rawiller (10)
She returned from a successful first preparation that saw her claim the lucrative Inglis Classic (1200m), with a head second to the promising Bring Me The Maid in the G2 Magic Night Stakes. She then by-passed the Golden Slipper, in which Bring Me The Maid finished third, to concentrate and on the G1 Sires Produce and it was a move that paid dividends. Camped behind the speed turning, she shouldered her way clear topping the rise before fighting out the finish with Scratch Me Lucky and prevailing on the line by a neck. Drawn a little awkwardly here but is yet to run poorly, looks perfectly prepared for this third up from a spell and capable on all conditions.
7. LUCKY RAQUIE – G Schofield (9)
Winner of the Listed Black Opal Stakes three starts back, the Encosta De Lago filly then contested the better class of races and lined up in the G2 Reisling Stakes and G1 Sire Produce. On a good track in the Reisling, she performed well and finished right behind Earthquake and Mossfun – who subsequently quinelled the Golden Slipper, finishing fifth (2.2 lengths) unfortunately though, she was nowhere near effect on the heavy track in the Sires Produce and laboured through the going, finishing eighth (12.7 lengths) behind Peggy Jean. Best efforts have clearly been on good/dead rated track but even if those conditions prevail, from out in gate nine against a quality field, she’ll have some work to do.
8. VEUVELICIOUS – D Oliver (5)
After winning a midweek Lakeside 2yo race by five lengths, the daughter of Northern Meteor travelled to Sydney and lined up in the G3 Schweppes (1400m). She started joint favourite for the race with Bachman at 9/2 and from barrier eight, got back to worse than midfield in the run. The Brent Stanley trained filly then peeled wide rounding the turn and made good ground on the heavy track over the last furlong to secure third (2.5 lengths) behind Bachman and Scratch Me Lucky. She then came out in last week’s Listed Fernhill Handicap and dominated her rivals, winning going away by 3.3 lengths with Carless in second spot. Each of her last three runs have been very good and she’s a filly of great ability. Should get a lovely run from gate 5 and have her chance to be involved in the finish.
9. GO INDY GO – C Schofield (6)
Leon McDonald will bring this Bernardini filly across from Adelaide with a solid record that includes, at her most recent start a fortnight ago, a commanding 3.3 length win in the Sires Produce (1400m). She drew well last start and was simply too good for her rivals. Faces a much stiffer test here but would respect the stable’s decision to make the journey across with her.
10. UNKNOWN DESTINY – T Berry (2)
Recorded two win on country NSW tracks before Scone Trainer John Ramsay, decided to have a go at some of the big races in town. The Zizou filly lined up in the G2 Magic Night Stakes and finished tenth of fifteen before running ninth of eleven in the G1 Sires Produce last fortnight. Both runs were on heavy tracks but would think it’ll take more than a drier surface to see her winning here.
Favourite Veuvelicious probably finds herself in front here unless some others have a chance of plan to their recent racing pattern. She was very strong in the Fernhill and meets Bachman, who beat her by 2.3 lengths at her previous start, 1.5kgs better. Bachman was impressive and his connections will not be bothered by the weather forecast of more rain this weekend in Sydney given the way he handled soft conditions last start. From gate three, he should be close enough if the pace is not entirely genuine to figure in the finish. Peggy Jean has drawn wide and probably gets back. As mentioned above, the pace of the race may make it tough for her but she toughed it out well in the Sires and as always given the impression that the mile will suit. Not surprised to see some early support at big odds for Zululand ($34 in to $21). He was good first up on heavy and if the rain doesn’t arrive and the track gets firmer, he could be the blow-out chance.
- PEGGY JEAN