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Champagne Cuddles has made a compelling case for trainer Bjorn Baker to chase Group One sprint assignments

Champagne Cuddles has made a compelling case for trainer Bjorn Baker to chase Group One sprint assignments during the winter carnival after she broke the track record in the Group Three Gold Coast Guineas.

Champagne Cuddles ($3.40) clocked an amazing 1.07.65 for the 1200m race on Saturday, smashing the previous record by 0.30 seconds, which was set by El Cambio in the 2008 Guineas.

“She’s hard not to love. She’s got a great attitude and a great racing pattern,” Baker said.

“The last thing I said to Corey before I legged him up was ‘Enjoy’ because I was very confident. We’ve had a bit of a flat run and you need these good horses to put their hand up and that’s what she did.”

Baker has to decide whether Champagne Cuddles runs against her own age group in the Group Three Fred Best Classic (1350m) at Doomben on May 26 or take on the elite sprinters in the Group One Kingsford-Smith Cup (1350m) the same day.

“We’ll have a think about it in the next three weeks but her formlines coming into this race were amazing with a second to Trapeze Artist in the Golden Rose and chasing home Alizee in the Flight Stakes,” he said.

Champagne Cuddles had surgery to remove bone chips from a fetlock joint at the end of her last preparation, which forced Baker to miss the autumn carnival and aim her at a Queensland campaign.

“The extra time off she had might be a blessing in disguise,” he said.

Jockey Jeff Lloyd praised the effort of Whypeeo, who made a valiant bid to lead all the way before finishing second, with Marble in third place.

 
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