Bjorn Baker’s plans for a celebratory drink have been justified with Champagne Cuddles’ impressive debut win at Rosehill.
The trainer said the filly’s trackwork had been phenomenal leading up to Saturday’s $150,000 Pierro Plate (1100m).
“I got a cab here hoping I’d be able to drink a bit of champagne and I will,” Baker said.
“I got a massive kick out of that.”
Champagne Cuddles was slow to begin, prompting jockey Jason Collett to urge her forward and sit behind the speed.
A run emerged on the rail at the 300m mark and Collett and Champagne Cuddles got to work, sprinting away to win by 1-1/2 lengths from Ace High, with Darhad third.
Baker said it was all systems go for the Magic Millions Classic in January.
He won that race two years ago with Unencumbered who had three wins under his belt when he took the lion’s share of the $2 million prize.
“We haven’t got enough time to give her as may runs as Unencumbered,” Baker said.
“She’s a naturally athletic filly and she’s carrying a bit of condition today.
“She’s only had the one trial and I think there’s lengths of improvement in her.”
Champagne Cuddles firmed from $8 to $5.50 before the race, with Darhad jumping the $3.10 favourite and Ace High going around at $16.
The win came almost 12 years after Champagne Cuddle’s dam Sky Cuddle won the Group One Emirates Stakes.
Ace High’s trainer David Payne was delighted with the horse’s performance and will now send him to the paddock with a view to autumn’s two-year-old features.
“He’s a super colt,” Payne said.
“There was a lot of merit in the run.”