THE SPRING CHAMPION STAKES – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
HISTORY: First run in 1971 when won by Gay Icarus. Before 1978 run in autumn and known as Australasian Champion Stakes. In 1983 run over 2100m at Warwick Farm and in 2001 held on Kensington track over 1800m
NOTABLE WINNERS: It’s A Dundeel (2012), Tie The Knot (1997), Nothin’ Leica Dane (1995), Stylish Century (1989), Beau Zam (1987), Sir Dapper (1983), Kingston Town (1979)
* Monaco Consul in 2009 last horse to complete Spring Champion-Victoria Derby double
* Nothin’ Leica Dane also managed feat in 1995, as well as placing in that year’s Melbourne Cup
* No filly has won. Soprana (2002), Constant Flight (1993), Denise’s Joy (1976) and Cap d’Antibes only fillies to place.
PATTERN: Speed to come from Panzer Division and Gai Waterhouse stablemates Valentia and Hampton Court. Fillies First Seal and Press Report should take trail. Sweynesse has established pattern to settle back and run on.
FANCIED RUNNERS: Regarded as two-horse race between First Seal and Sweynesse. First Seal heavily backed once trainer confirmed she would back-up from Flight Stakes win against fillies. Sweynesse unbeaten in four starts and followed traditional path to race.
BEST OF THE OUTSIDERS: Panzer Division only other runner at single figures but represents value as brings weight-for-age form to race.