2018 Moet & Chandon Spring Champion Stakes
Royal Randwick Racecourse
Saturday 6th October 2018
Race 7: 4.00pm (AEST)
2000 metres, 3yo colts and fillies
1311 1. THINKIN’ BIG (7), J: TIM CLARK, W: 56.5 KGS, 3.40
61112 2. TARKA (2), J: JAMES MCDONALD, W: 56.5 KGS, 8.00
7X443 3. IRUKANDJI (5), J: TOMMY BERRY, W: 56.5 KGS, 26.00
2141 4. ARAMAYO (1), J: TYE ANGLAND, W: 56.5 KGS, 7.00
63132 5. DEALMAKER (11), J: DAMIEN OLIVER, W: 56.5 KGS, 7.00
59X11 6. MICKEY BLUE EYES (10), J: REGAN BAYLISS, W: 56.5 KGS, 9.50
21928 7. CLOAK (13), J: JOSHUA PARR, W: 56.5 KGS, Scratched
7117 8. VISAO (9), J: JASON COLLETT, W: 56.5 KGS, 21.00
11563 9. HOME GROUND (8), J: JAY FORD, W: 56.5 KGS, 51.00
X4313 10. PURPLE SECTOR (4), J: SAM WEATHERLEY, W: 56.5 KGS, 9.50
4156 11. MAID OF HEAVEN (6), J: MS RACHEL KING, W: 54.5 KGS, 11.00
11 12. FRANKELY AWESOME (12), J: COREY BROWN, W: 54.5 KGS, 8.50
12514 13. PANZERFAUST (3), J: ANDREW ADKINS, W: 54.5 KGS, 41.00
Form and Predictions
In past years, the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes has proved to be a reliable guide heading deeper into the Australian Spring Carnival. However, I will go on record and declare this years field to be the weakest assembly of three year olds in a very long time.
Maybe it’s the timing of the race, so soon in the Spring, or is it perhaps that Australian trainers are gearing their horses more toward sprinting races, leaving a vacuum in the middle distance and staying races, such as this one – over 2000m.
I believe this to be true, because that’s where the money is, and also where the future lies for stallion and broodmare prospects here in Australia.
For what it’s worth, there are possibly four or five chances in this race, and apart from one horse in the betting (Thinkin’ Big), the race remains relatively evenly spread among the others.
Let’s start with the likely favourite: THINKIN’ BIG. He’s a last start winner at Rosehill two weeks back (see video below), beating one of his rivals here (Tarka) in a race where I backed these two the other way round. Can race on the speed and looks like a VRC Derby prospect. From the gun sire High Chaparral, he’s the one to beat.
TARKA was the form horse prior to his defeat in the Gloaming, but still showed enough in that race to warrant a huge chance. If he can race handier and be there at the top of the home straight, he could cause concern with a long sustained run. He’ll fight it out for first and second I reckon.
The Chris Waller colt DEALMAKER might be worth a look. Raced well in the Stan Fox Stakes (see video below) and has top jockey Damien Oliver aboard. Strangely, Oliver is riding in Sydney this weekend, and is foregoing his usual ride on Grunt, who is facing off against Winx in the Turnbull Stakes down in Melbourne. Does he not think he can beat Winx? Haha. His ride in this race is a definite place prospect.
ARAMAYO is the Godolphin colt by British sire Poets Voice and looks to have upside. Untested in the rarified atmosphere of Group 1 racing but does have form, pedigree and credentials to warrant a serious look. Has scored the inside barrier too, so that will help.
Victorian colt MICKEY BLUE EYES has won its last two starts fresh up in a new preparation. He’s beaten a couple of decent types in Gem Song and Prince Of Caviar (the son of former top sprinting mare Black Caviar), but goes up in class for this race. Will be an interested spectator.
Of the fillies, the good oil could be on MAID OF HEAVEN and FRANKELY AWESOME, the latter a progeny of the highly rated British stallion and former star Frankel. Both are up in grade and distance, so those would be my two queries.
Betting Gods Picks
Thinkin’ Big, Tarka, Dealmaker
Video Reference Guide
Stan Fox Stakes (Tarka, Irukandji, Dealmaker)
Gloaming Stakes (Thinkin’ Big, Tarka, Irukandji, Panzerfaust)