Form analyst, RIC CHAPMAN, looks at every runner in Saturday’s Group 1 the $3m Champions Stakes with horse racing tips for the first four. Read on to see how he maps – he has included the potential for a damp track in his thoughts. Good luck!
T; Mick Price & Michael Kent / J: Mark Zahra (59kg)
Superstar but gee he must be getting tired of seeing the rump of Anamoe. Chased him home at past two starts when a narrow 2nd in the 2000m Caulfield Stakes at Gr 1 level, then ran a cracker getting home late for 2nd in the Gr 1 Cox Plate behind him. Suited this track and has an outstanding record here. Also thrives in the mud. Can turn the tables.
T: Annabel Neasham / J: Jamie Kah (59kg)
Such a wonderful galloper who might get this trip out this time. He looks the only leader and if left alone, on a damp track, no surprise to see him explode away once the straighten. Anamoe has had his measure this journey previously but the race maps in his favour this time.
T: Annabel Neasham / J; Nash Rawiller (59kg)
Goes well this trip and track but the grade has proven too brutal for him this time up. Place show.
T: John O’Shea / J: Ben Melham (59kg)
Not likely to make a contest of this although can handle the mud. Is 4th up here.
T: Mick Price & Michael Kent / J: Damien Oliver (59kg)
Good, solid handicapper at this trip and is consistent. But this is a leap of faith too far for him. Will get run over.
T: Michael Moroney / J: John Allen (59kg)
Another very good handicapper who is just not suited at this WFA scale, not at Gr 1 level. Does like it wet but this is too hard.
T: James Cummings /J: James McDonald (58.5kg)
Champion galloper now winner of 8 Gr 1 races and past four on the trot. Beats up on these horses week in and week out. Loves 2000m and is building a great wet track record too. Already won $10million in prize money and should go close to adding another $1.8m to his bucket load.
T: Chris Waller/ J: Brenton Avdulla (56.5kg)
Tough mare, runs on hard no matter the opposition who will be in this all the way. Doesn’t win often but always tries her heart out and invariably is in the money. Is very fit. Should be close to the front most of the way.
T: Andrew Forsman / J: Tim Clark (56.5kg)
Absolute swimmer whose last start was a runaway 5 lengths winner at Gr 1 level in NZ in mud up to her hocks. Is getting better with racing, especially on wet tracks. Should make presence felt.
T: Team Freedman / J: Craig Williams (51kg)
Lightly raced but highly gifted. Should keep Zaaki honest up front as he likes to be near the pace too. Raced like that, kicked clear at the 200m and was run down on the line by super NZ 3YO Sharp ‘N’ Smart in the Gr 1 2000m Spring Champion Stakes for 3YOs. With his light weight he should be competitive.
T: Andrew Forsman /J: Michael Dee (51kg)
Another gifted 3YO. Strung together three solid wins in weaker grade all on wet ground before a gritty 4th in the Gr 1 VRC Derby over 2500m last start. Freshened for this but it is a very strong race.