Champion Stakes 2023
Distance: 2000m | Conditions: WFA| Rail Position: 5m | Track Condition: Good 4
The Champions Stakes looks a terrific race to close out the Cup Carnival, with plenty of horses backing up from the Cox Plate and Caulfield Cup in an attempt to add a Group 1 to their resumes. Let’s try and find the winner!
One clear leader here in Zaaki, who will get a chance to dictate. Prowess and West Wind Blows will settle close to give themselves every chance while Atishu, Duais settle midfield. Heutor will be ridden at the tail alongside Pinstriped and Buckaroo.
1: Zaaki (10)
The nine-year-old marvel is shooting for three Champions Stakes wins in a row here, and based on his Cox Plate effort he’s right in the mix again. Sat on speed and kept on finding only to finish within a length of Romantic Warrior. Should get it all his way in front and be right there in the finish.
2: Heutor (11)
Luckless in the Craven Plate last start and hit the line strongly but it was all too late. Will be fitter for the run, up in distance and a speed to suit will only help him. On his day he can compete at this level and I think he’s overs.
3: Young Werther (6)
Hard one to catch. Won a couple of nice races in a row at double figure odds before returning a sound effort in the Hill Stakes behind Montefilia. Can’t see him beating some of these but can run a nice race at a big price.
4: West Wind Blows (2)
Has done everything right in his two Australian starts and deserves to get a Group 1 under his belt. Was massive in the Turnbull first-up and then was pinched on the line by Without A Fight in the Caulfield Cup. Back to 2000m suits and is clearly the one to beat if he can maintain the level he’s going at.
5: Zeyrek (7)
Nice win in the Craven Plate. Is hard fit but has never dished up anything of note at this level previously and hard to see that changing here.
6: Pinstriped (9)
Outclassed in the Cox Plate as most predicted. This suits better and I think we can see him improve, which he’ll need to if he’s going to be competitive.
7: Buckaroo (8)
Got the first Australian run under his belt in a hotly run King Charles where tempo didn’t suit. Better for the run, gets the rise in distance and can put his best foot forward here. Respect any market support.
8: Montefilia (1)
Won the Hill Stakes well before turning in a disappointing effort in the Caulfield Cup last start. She’s not showing the consistencey she used to, which makes her a tough betting prospect.
9: Duais (3)
Has put together a really nice prep but I don’t know if I can entertain her at the current quote. Didn’t think there was much in her Might and Power run but was luckless in the Cox Plate and can argue she would’ve been right in the finish if things had’ve gone her way. You’ve got to take her on trust based on that effort but still want a better price.
10: Atishu (5)
Waller gave her massive wraps prior to the Empire Stakes and didn’t she deliver. Was enormous closing in off a hot speed to just miss and deservedly gets her chance in this. On the seven day back up and this is harder but she’s racing well.
11: Prowess (4)
Added to her remarkable record with an impressive win in the Crystal Mile last start. This is harder but she ticks every box, is on the up and is undoubtedly amongst the main threats.
Comes out of the two premium form races and if he can replicate either of his performances in those, he’ll win again.
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