The High Chaparral colt faces the sternest test of his career to date in his maiden G1 appearance. That has not deterred punters, with the Waterhouse/Bott trained colt the best supported in early trading at the $3.50 opening quote. Starting his career late in the 2YO season, he scored victory on debut in an 1100m set weights maiden on a Heavy 9 at Canterbury. Finishing 3rd when second-up at 1200m, the colt has since shown the appreciation of getting out further in trip. A stylish all the way winner at Rosehill over 1500m rounded out his 2YO term and kept fresh was then set for two trials to tighten for the Spring features. The second of those trials was a tidy effort when looking a nice horse in the making. Returning in the G2 Gloaming Stakes at Rosehill over 1800m, Tim Clark rolled straight to the front from barrier 5 and was able to score an impressive 2.5 length victory. Clark stays aboard and the rise to 2000m looks to be right up his alley.
David Payne knows what is required to win this race having prepared the winner of the 2017 edition in Ace High. Tarka will come into the Spring Champion on a similar prep used for Ace High, with runs in the Stan Fox, followed by the Gloaming and then this G1 contest. After claiming a narrow victory in a BM66 at the mile under 61kg, the All Too Hard colt then went to the Stan Fox and after settling mid-field was produced with a perfectly timed challenge to arrive for the win, with subsequent Golden Rose winner The Autumn Sun finishing 3rd. Sent to the Gloaming at 1800m, the colt was sent to the post as favourite from gate 1 and after settling in the run just behind the speed couldn’t reel in Thinkin’ Big to finish 2.5 lengths in arrears. The 2000m should be little problem for the colt and Payne has taken the decision to add blinkers for the first time, which looks set sharpen the colt after looking to hit a flat point in the run.
Given one run at 2YO in a set weights maiden over 1200m back in April, the Pins colt was sent back to the paddock to be given more time. Returning early in the season in a 1300m maiden, he didn’t show much but did finish the closing stages in good order. Second-up into a maiden at the mile at Newcastle, he was well supported in the market and there was plenty to like in the way he found the line. Breaking the maiden tag at Kembla at 1500m, Tye Angland as up and settling mid-field when asked to produce a sprint he quickly put his rivals to the sword to go on and score a five length victory. Back out to the mile in the Dulcify Quality last start, he was under 53kg and never saw daylight. Trapped in the ruck he was probing for runs that never opened and the 2.6 length margin that shows as defeat is far from indicative of how much he appeared to have to offer. This guy goes in the black-book and a solid performance would be no surprise.
After recording just one win at Randwick, he gets the title of Track Specialist as he is the only runner in the field to have tasted success at the track in a field where 6 of the runners have not even had a start at Sydney’s premier track. A winner of two races in five career starts, the colt has met some handy performers along the way. Starting his career at Hawkesbury in the 1300m Clarendon Stakes, he was attacking the line strongly in an eye-catching debut to finish a long neck 2nd to Graff. Two unplaced starts followed, including a 9th when setting the tempo in front in a race taken out by The Autumn Sun. Sent to the paddock, he returned over 1300m at Bendigo to break the maiden status. Given a shot in the Listed Dulcify quality at the mile, he was again charging home in the closing stages to arrive for a nice win. With the breeding to suggest the distance will be no concern, the wide gate should not be an issue for his pattern.
Held at Group 1 level, the Spring Champion Stakes is restricted to 3 Year Olds and is held at set weights with colts & geldings to carry 56.5kg and fillies 54.5kg. It is one of two races on the Australian G1 racing calendar held under those conditions at 2000m, the other being the Rosehill Guineas in the Autumn.
The race was first held in 1971 as a principal race when Gay Icarus was successful. It has been held at Randwick and over 2000m since its inception apart from 1983 when it was held at Warwick Farm over 2100m and in 2001 when it was held on the inner Kensington track at Randwick over 1800m.
The winner of the Gloaming Stakes and the Dulcify Quality both earn ballot exemptions for this race which was first held under the name of the Australasian Champion Stakes. The name was changed in 1978 to its current title of Spring Champion Stakes.
In 2018 the race will offer prizemoney of $500,000 with the winner to receive $287,000. The 2017 winner was the David Payne trained Ace High when ridden by Tye Angland. Other past winners include Vanbrugh, It’s A Dundeel, Monaco Consul, Savabeel, Tie The Knot, Nothin’ Leica Dane, Beau Zam and Kingston Town.
Odds and previews are available for all the major Spring Racing Carnival races at UBET's Spring Racing Betting Hub.
|Date:||Saturday 6th October 2018|
|Race Time:||16:00 AEST|
|Race Type:||3YO SW|
|2017 Winner:||Ace High|
|2018 Spring Champion Stakes Odds|
|2012||Its A Dundeel|