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Howcroft Industrial Supplies Champagne Stakes (Group 2)
Always a classy affair, won two years ago by Emotionless who jumped towards the head of the 2000 Guineas market as a result and by future Racing Post Trophy winner Rivet last year. Read on for our expert tip and runner by runner preview for the 2017 Champagne Stakes.
IN SUMMARY: RED MIST was let down by his lack of experience last time out at Newbury when looking all over the winner before showing signs of greenness close home. He was sent off favourite there for a yard who do well with their juveniles, so he looks very much the one to beat now that he has the experience of a battle under his belt. Dream Today is beautifully bred, running out an impressive winner of a maiden on his debut at York. The fourth has won since making him the biggest danger to the selection. Charlie Appleby has won this race twice in the last four years so his unbeaten Mythical Magic also needs plenty of respect.
1 DREAM TODAY – Made an impressive winning debut in a deep maiden at York. The three who chased him home there had previous experience on their side but he despatched them with the minimum of fuss. The fourth was an impressive winner himself in the big sales race at this meeting on Thursday so the form stacks up well. He is a full brother to Group 1 winner Al Wukair so there is plenty for him to build upon on his second outing.
2 GRAND KOONTA – Got off the mark at the third time of asking in a Windsor novice event. He looked in need of the step up to this trip when easily seen off in the July Stakes, plugging on at one pace on that occasion. An official rating of 94 leaves him with a lot to find with the principals, but he should find at least a few decent races next season.
3 HEY GAMAN – A three time winner from six starts, he put that experience to good use when beating Red Mist at Newbury last time out. He had the run of the race on the front end there, knowing his job more when the pressure was applied late on to win by a short head. The visual impression was that he wouldn’t beat that rival again if they met as they do again now so is hard to back for more than a place.
4 ISLAND SOUND – Progressed a little from first run to second but it isn’t enough to fancy his chances in an ordinary maiden let alone this Group 2 against some of the best in his age group. Impossible to fancy.
5 MENDELSSOHN – Benefited hugely from his initial racecourse experience when scoring on his second start, despite still looking a little green under pressure. The second and third haven’t done wonders for the form since, the runner-up filling the same spot and the third finishing last in a Group 2. He still looked unfurnished when winning so there is sure to be more to come. This step down in trip may not be the answer for this colt who has a $3 million price tag hanging over his head to justify as a full brother to multiple Grade 1 winner Beholder
6 MYTHICAL MAGIC – A perfect 2/2 so far in his career, he followed up a visually impressive debut win at Ascot with a Listed triumph at Deauville last time. He made all the running in France but should look to take a lead here with Dream Today and Hey Gaman up with the pace. He is thought of highly by Godolphin with trainer Charlie Appleby winning this race twice in the last four years, it’s interesting that he is their chosen arrow for this particular target in 2017.
7 RED MIST – May have been beaten last time by the more street smart Hey Gaman, but he emerged from that contest as the one to side with were they to meet again this season. That level of form for a colt with so little experience marked him down as a potentially smart horse to follow, especially sent off favourite with trainer Simon Crisford knowing when he has a quality juvenile on his books. The third has won at Listed level since to made that smart looking form, so he is the one they all have to beat.
8 SEAHENGE – Sent off third favourite for the Vintage Stakes at Glorious Goodwood but he was unable to cope with the rising star of Expert Eye. That was a step forward on the form he showed when winning on his debut, but not enough for Ryan Moore to choose him over his stablemate.