2014 MVRC Champagne Stakes Nominations Released

September 23rd, 2014

Just 12 three-year-old fillies have been nominated for an appearance in Friday’s Group 3 MVRC Champagne Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley, highlighted by several exciting racing prospects for the 2014 Spring Carnival.

Eloping headlines nominations for the 2014 MVRC Champagne Stakes

Eloping headlines nominations for the 2014 MVRC Champagne Stakes. Photo: Steve Hart

Producing an exceptional turn of foot to finish third amongst open company in the Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) first-up on September 6th, Trainers Peter Morgan and Craig Widdison have included Eloping in nominations for the MVRC Champagne Stakes.

A notable performer in major black type events over the two-year-old autumn season, Eloping debuted to racing with impressive back-to-back victories including the Listed Blue Diamond Preview (1000m) on January 25th before finishing second to Earthquake in the Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m) a fortnight later.

Continuing to build in form and class on her way to a credible seventh in the featured Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) on April 5th, the Choisir filly returned to the winner’s circle in the Group 3 Royal Randwick Stakes (1200m) on April 19th; returning to the paddock after running fourth in the Group 2 Champagne Classic (1200m) at Brisbane’s Doomben Racecourse on May 10th.

Yet to be confirmed for a specific target through the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival, Eloping appears primed for a successful return to her own age group and will be particularly difficult in the MVRC Champagne Stakes.

Trainers David Hayes and Tom Dabernig are poised to launch a two-pronged attack on the Group 3 MVRC Champagne Stakes, including classy stable mates Afleet Esprit and Tawteen in nominations.

Finishing outside the places just once in five competitive starts; her debut performance in February, Afleet Esprit has returned to racing in smart form this time in; winning a minor over 1200m first-up on June 25th and while unlucky when hampered for a run and second in the National Jockeys Celebration Say 3.y.o (1000m) on August 2nd, secured back-to-back victories in the Simpson Construction Plate (1200m) and Listed Cap D’Antibes (1100m) most recently on September 13th.

Aiming for a fourth consecutive race win when lining up for the 2014 MVRC Champagne Stakes, Tawteen will undoubtedly face her biggest test to date on Friday evening, but appears ready for a successful step-up to black type racing.

Yet to finish outside the places in three competitive starts, trainer Robert Smerdon has nominated classy filly Lumosty for the 2014 MVRC Champagne Stakes.

Finishing second to Eloping in the Blue Diamond Preview on debut and third in the Blue Diamond Prelude, the Fastnet Rock filly stamped her claims as a serious spring contender when overcoming poor running position to finish second in the Cap D’Antibes on September 13th.

A final field and barrier draw for the 2014 MVRC Champagne Stakes is due to be released on Wednesday morning.

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2014 MVRC Champagne Stakes Nominations

# Horse Trainer Hcp Rating
1 AFLEET ESPRIT David Hayes & Tom Dabernig 80
2 CRISTALINA LAGO Pat Carey 65
3 ELOPING Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison 90
4 LOVED UP Brett Cavanough 70
5 LUMOSTY Robert Smerdon 73
6 PIENKNA Tony Gollan 69
7 ROYAL TRIESTE David Brideoake & David Feek 62
8 SILVERSANDS Richard Jolly 70
9 SUNSET ROCK Lloyd Kennewell 69
10 TAHNI DANCER Clinton McDonald 64
11 TAWTEEN David Hayes & Tom Dabernig 75
12 TOP DOLLY Tom Hughes 64