Pop Ready to Fire in 2016 Champagne Stakes

April 13th, 2016

Pop is the rank outsider of the 2016 Champagne Stakes field, but trainer Clinton McDonald is confident the horse is ready to produce a big performance in the two-year-old feature at Royal Randwick on Saturday.

Trainer Clinton McDonald is confident Pop will be right in the finish of Saturday's Group 1 Champagne Stakes at Randwick. Photo: Taron Clarke

Trainer Clinton McDonald is confident Pop will be right in the finish of Saturday’s Group 1 Champagne Stakes at Randwick. Photo: Taron Clarke

Pop has not taken the tradition path towards the Champagne Stakes but has found commendable form in the lead up to Saturday’s Autumn Carnival final; running a close second in the Mornington Sires’ (1500m) a fortnight ago.

McDonald does not believe his runner should be rated at such long odds for her run in the 2016 Champagne Stakes and told Racenet he is confident she will be right in the finish of the race.

“She doesn’t deserve to be a 50/1 chance, I don’t think,” McDonald said.

“She’s a really good chance of running a place and if you take the odds-on favourite out, it’s a very even race.

“I reckon she’s a real live hope of running second or third.”

Having identified Yankee Rose as the horse to beat in the 2016 Champagne Stakes, McDonald was thrilled with the work completed by Pop this week leading into what will undoubtedly be her biggest career test to date.

“I was very happy with her work this morning,” McDonald said.

“She went 1200m and slid up an easy 400m and she worked really well.”

Pop debuted to racing for eighth in the Group 3 Emirates Airline Plate (1000m) at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day before immediately returning to the paddock with a view towards autumn.

Returning this time for eleventh in the Listed Talindert Stakes (1100m) on February 20th, the Toorak Toff filly responded in the best way possible with a blistering run for a maiden race win in the PRC Functions And Events Maiden (1400m) in her only other start prior to the Mornington Sires’.

The 2016 Champagne Stakes field and barrier draw is due to be completed and released by midday today (Wednesday, 13 April 2016).

Ladbrokes.com.au is currently offering Pop at particularly generous Champagne Stakes odds of $50 for success.