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2017 Champagne Stakes Results: The Mission Wins

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The Mission led from start to finish to record a remarkable win in the 2017 Champagne Stakes at Royal Randwick this afternoon.

The Mission delivered Paul Perry his first Group 1 win since 2008 with his win in the Champagne Stakes. Photo by: Steve Hart

The Mission delivered Paul Perry his first Group 1 win since 2008 with his win in the Champagne Stakes. Photo by: Steve Hart

The Mission went straight to the lead in the early stages of the Champagne Stakes, but he looked to be going far too quickly as he stretched out the field.

Invader got going at the top of the straight and The Mission looked like a sitting duck, but son of Choisir kept on finding and he held-off the short-priced favourite to score an impressive Champagne Stakes win.

Jockey Damian Lane revealed after the race that The Mission was not the easiest horse to ride, but he was always confident he would go close in the Champagne Stakes following his luckless effort in the Group 1 Sires Produce Stakes (1400m).

“He is a really tricky horse to ride, but having ridden him in the Sires I learnt a lot from him,” Lane said.

“He goes very keen, but he doesn’t jump very well.

“In the Sires, I got crossed quickly and I ran up backsides and had to take off round them and it was just ugly.

“The way that he stayed on I thought that he had great stamina and if he could get into his rhythm out in front like he did today, I didn’t think they could run him down.

“Credit to Paul Perry and his team and it was just a privilege to be on board.”

Paul Perry has had plenty of success at the highest level of racing with horses like Fastnet Rock and Choisir, but the Champagne Stakes win of The Mission was his first since Newport took out the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) in 2008.

Perry said that The Mission was a horse that always showed plenty of talent and he is hopeful that he could be a genuine Caulfield Guineas contender during the 2017 Spring Racing Carnival.

“He showed something all the way through, but he has probably been his own worst enemy,” Perry said.

“His last start in the Sires he was a bit slow out, got held-up and nothing went his way, but when he jumped out today and could flow along he was pretty smart.

“He gets in that mode in his work and he can really keep trucking along.

“I have had a couple that have run placings in that race that have turned into really good horses and hopefully he is one of them.

“He will go to the paddock now and hopefully come back for the Caulfield Guineas.”

Invader chased gamely without being able to catch The Mission, while Whispered Secret rounded out the placings in third.

About The Author

Thomas Hackett

Thomas is a passionate and opinionated racing journalist and punter who has been obsessed with horse racing since he backed Saintly to win the 1996 Melbourne Cup. An international racing enthusiast, he has his finger on the pulse of racing news not just from Australia but all around the world.

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