Lightweight jockey Corey Brown will stick with three year old filly Champagne Cuddles in the 2018 Group 1 $1.5m Stradbroke Handicap (1350m) at Doomben on June 9.
Champagne Cuddles was given 50kg when the Stradbroke Handicap weights were released on Monday and trainer Bjorn Baker confirmed via twitter that Brown would be retained for the glamour sprint of the 2018 Queensland Winter Racing Carnival.
“Delighted to confirm jockey Corey Brown has been booked to ride Champagne Cuddles in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap on the 9th June,” Baker tweeted.
The Melbourne Cup winning jockey has been aboard Champagne Cuddles for both her Queensland starts for a win in the Listed $150,000 Audi Alto Central Coast Gosford Guineas (1200m) at Gosford on January 18 and a flashing third at weight for age behind Impending and Le Romain in the Group 1 $700,000 Altus Traffic Kingsford-Smith Cup (1350m) at Doomben last Saturday.
Champagne Cuddles jumped into the spotlight during the 2017 Sydney Spring Carnival with five placings from five starts, two at Group 1 level.
The Not A Single Doubt filly flashed home from back in the field to be runner up to Trapeze Artist in the Group 1 $1m De Bortoli Wines Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosehill and then at her next start finished second to Alizee in the Group 1 $500,000 Flight Stakes (1600m) at Randwick.
Champagne Cuddles’ performance to finish third to seasoned campaigners Impending and Le Romain in the Kingsford-Smith Cup as well as the fact that she will only have to carry 50kg and meet that pair a lot better at the weights has seen her elevated to the top of the Stradbroke Handicap betting at $4.50 with Ladbrokes.com.au.
Impending, with 57.5kg, is on the second line of betting at $5 ahead of the Le Romain, top weight with 58kg, at $10.
Early betting for the 2018 Stradbroke Handicap at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.50 Champagne Cuddles, $5 Impending, $10 Le Romain, $11 Care To Think, Invincible Gem, Perast, $15 Osburne Bulls, Santa Ana Lane, $17 Danon Liberty, Shillelagh, $21 Crack Me Up, Foxplay, Spieth, Voodoo Lad, $26 Peaceful State, $31 Volpe Veloce, $34 Lucky Hussler, $41 Supido, $51 Endless Drama, Handsome Thief, I’m A Rippa, Moss ‘N’ Dale, Sovereign Nation, $61 or better the rest.