Form expert Gary Crispe agrees with leading bookmaker Ladbrokes that Invader is the horse to beat in the Group 1 $500,000 Moet & Chandon Champagne Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Ladbrokes.com.au have the Peter and Paul Snowden trained Invader as the $1.85 favourite and Crispe can’t see any of the other two year olds beating the Snitzel colt.
“I think Invader can win the Champagne,” Crispe told The Daily Telegraph.
Invader was a scratching from the Group 1 $3.5m Longines Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill on March 18 because of a minor hoof problem but repaid the disappointed connections with a decisive win in the Group 1 $1m Inglis Sires’ (1400m) at Randwick on April 1.
“Invader should join that group who have won the big Randwick two-year-old double,” Crispe said.
“He was very strong to the line in the Sires, he is a progressive colt. On ratings Invader should win — he is superior to his rivals under these set weights conditions.”
Invader moved into contention for the Golden Slipper after going down narrowly to stablemate Gunnison in the Group 2 $300,000 UNSW Todman Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on March 4 but had to wait until the Inglis Sire’s before he could claim a Group 1 prize.
Hugh Bowman rode Invader to win the Inglis Sires’ and will be aboard the colt again and the prospect of another rain affected track is no problem following his top performances on heavy tracks at his last two starts.
The nearest to Invader in the Champagne Stakes market order is the James Cummings trained Whispered Secret at $5 with The Mission the only other runner under the $10 mark at $9.
Whispered Secret is chasing a hat trick of wins and Cummings is giving the High Chaparral filly her chance at Group 1 level after winning the Listed $150,000 Adina Apartment Hotels Fernhill Handicap (1600m) at Randwick last Saturday.
The Paul Perry trained The Mission was a winner two starts back in the Group 3 $150,000 The Schweppervescence Handicap (1400m) at Rosehill on March 25 before running sixth to Invader in the Inglis Sires’.