Two-year-old filly Blueberry Hill has secured a big upset amongst talented company at Doomben this afternoon; producing an impressive turn of foot to take out the Group 2 Champagne Classic (1200m) by three-quarters of a length.
Blueberry Hill jumped from the barriers well but elected to take a position well within the field of 15 and allow early leaders Desert Man, Big Tree and Wicked Intent to set a notably fast tempo early.
Receiving a good run in transit and tacking onto the back of Magic Millions Guineas second Pepperano rounding onto the final straight, Blueberry Hill quickly spooled up before exploding in the final 200m; seeing off a spirited effort from Wicked Intent before posting a third career victory in only her fourth competitive start.
Veteran hoop Larry Cassidy delivered a typically polished ride aboard Blueberry Hill in the 2015 Champagne Classic and was quick to lay all the praise on the brave filly.
“She should have won at the Gold Coast (second in the Group 3 Ken Russell Memorial). I had a good run but the way they race down there wide and I got sort of caught up behind them and had to sort of switch ground,” Cassidy said immediately after crossing the line.
“Obviously she’s brought that same form and probably improved a bit because today was a better field.
“Good speed, I was three deep no cover early and one popped out in front of me about the 650 or 700 and I was able to just tack into the race beautiful there.
“She travelled so good and she’s only a pony so she’s all heart and the Birchley team have done a great job.”
Having savaged the line for success this afternoon, Cassidy is confident the Myboycharlie filly will only get better as distance increases in the Group 2 BRC Sires Produce Stakes (1350m) and Group 1 J.J. Atkins (1600m) in coming weeks.
“She handles any kind of track,” Cassidy added.
“I was hoping it would be a bog today because she would have won with her leg in the air.”
Clear favourite and punters’ pick Le Chef was unable to account for the talented Champagne Classic field first-up and finished well off the pace.