Darley colt Mohave is set to return to racing in the 2014 Champagne Classic after being included in the final field for the Group 1 event that will be held at Doomben on Saturday.
Mohave (barrier six) stamped himself as a juvenile to watch when he made his racing debut with an unlucky second behind Law in the Listed New South Wales Thoroughbred Breeders’ Plate (1000m) at Royal Randwick on October 5 last year and, after a stint in the spelling paddock, returned to racing with a win in the Listed Blue Diamond Preview (1000m) at Caulfield on January 25.
The Exceed and Excel colt finished a disappointing tenth in the Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m) at Caulfield on February 8 and started the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at massive odds, but battled home fairly to finish sixth behind stablemate Earthquake.
Mohave was given a barrier trial before his return to racing in the Champagne Classic this weekend, finishing third in a trial over 740 metres at Royal Randwick on April 22, and he has been included in the nominations for the Group 1 J.J. Atkins (1600m) that will be held at Eagle Farm on June 7.
The 2014 Champagne Classic field has drawn a number of exciting juveniles; with Gerald Ryan-trained Time For War set to contest the Group 2 event.
Time For War made his racing debut with a win in the CFMEU Mining & Energy Plate (1100m) at Rosehill Gardens on November 2 and took out the Group 2 Pago Pago Stakes (1200m) at the same venue on March 29 before finishing fourth in the Group 1 Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick on April 12.
Ryan believes that Time For War has improved and matured significantly since running in the Sires Produce Stakes and is confident that he will perform well in the Champagne Classic this weekend.
Eloping is the standout filly in the 2014 Champagne Classic field and will have the eight race start of her career in the $175,000 race this weekend.
The Peter Morgan and Craig Widdison-trained filly made her racing debut back in December last year and has raced consistently throughout; taking out the Listed Blue Diamond Preview (1000m) at Caulfield on January 25, the VOBIS Gold Rush (1000m) at Bendigo on March 15 and the Group 3 Royal Randwick Stakes (1200m) on April 19.
Tony Gollan-trained Looks Like The Cat and Wyong-based Furbish are both taking undefeated records into the Champagne Classic, while Magic Millions Classic fifth placegetter Stroak and Chris Waller-trained Brazen Beau will be returning to racing in the juvenile event.