Obscura new favourite for Champagne Stakes

By: Mark Mazzaglia
April 15th, 2016

Lightly raced colt Obscura is the new favourite for the Group 1 $500,000 Moet & Chandon Champagne Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on Saturday following the scratching of Yankee Rose.

James McDonald will ride new Champagne Stakes favourite Obscura. Photo by Sarah Ebbett.

James McDonald will ride new Champagne Stakes favourite Obscura. Photo by Sarah Ebbett.

Pre-post favourite Yankee Rose was ruled out of the Champagne Stakes this morning when Racing New South Wales chief veterinary surgeon Dr Craig Suann failed to give her the all clear after she had been suffering from bruised heels since Wednesday.

Group 1 Inglis Sires’ winner Yankee Rose was withdrawn just after ten o’clock this morning, giving bookies at Ladbrokes.com.au the task of framing a new market for the Champagne Stakes which was shaping up as a one horse race.

With Yankee Rose at home in her box now, the Champagne Stakes has developed into a very open affair with six of the remaining ten runners under $10 with Obscura heading the market order at $4.

Obscura has only been to the races on two occasions for a third in a 1200m Kembla Grange two year old maiden followed by a fifth to Attention in the Group 3 $150,000 The Schweppervescence (1400m) at Rosehill on March 26.

But trainer John O’Shea is happy to step the Street Cry colt up to Group 1 company and the task will be lot easier with Yankee Rose out of the way.

“It will certainly be a test for him, but he’s shown us that he’s a very good colt in what he’s done in his two starts and what he’s done at home this week, which was very good,” O’Shea said.

Obscura has drawn the inside barrier with Godolphin’s number one stable jockey James McDonald to ride.

On the second line of betting at $4.20 is the James Cummings trained Prized Icon who will be backing up week to week after winning the Listed $150,000 TFE Hotels Fernhill Handicap (1600m) at Randwick last Saturday.

Prized Icon was one of four winners for Hugh Bowman on day two of ‘The Championships’ but Glyn Schofield will be re-united with the More Than Ready colt after riding him at his previous start when second in the The Schweppervescence.

Champagne Stakes market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4 Obscura, $4.20 Prized Icon, $5.50 Divine Prophet, $7 Faraway Town, El Sicario, $8 Chimboraa, $19 Crown Him, $21 Jaws Off Steel, $34 Pop, $61 North Sky.

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