Veteran trainer Gerald Ryan has three runners in the 2014 Champagne Stakes and rates Peggy Jean as his best chance in the Group 1 event at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Peggy Jean was set for a tilt at both the Group 1 Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m), with Ryan opting to skip the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) despite the Myboycharlie filly finishing second in the Group 2 Magic Night Stakes (1200m), and Ryan’s patient approach paid dividends when she scored an impressive win in the Sires Produce Stakes at Royal Randwick on April 12.
Ryan has no doubt that Peggy Jean in his best chance in the 2014 Champagne Stakes this weekend and is confident that the talented filly will have no trouble handling the step-up to 1600 metres in the $400,000 race on Saturday.
“You can’t go past Peggy Jean,” Ryan told RSN this morning.
“She won a Group 1 on her last start, her two runs back have been terrific and she hasn’t run a bad race.
“She will jump, settle and do things right, while Lucky Raquie needs a firm surface.
“She hit the line in her Sires run and has hit the line in every one of them.
“She has given me the impression she will get out past the 1400 and she was probably the strongest on the line in the 1400.”
Lucky Raquie and Bachman have also been included in the 2014 Champagne Stakes field, but Ryan confirmed this morning that Lucky Raquie would be withdrawn from the race if there is any rain in the lead-up to the race on Saturday after she failed to fire on a wet surface in the Sires Produce Stakes.
Bachman is certain to make his Group 1 debut in the Champagne Stakes and is taking winning form into the race, taking out the IPad App Handicap (1300m) at Warwick Farm on March 20 and the Group 3 The Schweppervescence (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on April 5, but Ryan believes that the All American colt will need plenty of luck to win this weekend.
“The other horse is on the way up, but still seems to do a few things wrong,” Ryan said.
“I think that he would have to do everything right to win on Saturday.”
Peggy Jean is currently available at 2014 Champagne Stakes odds of $2.80; with Bachman available at a quote of $4.60 and Lucky Raquie is currently priced at the lucrative odds of $26.