The well backed Winning Rupert made it two wins from two starts with a tough victory in the Group 2 $175,000 Moet & Chandon Champagne Classic (1200m) at Doomben today.
The Bjorn Baker trained Winning Rupert was well supported in the betting ring, firming in from $6.50 to be the second favourite at $5 behind speedy filly Tiyatrolani who was sent out the as the $2.40 top pick.
Winning rider Jeff Lloyd rode a confident race on Winning Rupert and had the Written Tycoon two year old vying the lead on the point of the home turn and was never headed in the run to the line.
Winning Rupert was then able to hold off the challenges of the fast finishing Attention ($16) from the Peter and Paul Snowden stable and the John O’Shea trained Souchez ($5) with Tiyatrolani missing a place.
Winning Rupert is now certain to clash again with Attention and Souchez in the Group 2 $250,000 Mitavite BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1350m) at Doomben on May 28 and in the Group 1 $600,000 BMW J.J. Atkins (1600m) at Eagle Farm a fortnight later.
The Bjorn Baker stable was confident of victory today after Winning Rupert took plenty of improvement from his first up win in a 1000m two year old Plate at the Sunshine Coast on April 23.
As well as the $112,000 first prizemoney cheque, Winning Rupert was also able to collect a $24,500 QTIS Winning Bonus.
The Tony Gollan trained Tiyatrolani was unable to show her blistering speed that she produced in winning at Doomben last start and after being headed in the first 300m, was never a threat to the placegetters in the straight when Tegan Harrison asked her for a winning effort.