The two biggest breeding operations in Australia will go head to head in the Champagne Stake this weekend with Patinack Farm throwing everything it has at stopping Darley’s quest for three from three in Sydney’s two-year-old series.
Darley claimed the first two of the juvenile Group 1’s with Sepoy winning the Golden Slipper and Helmet triumphing in the Sire’s Produce Stakes.
Helmet will again lead the charge in the Champagne Stakes this Saturday when stepping up to the mile.
Disputes is also expected to feature after finishing fifth in the Sire’s Produce stakes.
For Nathan Tinkler’s Patinack Farm though a win in the Champagne Stakes is crucial after a very lean two-year-old season.
They still think they have the team to do it though with decent lead up results indicating they’re hitting top form at the right time.
“Everything is in order for them to run well on Saturday,” Patinack Farm racing manager Robyn Harney said.
Pane In The Glass was their best performing Sires runner in third place and she was quickest over the final 200m.
“Her finishing sectional was fantastic,” Hartney said.
“The tempo of the race was too slow but the way she ran home it makes you think the mile will suit her to a tee.”
Boys On Tour as disappointing in tenth but they haven’t crossed him off the list with a new riding style being developed to get him closer to the pace.
“It is a case of forgetting he went around in the Sires,” she said.
“We’ll be looking to ride him a lot more positively on Saturday.”
There will also be a rider change for Boys On Tour with Jim Cassidy to take the reins while Pane In The Glass will retain the mount of Jim Byrne.
The race is no certainty for either major breeding operation though with Sires runner-up Uate expected to be a strong player as well as Golden Slipper runner Salade.