04/12/2017 1:29PM

Australia: Invader strong favorite in Champagne Stakes


Invader, winner of the Group 1 Inglis’ Sires Stakes on April 1, can win his second race at the highest level in Saturday’s Group 1 Champagne Stakes for 2-year-olds at a mile at Royal Randwick Racecourse in Australia.

Invader is expected to be an odds-on favorite in the $373,600 Champagne Stakes, which is run at 1,600 meters, or about a mile, on turf. Trained by the father-son team of Peter and Paul Snowden, Invader has won two of his last three starts, a span that includes second in his stakes debut – the Group 2 Todman Stakes on March 4.

Hugh Bowman has the mount on Invader, who won the Inglis’ Sires Stakes in a 7-1 upset after missing the Group 1 Golden Slipper Stakes in March because of a minor foot ailment.

The Champagne Stakes drew a field of 10. The group stakes winner The Mission and Embrace were sixth and ninth in the Inglis’ Sires Stakes. Five of the runners are maidens.

The 4-year-old filly English won the first Group 1 race of her career in the All Aged Stakes in April 2016, and is back in the same race at seven furlongs on turf at Randwick on Saturday. English is part of a field of 10 in the $448,320 All Aged Stakes, and can reverse a string of recent losses.

:: Enjoy news and analysis from DRF? Get handicapping analysis, real-time coverage, special reports, and charts. Unlock access with DRF Plus.

English was seventh in the Group 1 Galaxy Stakes at 5 1/2 furlongs on March 18 but a promising second behind Chautauqua in the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes at Randwick on April 1.

Divine Prophet, winner of the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas last October, is the lone 3-year-old in the race, on the Southern Hemisphere breeding calendar. Divine Prophet would be considered a 4-year-old in North America.

The All Aged field includes Le Romain, who was second to Australian Horse of the Year Winx in the Group1 George Ryder Stakes last month, but only 15th of 20 in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile at Randwick on April 1.

Tivaci, fourth in the T.J. Smith Stakes, starts in his seventh Group 1 race since last year. A colt by High Chaparral, Tivaci has yet to win a Group 1, but did win the minor Kensington Stakes at five furlongs on turf at Flemington Racecourse in January.