Champagne Stakes Betting

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Once a year, the Doncaster Racecourse hosts one of the highlights of the British flat racing season—the four-day St. Leger Festival in September. The last day of the meeting, ladbrokes St. Leger Day, is the most anticipated, and one of its top events, in addition to the classic Triple crown race from which the festival takes its name, is the £100,000 Champagne Stakes.

This Group 2 sprint covers a distance of seven furlongs on the straight turf of the Doncaster track. Entry is restricted to two-year-old Thoroughbred colts and geldings, which each carry eight stone twelve pounds. A penalty of three pounds is applied to any winner of a previous Group 1 or Group 2 race.

The Champagne Stakes can trace its history back to 1823, when it was open to horses of both genders. The race was originally contested over six furlongs and remained so until 1961, when it was extended to the current length. From 1988 onward, male horses only have been allowed to participate.

Laurent Perrier was an early sponsor of this event, a relationship that continued until 1997. In 1998, Intercell Communications backed the race for a year, followed by a parade of short-term sponsorships by Frigidaire, thehorsesmouth.co.uk, Rothmans Royals, SGB, intercasino.com, Urban-I and Keepmoat. In 2009, DFS (Direct Furnishing Supplies) became associated with the event and continues to hold the title spot to this day.

Each sprinter gets only one opportunity to succeed in the Champagne Stakes. One of the most memorable winners to leave a mark here was Beeswing, who got her maiden victory in the 1835 edition; She went on to claim 51 wins in 63 outings and has been hailed as the greatest mare in Britain…perhaps even the greatest of all time.

Other great steeds with historic triumphs in the Champagne Stakes include The Flying Dutchman in 1848, Rock Sand in 1902 and Pretty Polly in 1903. The Tetrarch won here in 1913, the last of his seven victories as a two-year-old before retiring undefeated and siring Tetratema, a grey stallion that won the 1919 installment of this event.

The 1936 Epsom Derby winner Mahmoud got his debut victory here in 1935, as did the 1948 2,000 Guineas champion My Babu in 1947. Another Derby winner, Grundy, prevailed at the Champagne Stakes in 1974 before running the “Race of the Century” at Ascot in 1975, beating Bustino in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

To find the foremost jockey in the history of the Champagne Stakes, one must look back more than a century and a half. That’s when Bill Scott amassed nine wins, starting with Swiss in 1823 and concluding with and Attila in 1841.

Two trainers share the honour of having ten wins apiece here, and they too did their finest work in the 19th century. John Scott schooled both Swiss and Attila, along with eight other victors from 1823 to 1861. Matthew Dawson followed closely on his heels, starting with Zambezi in 1864 and ending with Ladas in 1893, plus eight other wins in between.

More recently, Frankie Dettori has been the jockey to beat. He won a string of three consecutive Champagne Stakes in 2000-02 on Noverre, Dubai Destination and Almushahar before gaining another pair of victories back-to-back in 2009-10 on Poet’s Voice and Saamidd.

Since the turn of the new millennium, no winner here has delivered a payout at higher than single digit odds. The past decade saw two favourites come in first, Almushahar at 8/11 and Poet`s Voice at 11/8. Some of the leading horses from the Champagne Stakes can be seen competing a month later in the Dewhurst Stakes, although no filly has won both since Distant Music did it in 1999.

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