WOULD victory in Saturday’s $400,000 ATC Champagne Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick be enough to see Peggy Jean be crowned Australia’s Champion 2YO this season?
Golden Slipper winners are traditionally `marked up’ which has Team Hawkes filly Mossfun in the box-seat for the title.
Many others think the crown should go to Darley miss Earthquake who won the Blue Diamond and was runner-up in the Slipper.
But could Triple Crown Syndicate filly Peggy Jean make a bold last ditch effort this weekend and blouse them both?
“I am not aware of any other horse that has won a couple of Group 1’s in the season so far so Peggy Jean would have to be a prime contender for Champion 2YO (if she won tomorrow),” Triple Crown co-founder Michael Ward said.
Peggy Jean’s prospects of being Champion 2YO are somewhat diminished given she by-passed the Golden Slipper to concentrate on the remaining two legs of the Grand Slam, but Ward said the team has “no regrets” about passing up on the big one.
“She would have been extremely competitive but having said that we always knew that she’s better suited to the 1400m and 1600m,” he said.
Peggy Jean vindicated that strategy laid out by trainer Gerald Ryan with a dominant win in the ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes rounding up her rivals with her now trademark whirlwind finish.
“She’s come through the Sires’ very well and ate up straight after the race. She’s bright and doing well so it’s all systems go,” Ward reported.
“Nash (Rawiller) said straight after the race that the 1600m of the Champagne will suit her better than the Sires Produce did, so we are very positive about that.”
The daughter of Vinery resident, Myboycharlie, has proven to be a whiz on wet tracks but the prevailing sunshine in Sydney in the lead-up to Saturday’s meeting should dry out the track somewhat from the Heavy 9 Peggy Jean so revelled in two weeks ago.
“Gerald believes she’ll be equally as good, if not better on a dry track, so that presents no worries for us,” Ward countered.
Peggy Jean has been a fabulous advertisement for her sire, trainer and managing owners, brothers Michael and Chris Ward of Triple Crown outfit.
They paid just $46,000 for the filly at the 2013 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale and have so far spread close to $900,000 among her lucky owners.
“We’ve got around about 12 people in the syndicate and they’re absolutely thrilled with the result that we’ve had with her,” Ward said.
“We have had a number of people in contact with us saying that she’s given them the best experience of their life so far.”
And it’s not over.