Champions Sprint: Flemington 1200m
|Sat 11 Nov 2023
The Champions Sprint was established in 1960, making it one of the more recent additions to the Group 1 canvas of Melbourne Cup week, given many Flemington feature races were created in the 1800s. It has always been run over 1200m, otherwise known as the Flemington “straight six”, and is a weight-for-age contest.
The race has really come into its own in the 2000s, coinciding with Australia’s sprinters proving themselves to be the best in the world. Nature Strip (twice), Buffering, Black Caviar (twice), Miss Andretti and Takeover Target, were all victorious in this race before going overseas and winning races on international soil.
2023 CHAMPIONS SPRINT PREVIEW
Imperatriz comes into this race off three Moonee Valley wins in a row this campaign. The first two were course records over 1000m, and the third was a three length romp over 1200m, her second such win at that track and distance.
If we go back to the William Reid in March, a certain Bella Nipotina was second to Imperatriz there, and we just saw that mare knock off Think About It and Private Eye in the Giga Kick Stakes last weekend at Rosehill. Oh, and the Giga Kick Stakes is so named because he won The Everest last year – Imperatriz also knocked him off earlier this prep.
In Secret had put in a couple of good-but-not-great efforts in her first two runs this spring. Looking to peak over 1200m, the 1000m and 1100m of her first- and second-up assignments were perhaps building blocks only. But she was right back to her very best in The Everest, reeling off blazing sectionals from last.
Bella Nipotina is a handy straight track mare herself, running third in the Lightning Stakes back in February, and also third in this race in 2021 behind Nature Strip. She was ninth in this race last year, but beaten only 1.4 lengths in a blanket finish, and she seems an even better mare in 2023.
Star Patrol might be the blow-out at odds, coming off two wins at the Flemington 1200m, beating some decent fields while doing it. He’s come back much stronger as a five-year-old. Asfoora is in the form of her life, but Imperatriz has her measure, and she’s also better at 1100m than 1200m. Espiona should be in the Champions Mile rather than the Champions Sprint, but Chris Waller already has Fangirl there.
Selections: 1.Imperatriz 2.In Secret 3.Bella Nipotina 4.Star Patrol
Past Winners Of The Champions Sprint
|Roch 'N' Horse
|Santa Ana Lane
|Peter and Paul Snowden