History Says - Champagne Stakes

Just as the Golden Slipper form prevails more often than not in the ATC Sires', it is the form from the Sires' that generally stands tallest in the $500,000 Group 1 Champagne Stakes (1600m), which will be run at Randwick this Saturday.

Heading in to this year's Sires', 16 of the previous 30 winners came off a top-three finish in the Slipper, a formline that was strengthened when Microphone won the 1400-metre Group 1.

Sixteen of those past 30 Champagne winners filled a quinella slot in the Sires' at their previous start.

Six of the other 14 winners also came through the Sires', with the impact of that race particularly profound in the past two decades.

Eighteen of the past 20 Champagne winners had their previous start in the Sires', including 12 of the past 13.

Microphone will not get the chance to become the 41st horse to complete the Sires'-Champagne double, but minor placegetters Loving Gaby and Castelvecchio are there, along with Crystal Falls (sixth).

Loving Gaby and Castelvecchio get an extra tick on account of being prominent in the market.

The past two winners - The Mission and Seabrook - started $9, but were the longest-priced winners since Skilled ($10) in 2010.

All up, 24 of the past 30 Champagne winners have been at single-figure prices, 16 of which started favourite, including five of the six winners before The Mission and Seabrook.

Wide barriers seemingly don't have a great record in the race, with just four double-digit barriers successful in the past 30 years, but several editions in that time did not have 10 starters.

One of those wide-gate winners did come last year, with Seabrook winning from gate 12.

Barrier six is the most successful starting position of late, with eight winners in the past 30 years, including a purple patch from 2011-2016 when five of the six winners jumped from that alley.

Fillies have the wood over the boys recently, winning three of the past four, but the males have the edge overall since 1989 with 16 colts and two geldings successful in that time.

The Verdict: Yes, the boys have the edge overall, but the compelling record of the first horse home in the Sires' and favourites makes it hard to go past LOVING GABY.

Rail out 6m for the Course Proper on Saturday, picture ThoroughbredNEWS