Lady chasing another upset in Champagne Stakes

Rolling one of the early favourites for the race will stand Lady Lupino in good stead for her crack at Group I level in Saturday’s Champagne Stakes (1600m) at Randwick.

Lady Lupino took on Godolphin colt Chenier at Sandown on April 10.

Chenier was high in Champagne Stakes betting on the strength of his impressive debut win and was expected to remain unbeaten at Sandown.

However, nobody told Lady Lupino who relished her first attempt at 1400m, leading throughout to score by 1 ¾ lengths.

Punters didn’t expect Lady Lupino’s victory, but she proved to trainer Danny O’Brien that she was worth taking to Sydney for the $500,000 Champagne Stakes.

“We’d been looking to get her to 1400(m) but there are not too many options for two-year-olds until this time of the season,” O’Brien said.

“The Darley horse (Chenier) was using it as a lead-up to the Champagne and it was also similar for us.

“She needed to do what she did, win the race and win it impressively, to warrant taking on the two-year-olds that have been running in the Group I races.”

Lady Lupino will go into the Champagne Stakes at her fourth run this time in but O’Brien said the half-sister to Blue Diamond winner Star Witness and Group III winner Nostradamus had not reached her peak this preparation.

O’Brien knows Lady Lupino will face a harder task in the Champagne Stakes but said the Sebring filly would probably go forward again and give her rivals something to chase.

“She’s had a lovely build-up,” O’Brien said.

“She was really impressive when she got to the 1400m last week and she looks well-placed for a go at a mile on Saturday.

“Hopefully she’s the fresh horse still on the upward spiral. She’s got to run a peak run on Saturday but hopefully that is good enough to beat the two-year-olds that have been taking on the better races.

“She certainly gives us the indication through her preparation that she would love the strong mile.”

Golden Slipper-winning rider Damian Lane will be aboard Lady Lupino on Saturday. TAB has Lady Lupino as a $15 chance in its latest Champagne Stakes market despite her drawing perfectly in barrier two.

The betting giant has the Melbourne filly Loving Gaby as a $2.40 favourite.

Story by Brad Waters for

Pic by Racing Photos