Champagne Stakes 2016: Faraway Town searching for G1 win

The absence of Yankee Rose has dramatically changed the complexion of the Group One Champagne Stakes, opening the door for Faraway Town to improve on her last-start third to the David Vandyke-trained filly.

Runner-up in the Golden Slipper and the winner of the ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes, Yankee Rose failed a veterinary examination on Friday morning after battling a hoof problem during the week.

Racing NSW senior vet Craig Suann said the filly’s near fore hoof had improved but not enough for him to pass her fit for Saturday’s 1600m race at Randwick.

With the $1.40 favourite out of the race, the adjusted market has Prized Icon and Obscura at $4 with the Matthew Smith-trained Faraway Town a $6.50 chance.

“The mile is perfect for her and her work’s been super,” Smith said.

“She ran really well last start and she’s trained on. I’m very comfortable with her and I hope there is a bit of pace in the race to give her a chance.”

Smith said Faraway Town’s all-female ownership group couldn’t be happier to have a horse on Sydney’s big autumn stage.

“There’s a couple of first-time owners in there so it’s very exciting for them to have a runner in the carnival,” Smith said.

Although she only has one win beside her name, Faraway Town has rewarded her owners with almost $200,000 prize money and a $325,000 bonus as the first all-female owned horse home in the Magic Millions Classic when she ran sixth.

New Zealand two-year-old Sicario has had a name change and will race as El Sicario as Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young try to plunder another big race in Sydney.

Tavago won the Australian Derby while El Sicario will be out to break his maiden in the Champagne.

Before the scratching of Yankee Rose, El Sicario had been supported from $31 to $16 and by Friday afternoon was at $7.50 with the TAB.


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