Manaal trainer eyeing Champagne Stakes win at Randwick

Noah Strang
Noah Strang
Rosehill Racecourse 27/04/24
Two-year-old filly Manaal to headline Champagne Stakes

Trainer Michael Freedman believes his horse, Manaal, has everything it takes to win the Champagne Stakes at Randwick this Saturday. He was quoted this week talking up his horse's chances, ahead of the big race.  
To Freedman’s credit, the horse racing betting sites agree with him. Manaal ($2.60) is currently a slight favourite on the Champagne Stakes pre-nom odds list. A lot can change between now and Sunday though. Let’s look at Manaal’s chances.  

News Insights

  • Trainer Michael Freedman says Manaal “seems great.”
  • Manaal is leading the Champagne Stakes pre-nom odds table.
  • The Champagne Stakes are Saturday, April 20 at Randwick Racecourse.

Trainer’s comments 

Trainer Michael Freedman spoke at length on Saturday after his three-year-old gelding, Panic, won the Listed South Pacific Classic.  
This was Freedman’s second straight weekend bringing home top prize in a race with one of his horses. On April 6, Ducasse won the Group 3 Carbine Club Stakes, while Wymark bagged a win at the Tulloch Stakes in Rosehill.  
It’s been amazing,” Freedman said after Panic’s Listed South Pacific Classic win. “For a relatively small team, to be competing at this level and getting a few winners, it’s a big thrill and a huge credit to the whole team.” 
If you ask Freedman about his chances of future success, he’s quick to point out two-year-old Manaal.  
She seems great,” Freedman said of the Filly. “She bounced out of last Saturday well. She certainly hasn’t given me any indications not to run her. We won’t make a final decision until early or mid next week when we need to but all the signs are pretty good at the moment
That to me is probably well and truly enough. But she’s a good, tough girl.” 

Manaal Champagne Stakes preview 

The Champagne Stakes are Saturday, April 20 at Randwick Racecourse. It could be Manaal’s first Group 1 victory.  
The filly started her career with a win at the Group 3 level in the Gimcrack Stakes at Randwick. Manall raced at Group 1 level in March at the Group 1 Golden Slipper, where she finished 5th. 
According to trainer Freedman, whether Manaal gets a good barrier draw could be decisive.  
“I think up over a mile she could potentially be ridden a bit handier,” the Sydney-based trainer said. “Barriers have dictated where we have ridden her in her last two starts but if she drew a slightly softer gate we could probably be a little bit more forward. She’s pretty versatile.” 

Other Champagne Stakes contenders 

Besides Manaal, the horse racing betting sites also like two-year-old colt Linebacker ($3.50). This John O'Shea-trained has just four races under his belt. If the bookies are to be believed, the Champagne Stakes could be Linebacker’s breakout race.  
Broadsiding ($5.00), another colt, is the third favourite, according to the pre-nom odds. This race will be Broadsiding’s first ever at the Group 1 level.  
Prost ($7.00), Duvana ($13.00), and Anode ($15) are other top contenders according to the current Champagne Stakes odds list.