Champagne ordered as Brown Cuddles up

COREY Brown believes that now Champagne Cuddles has rumbled with the big boys at weight-for-age, she will be a far tougher commodity when she lines up in Saturday's $1.5 million Stradbroke.

Brown locked himself into the Bjorn Baker-trained Champagne Cuddles ride when it was confirmed In Her Time was a non-runner.

On Saturday he rode at 54kg and now has to shed 4kg this week to make the filly's weight in the Stradbroke, the race he won last year when riding Impending at 52.5kg.

 

"I will go into lockdown (Monday). It won't be easy. The next two or three kg will come off, but the last 1kg takes a bit of wringing out," he said.

Brown maintains In Her Time would have been a top chance at her best, but he's more than happy to have picked up the ride on Champagne Cuddles after partnering her to win the Gold Coast Guineas before running third in the Kingsford Smith Cup.

"The way Champagne Cuddles went the other day with In Her Time out of the picture, she was great," he said.

 

Brown took the ride after In Her Time was withdrawn from nominations.
Brown took the ride after In Her Time was withdrawn from nominations.

 

"Second up after a solid victory at the Gold Coast running super time as we know, I think that's what the difference was.

"I know the winner (Impending) won well and taking nothing away from him, but she ran up to beat them and I reckon on that track it felt like a lot further for her on that going being second up after a tough run.

"I thought she did an amazing job and I reckon she will improve again on that.

"I've got no doubt that will toughen her up. Even the way she blew after the line, you could tell there's more improvement in her.

"She's an exciting little horse and Bjorn is really excited about her. He said she's pulled up well and done well."

Champagne Cuddles is favourite to take out the Stradbroke Handicap. Picture: Grant Peters, Trackside Photography
Champagne Cuddles is favourite to take out the Stradbroke Handicap. Picture: Grant Peters, Trackside Photography
 

 

Brown hopes to draw in the middle of the field but did note Impending came from gate 13 last year and he was able to sit three wide with cover.

"I haven't had a lot of luck up there of late with draws. I could count on one hand the single figure barriers I've drawn," he said.

"The way the track is racing obviously a lot of traffic's been over it, off the fence to the middle is probably where you need to be anyway."

 

 

Stradbroke market:

$4.50 Champagne Cuddles

$5.50 Impending

$6.50 Care To Think

$8 Perast

$10 Danon Liberty

$12 Invincible Gem, Osborne Bulls

$14 Santa Ana Lane

$18 Peaceful State, Spieth

$21+ Others