Darley’s Champagne finish to Triple Crown

Darley’s domination of this year’s juvenile division can continue in the G1 Champagne Stakes at Randwick on Saturday.

The Sheikh Mohammed owned operation has won all three Group 1 juvenile events so far this season with Sepoy (MRC Blue Diamond & STC Golden Slipper) and Helmet (AJC Sires’ Produce Stakes).

Helmet (2c Exceed And Excel – Accessories by Singspiel) defeated stablemate Uate in the Sires’ Produce Stakes at fortnight ago and jockey Kerrin McEvoy believes the colt can complete the Sydney 2YO Triple Crown for Darley

“He was strong on the line at the end of 1400m last time,” McEvoy said.  “He relaxes in running and the Sires’ showed the mile wouldn’t be a problem.”

A flashy chestnut, Helmet gained the upper hand in the Sires’ Produce Stakes to bring up a winning hat-trick after wins at Rosehill in February.  At his only other outing in October, the colt finished within a long neck of Karuta Queen after being checked at the start and on the home turn.

Helmet is a younger half-brother to Elusive Quality colt Bullbars who won the G3 C S Hayes Stakes at Caulfield in February.  

Sheikh Mohammed sent their dam Accessories to Australia in June 2006.  The British bred mare is an unraced half-sister to French G2 winners Pozarica (Rainbow Quest) and Annaba (In the Wings).  She has a yearling colt by Commands and a filly foal by Street Cry.

Helmet is Exceed And Excel’s second juvenile Group 1 winner following 2009 Blue Diamond winner Reward For Effort.

Exceed And Excel has sired 10 individual two year-old winners in Australia this season and 4 of them have scored in black-type company.  Apart from Helmet, he has been represented by the Listed winners Chinchilla (TRC Elwick Stakes & SAJC Queen Adelaide Stakes), Anevay (VRC Talindert Stakes) and Rebel Call (WATC Perth Stakes).

The Darley-owned filly Disputes (Manton) and the Kris Lees-trained colt Uate (Ad Valorem) provide a strong back-up to Helmet for Darley sires in the $400,000 Champagne Stakes.

Disputes is a younger half-sister to Divorces (Domesday) who was placed in last year’s Champagne Stakes behind Darley colt Skilled (Commands).  Her sire Manton was based at Darley before transferring to stand at Tareena Bloodstock in northern NSW.

The Kris Lees-trained Uate had completed a hat-trick at Newcastle, Randwick and Warwick Farm before running Helmet to a half-length in the Sires’ Produce Stakes.