Champions Stakes Tips & Preview 2022

Champions Stakes Tips & Preview


Looking for Champions Stakes tips and best bets? We dissect times and form to find the winner of the 2022 Champions Stakes at Flemington.



What a fascinating race this shapes to be and it is the Cox Plate (2040m) winner, Anamoe, that is a $2.25 favourite with NEDS after the barrier draw, just ahead of the runner-up out of the Cox Plate, I’m Thunderstruck, who is at $3.90. Zaaki ($7) and Mo’unga ($9) are next best.

The three-year-old, Elliptical, is an interesting contender and is at $14 ahead of Hinged ($14) and another three-year-old in Mr Maestro at $21. Maximal at $31 heads the rest of the 11-horse field.



Five of the 11 runners come out of the Cox Plate and it was Anamoe that had the perfect run in transit but was as strong as they come, holding off I’m Thunderstruck by half a length.

The runner-up was arguably the unlucky runner as he was held up at the 600m before racing tight between the 400m-200m. The Mick Price and Michael Kent Junior-trained galloper produced the fastest last 200m.

Zaaki led and stuck on well for 4th, beaten just over a length Mo’unga settled back on the Heavy 8 and battled around the turn before producing the second fastest last 200m, landing ahead of Gold Trip, who has since come out and won the Melbourne Cup (3200m). Maximal is the other to come out of the Cox Plate and was 11th.

Can the beaten brigade topple Anamoe? I’m Thunderstruck was taking ground off the Godolphin four-year-old and has a great record at Flemington, winning two of three and finishing runner-up in the other. He will love the long straight but is yet to win in three goes over the 2000m.

Zaaki is as honest as they come but just seems a fraction below them at the moment. Mo’unga is another that should enjoy being back at Flemington and was 3rd in this race last year behind Zaaki.

Anamoe faces Flemington for the first time and it will be interesting to see how he adapts but he has found a way each time this preparation, winning four from four with all of those at Group 1 level. He went 11.9 lengths faster than standard at Moonee Valley, which are the second best last start benchmark figures of any runner.

Best last start benchmark figures belong to Bankers Choice, who appreciated the solid tempo in the Crystal Mile (1600m) at Moon Valley on the same day as the Cox Plate to finish runner-up behind My Oberon, going 15.7 lengths faster than standard benchmark.

The presence of a couple of three-year-olds creates plenty of interest and it is Elliptical that has placed in a couple of Group 1 races at his last two starts. The Dundeel colt from the Anthony & Sam Freedman stable was nailed late by She’s Extreme in the Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at his most recent start, while he went down to Golden Mile at his start prior in the Caulfield Guineas (1600m). Both have proven to be strong form races.

Mr Maestro couldn’t quite catch them in the VRC Derby (2500m), coming 4th. A couple of the runners out of the Spring Champion Stakes provided the quinella in the Derby, franking the form of Elliptical.

Mr Maestro is on the one-week back up and his peak figure from this preparation was over the 1800m at Flemington when going 10 lengths faster than standard to claim the Super Impose Stakes (1800m).

Hinged comes down from Sydney and settled back in the Golden Eagle (1500m) before producing the second fastest last 200m to run 5th behind I Wish I Win. She was 3rd three starts ago behind Anamoe in the George Main Stakes (1600m)

Mustang Valley comes over from New Zealand and has won three of his past four. His miss was behind La Crique, who couldn’t quite get the job done in the Empire Rose Stakes (1600m) against the mares on Derby Day. Mustang Valley’s three wins have come at a combined margin of more than 12 lengths but I suspect he might need a Heavy track to trouble these and with the weather on the improve in Melbourne he is unlikely to get that.



Have to go with Anamoe in the Champions Stakes. He has done the job for us every time he has stepped out this preparation and we are not jumping off now. You could make a case for I’m Thunderstruck but Anamoe has found a way every time and I am not sure it will be third time lucky for his rival. This is unlikely to be run at breakneck speed and that will suit Anamoe, who should again get the perfect run from barrier 4.