Champions Stakes Tips & Preview 2023

Image sourced from Victoria Racing Club Facebook


Looking for Champions Stakes tips and best bets? We dissect times and form to find the winner of the 2023 Champions Stakes at Flemington.


West Wind Blows is the $2.50 favourite with Dabble after the barrier draw ahead of Prowess and Duais at $5.50. Atishu is a $7 chance, while the 2022 winner of this race, Zaaki, is at $8. 

There are 11 contenders in action for the $3 million affair and Montefilia will be out to improve on her Caulfield Cup (2400m) performance and is at $18, while Buckaroo is at $21. Huetor ($31), Young Werther ($34), Zeyrek ($41) and Pinstriped ($51) make up the rest of the field. 


West Wind Blows has had two starts in Australia and has finished runner-up on both occasions. The first of those came in the Turnbull Stakes (2000m), going 14.5 lengths faster than standard benchmark when missing out behind Gold trip. He then went 19.1 lengths faster than standard when filling the exacta behind Without A Fight in the Caulfield Cup (2400m). That horse has since gone on to win the Melbourne Cup (3200m). 

The Simon & Ed Crisford galloper boasts the best last start benchmark figures of any runner, in fact none in the race have produced a higher figure in the past two years. Montefilia also comes out of the Caulfield Cup and was a disappointing 13th.

Duais ran a blinder when 4th in the Cox Plate (2040m) at her last start and should have finished closer than the 1.3 length margin behind Romantic Warrior after being held up in the straight. The six-year-old went 17 lengths faster than standard and was placed at Group 1 level in two runs behind Alligator Blood prior to that. 

Zaaki won this race last year and also comes out of the Cox Plate, settling towards the front before just fading late for 6th. Pinstriped over-raced at Moonee Valley before eventually running 11th to Romantic Warrior, beaten seven lengths. 

Prowess is one of the favoured runners in early markets and was strong when claiming the Crystal Mile (1600m) at Moonee Valley on Cox Plate day, going 11.6 lengths faster than standard. The Kiwi galloper has won her three starts over the 2000m by a combined margin of nearly nine lengths, including a three-length romp in the Vinery Stud Stakes at Rosehill earlier this year. 

Atishu is on the one-week back-up after just missing out behind Pride Of Jenni in the Empire Rose Stakes (1600m) last weekend. One of two in the race for Chris Waller, the six-year-old produced the fastest last 600m, 400m and 200m to go 14.4 lengths faster than standard in the Empire Rose. She likes Flemington and went 14 lengths faster than standard when claiming the Matriarch Stakes (2000m) on this day last year. 

Zeyrek is a last start winner, claiming the Craven Plate (1800m) in Sydney at his most recent start. He hasn’t quite measured up to the absolute A-graders in the past, however. Huetor has some work to fo after finishing 6th to Zeyrek last time, while Buckaroo didn’t quite do enough in his only Australian start when 7th to Fangirl in the King Charles III Stakes (1600m) at Randwick. 

Young Werther has won two of his past three and comes off a last start 6th behind Montefilia. He has performed well in some big races at the track and trip in the past but will need plenty to go his way to take this out. 


Hard to knock West Wind Blows on what he has done in his two Australian starts. He finished ahead of Romantic Warrior at the track and trip when runner-up here in the Turnbull, while his run behind Without A Fight was excellent in the Caulfield Cup. The five-year-old draws to save plenty of ground from barrier 2 and if the gaps open up in the straight, the UK galloper should be very hard to beat.