Darley Champions Sprint Tips & Preview 2022

Darley Champions Sprint Tips & Preview


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



This shapes as one of the races of the spring and it is the two time winner, Nature Strip, that has been posted as a $2.10 favourite with ladbrokes, ahead of the horse that conquered him in the Everest, Giga Kick, who is at $6. The last start Manikato Stakes (1200m) winner, Bella Nipotina, is also at $6. 

Market believes this is almost a three-horse war as we jump to $19 for Paulele and $21 for Front Page, while Rothfire and Levante head the rest of the 15-horse field at the $26 quote. 



Nature Strip settled handy in the Everest but was posted wide and without cover after drawing barrier 12. James McDonald went for home at the 300m and the pair were left as a bit of a sitting duck for the likes of Giga Kick, who came with a perfectly timed run with Craig Williams on board to arrive in time. 

The unbeaten three-year-old set a personal best by going 12.2 lengths faster than standard benchmark and is will be interesting to see if he has more in the tank. The Clayton Douglas-trained galloper is two from two down the Flemington straight. 

Nature Strip is three from four over the 1200m at Flemington, winning this race twice and missing out in another behind Bivouac in 2020. He went 15.2 lengths faster than standard in this race last year. 

Bella Nipotina comes in with the best last start benchmark figures of any runner when claiming the Manikato Stakes (1200m). The Maher/Eustace galloper went 15.9 lengths faster than standard at the Valley on Cox Plate day, setting a personal best. She was well beaten into 3rd placing by Nature Strip in this race last year. 

Rothfire (2nd), September Run (4th) and Paulele (8th) were among the beaten brigade in the Manikato. All three have some ground to make up but may prefer a drier tack. 

Two runners come out of the Gilgai Stakes (1200m) that was held at Flemington on October 1. They are Roch ‘N’ Horse (2nd) and Baller (3rd). I wouldn’t be discounting those two with the winner, Private Eye, since coming runner-up in the Everest before taking out the Nature Strip Stakes (1300m). 

Roch ‘N’ Horse went 10.7 lengths faster than standard benchmark and 12.2 lengths faster when claiming the Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington earlier this year. She was runner-up in her other run over the 1200m at Flemington behind Baller in the Bobbie Lewis Quality back in September. 

Levante is one with New Zealand form and has had one start in Australia for a 4th behind Roch ‘N’ Horse in the Newmarket. She was arguably the best of the main pack in the Newmarket and ran on strongly out wide. Monitor betting for the daughter of Prosir, who is first up. 

Front Page gets back to Flemington and looked a world beater as a three-year-old when going 11.3 lengths faster than standard to claim the Creswick Sateks (1200m) in 2020, which is the same race that Nature Strip won as a youngster in 2018. 

Front Page has been nursed through injury since then but comes off a dominant win in the $2 million Kosciuszko (1200m) at Randwick on October 15. He ran a slightly slower time than what they produced in the Everest on the same day. 

A couple of other horses that create interest are Argentia and Lofty Strike. Both featured on Derby Day and it was Argentia that was strong to the line, taking out the Rising Fast Stakes (1200m) and coming from well back on a Slow tempo. Lofty Strike was 4th in the Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) for three-year-olds. 



Expect Nature Strip to bounce back in the Champions Stakes. He did have a bit of an excuse at Randwick in the Everest after drawing wide and being posted out before being forced to go for home a long way out. He has peaked for this race in previous years and does seem to improve third up. Giga Kick is the obvious danger.