Every so often a horse comes along that earns widespread affection for consistent effort unrewarded by victory.
Not A Single Doubt’s 3YO daughter Champagne Cuddles is a great example.
Her career started well, in fact even better than it seemed at the time, with a debut win as a 2YO, defeating subsequent Derby winner Ace High at Rosehill in October 2016.
She returned to score again at Randwick last June and looked set for a successful Spring after trials where she kept pace with Trapeze Artist, Dixie Blossoms and Russian Revolution.
And indeed she did have a successful Spring, never out of the frame in five Group races, the Golden Rose and the Flight among them, earning $375,000 and winning hearts, if not black type.
There was plenty for breeder & part-owner Stuart Ramsey and trainer Bjorn Baker to look forward to in the Autumn. The only problem was that Champagne Cuddles missed the Sydney Autumn Carnival because of bone-chip surgery.
The filly quickly – very quickly – put everything right in Saturday’s $125,000 Gold Coast Guineas 1200m G3. She showed all of her trademark determination to challenge the high-rolling leader Whypeeo, and then sprinted past him, setting a new track record of 1:07.65 in the process.
As Bjorn Baker said, “She’s hard not to love. She’s got a great attitude and a great racing pattern.”
Champagne Cuddles is the third winner produced by Sky Cuddle, whose five wins included the 2004 VRC Emirates S. G1. The filly’s pedigree features a 3×3 double-up of Easy Date, through Not A Single Doubt’s dam Singles Bar and Sky Cuddle’s sire Snippets.
Sadly, Sky Cuddle died in January 2016, a few months after foaling a Not A Single Doubt colt later bought by Singapore trainer Stephen Gray for $70,000 at the 2017 Magic Millions National Sale.
Champagne Cuddles is Not A Single Doubt’s 56th lifetime stakeswinner, and his 15th this season, a figure that equals his career-best tally of 2016/17.
These are statistics the filly will have a chance to increase again, with the Kingsford-Smith Cup G1 and the Fred Best Classic G3 at Doomben on 26 May both being considered for her.