It wasn't smooth sailing for star jockey Joao Moreira as the ‘Magic Man' was cast wide toward the rear of the field throughout proceedings; however, it simply didn't matter as the son of Dundeel was able to circle all key rivals with 200m to go, producing an empathic victory.
The Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained Bases Loaded was the pacemaker throughout the 1600m and was a mess prior to the start, sweeting up before the barriers opened. He was still brave holding on to second position. Stablemate Townsend was also admirably running into third, while Tom Kitten will improve into his three-year-old campaign.
Militarize was simply sensational though, and his prospects moving forward are just as promising as his achievement taking out his second Group 1 feature of the campaign.
2023 Group 1 Champagne Stakes Replay – Militarize
Chris Waller spoke post-race and was emotional when asked about the achievement of training all three two-year-old features for the Autumn and how special Militarize could be moving forward.
“I haven't put that much thought into it but as soon as you said it,” said Waller.
“As you can tell it makes me a little bit emotional. We haven't done anything different, just looked after these great crop of two-year-olds and they've looked after us haven't they?
“He was in a class of his own in my opinion, which I can say. But realistically he's a decent horse. He was three-wide today, didn't have any cover. Joao (Moreira) didn't panic. The most exciting part is we haven't pushed him yet.
“We're certainly looking forward to the spring.”
Joao Moreira was grateful for the ride during his stint in Australia and didn't dismiss a longer stay, particularly with the prospects of hopping back aboard Militarize.
“I was on such a good horse,” said Moreira.
“He impressed me with the way how he attacked the line. He deserved the win because he's a trier and no doubt about it you can't get any better.
“He's a good horse, he's given me that feeling before. I went to the race with plenty of confidence.
“I think the sky is the limit for this horse.
“Based on the way of how he has done it today, mile is not a problem and I can see him even running 2000m or maybe even further.
“Just by the way how he travels underneath, respecting the rider. He will be such a versatile type of horse.
“Whenever he runs again I would love to come back. It's something that we're going to talk about.”