A talented field of 14 has been nominated for an appearance in the 2014 Group 2 Chairman’s Handicap (2600m) at Royal Randwick this weekend on day one of the inaugural The Championships, including Sertorius.
Securing an incredible nine wins and 12 places from only 29 race starts to fate, Sertorius was arguably one of the strongest competitors over the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, finishing worse than second only once in six starts which also included victories in the Listed Bendigo Cup (2400m) and Group 2 Zipping Classic ahead of fellow Chairman’s Handicap nominee Epingle.
Returning to the track in typically competitive form this season, the exciting Galileo gelding was unlucky to finish second in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) first-up before contested a hard-fought third in the Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m) on March 8th.
Running fifth to Silent Achiever in the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) and fourth in the Group 1 The BMW (2400m) most recently, all signs point towards another strong showing from Sertorius in the 2014 Chairman’s Handicap ahead of a likely appearance in the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) on April 19th.
Having returned to the track in strong condition this season, trainer Chris Waller is confident Opinion has the class to claim a second win this preparation in the 2014 Chairman’s Stakes.
Amassing five wins and three places from only 18 competitive starts so far, Opinion began his impressive racing career under the guidance of leading British trainer Sir Michael Stoute before being transferred to the care of Waller in September 2013.
Quickly building to the task at hand in 2014, the talented Oasis Dream gelding followed a debut run for sixth in the TAB Rewards Maiden (1400m) with an impressive turn of foot to beat Her Majesty The Queen-owned Carlton House to the line by nearly three lengths and win the Listed Parramatta Cup (1900m) on March 1st.
Finishing an unlucky second in both the Listed Randwick City Stakes (2000m) and Listed NE Manion Cup (2400m) most recently, Opinion is joined in nominations for the Chairman’s Handicap by stable mate Permit.
Having contested an up-and-down six race preparation this time in, Waller is confident Permit will be in prime condition upon lining up at Randwick this weekend after producing a strong barrier trial two weeks ago.
Securing back-to-back victories in the Listed Christmas Cup (2400m) and Listed Tattersall’s Club Cup (2400m) this season, the Dansili gelding has proven winning potential and will be difficult to beat if indeed lining up in good order.
Trainer Gai Waterhouse is poised to dominate the final field for the 2014 Chairman’s Handicap, having nominated Hippopus, Projectile and The Offer for positions in the final field of this weekend’s sole Group 2.
Second in the Group 3 Neville Sellwood Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens last weekend, Hippopus has been nominated for an appearance in the major Group 1 Sydney Cup, and offers Waterhouse arguably her strongest chance of success in the Chairman’s Handicap on recent Group-level form.
Securing two wins from four starts this preparation alone, Projectile will line up for a maiden appearance at Group level if accepted into the 2014 Chairman’s Handicap final field.
Beating Opinion to the line in the NE Manion Cup most recently, The Offer has claimed a total of four wins an five places in only 15 race starts to date, contesting a short yet impressive 2013 spring campaign which arguably peaked with a near-four length victory in the Listed Ballarat Cup (2200m) on November 24th.
A final field and barrier draw for the 2014 Chairman’s Handicap are due to be released on Wednesday morning.
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2014 Chairman’s Handicap Nominations
|1||DESERT JEUNEY||Nigel Blackiston||92|
|2||EPINGLE (NZ)||Michael Kent||105|
|3||FLYING HOME||Barry Baldwin||90|
|4||HIPPOPUS (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||97|
|5||LIKE A CAROUSEL||Ken Keys||75|
|6||LUCKY LIAISON||Kristen Buchanan||74|
|7||OPINION (IRE)||Chris Waller||99|
|8||PERMIT (GB)||Chris Waller||104|
|10||RETORT COURTEOUS (NZ)||Steve Englebrecht||70|
|11||SERTORIUS||Jamie Edwards & Bruce Elkington||106|
|12||THE OFFER (IRE)||Gai Waterhouse||103|
|13||TREMEC (NZ)||John P Thompson||96|
|14||ZABEELIONAIRE (NZ)||Leon Corstens||96|