Chairman has bigger trophies in his sights

Irish stayer Chairman gave his Gold Cup aspirations no harm with a superlative performance in the $80,000 Open Benchmark 74 race over 2000m on Sunday.

The Galileo four-year-old came off a sustained run from the 800m under an inspiring ride by Alan Munro to shoot clear to an impressive 1 ½-length win from Mr Fatkid (Michael Rodd). Show Far So Good (Zawari Razali) ran third another two lengths away.

Sent out as the $17 second-favourite, Chairman who was registering his second win, the first one coming under Laurie Laxon’s polish and Perth champion jockey William Pike’s steering on Singapore Derby day on July 9, will now be targeted towards the Group 3 El Dorado Classic (2200m) in two weeks’ time on October 22, the traditional prelude to the Group 1 Dester Singapore Gold Cup (2200m) on November 12.

Chairman (Alan Munro) kicks clear to take out Race 7, picture Singapore Turf Club

With Freedman away attending the Magic Millions Gold Coast 2YOs in Training Sale, it was left to his right-hand man Shane Ellis, who would actually know him better given his association with the gelding from Day 1, to lead in Freedman’s second Singapore winner (after Mr Clint on September 10).

“I’ve always had a good record when my trainers are away,” joked the Perth horseman, alluding to the handful of winners he had under his care when Laxon was away as well.

“Lee is at the sales. He has always had a good opinion of this horse.

“The horse will now go for the El Dorado and the Gold Cup, just like Lim’s Samurai, but that was always the plan for Chairman even before today’s race.

“When William Pike won on him over 2000m, he said we should get going before the home turn as he is a grinder. The further he goes the better he will be.

“I have to say he was very impressive today. We have no doubt he can stay 2200m as he won over 2400m back home going all the way.”

Munro, who was actually ejected from Chairman upon pulling up, but luckily without any harm, said he was always mindful of something coming from behind.

“He improved around runners really well, but I was worried about Mr Fatkid running on,” said the English jockey.

“But he stayed on really well.”

Chairman, a son of Galileo who raced as Cole Porter for the powerful team of Coolmore and Aidan O’Brien in Ireland (where he recorded his only win over 2400m at Leopardstown on May 8, 2016), has now brought up local stakes income in excess of $150,000 for his Thai connections, the Falcon Racing No 7 Stable.