Drop back to mile doesn't deter Chairman

Notable Gold Cup absentee Chairman earned some solace for connections when he scored a narrow win in the $80,000 Class 3 race over 1600m on Sunday.

The Irish-bred by Galileo was considered a moral to run in the 2200m classic last Sunday, especially after his gallant second in the traditional trial, the Group 3 El Dorado Classic (2200m), but his rating of 74 unfortunately saw him left out of the final 16.

Trainer Lee Freedman felt a little hard done by, but in hindsight, thought the Thai-owned gelding might have found it tough against the winner Gilt Complex when going through the El Dorado Classic formline.

Chairman (John Powell, in blue silks) keeps finding to come out tops in the Class 3 race on Sunday, picture Singapore Turf Club

Freedman’s only query – and that of many racegoers - was the sudden drop to the mile in Sunday’s race, but the Australian Hall of Fame trainer turned in a masterstroke.

Up there with the early pace in the small eight-horse field, Chairman ($18) launched his challenge upon straightening. Show Far So Good (Vlad Duric) tried to hang on to his slender lead, but Chairman’s superior stamina came to the fore.

A big blowout looked on the cards when $200 smokie Easter Mate (Derreck David) stuck it out manfully while favourite Lim’s Royal (William Pike) was also chiming in on the outside, but Chairman held his line to prevail by a head from Easter Mate.

Lim’s Royal, who was on the quick back-up and bidding for a two-in-a-row from last Sunday’s win, had the race at his mercy when he was brought to the outside for his run, but he levelled out 100m out to finish third another length away. The winning time was 1min 34.98secs for the 1100m on the Polytrack.

A four-year-old by Galileo who won one race in Ireland as Cole Porter for Aidan O’Brien and Coolmore, Chairman was registering his third local win from 14 starts for stakes earnings past the $230,000 mark for the Falcon Racing No 7 Stable.

Freedman said Chairman was a horse who already had plenty of residual fitness from his Gold Cup prep.

“I didn’t have to do much with him after he didn’t get a run in the Gold Cup. It’s worked out well in the end,” said Freedman.

“He just did some work in bit and pieces and it was not very hard to maintain him for this race even though it was a drop from 2200m to 1600m.

“He showed a nice turn of foot and won.”

Powell was grateful he had been kept in the saddle after he was given the job of prepping him up for the Gold Cup a couple of weeks ago.

“I rode him in his work before the Gold Cup, and they told me I would keep the ride at his next start. It’s good of Lee to still put me on,” said the Australian jockey.

“He jumped out good and I got him in a good position. He outstayed them.

“He had a nice freshen-up to drop back to the mile. To me, the mile is not his distance, and he probably got away with it today.”