Eighteen quality stayers have been nominated for the $175,000 Group 2 Chairman’s Handicap (2600m), one of nine Group races running at the Royal Randwick for 2011 AJC Derby Day this Saturday April 9.
Equal top-rated entries nominated for the 2011 Chairman’s Handicap are the Lee Freedman-trained Speed Gifted and Gai Waterhouse’s Once Were Wild.
If accepted, seven-year-old Speed Gifted will carry the 58kg top-weight in the race as he backs up from a game third in the Albury Cup (2000m) last start on March 25.
Johannesburg mare Once Were Wild will be looking to return to form having had a number of disappointing runs this season, the four-year-old most recently finishing ninth to Bid Spotter in the Listed N E Manion Cup (2400m) at Rosehill on March 26.
Chairman’s Handicap nominees that come into the race on the back of some more impressive recent form include Kiwi galloper Showcause and the Shaun Dwyer-trained Anudjawun.
The Frank Ritchie-trained Showcause won the Group 2 Avondale Cup (2400m) in February before coming second to Titch in the Group 1 Auckland Cup (3200m) last start.
With fellow New Zealander Jimmy Choux the raging favourite to win the $1.5 million Group 1 AJC Australian Derby (2400m) at Saturday’s meet, there is also sure to be plenty of love for Showcause as they make their Australian race debut.
Toowoomba galloper Anudjawun will step up to Group company for the first time this year having performed well in lower status features including their last start second to Base in a 2000m race at Caulfield on March 26.
One of the top Chairman’s Stakes fancies is sure to be Gai Waterhouse’s Don Eduardo mare Older Than Time.
Older Than Time is unbeaten this season having won all four of her starts including the Listed Sky High Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on March 19 where the four-year-old beat the likes of Luen Yat Forever and Lamasery.
Waterhouse is heading towards a start in the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) at Randwick on April 23 with Older Than Time.
The Chairman’s Handicap final field of acceptors and barrier draw will be released on Wednesday.
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2011 Chairman’s Handicap Nominations
|1||SPEED GIFTED (GB)||Lee Freedman||1=||58kg||106|
|2||C’EST LA GUERRE (NZ)||Robert Hickmott||3||57.5kg||105|
|3||ONCE WERE WILD||Gai Waterhouse||1=||56kg||106|
|5||TINSELTOWN (NZ)||Michael Moroney||5||55.5kg||101|
|6||SAINT ENCOSTA||John P Thompson||7=||52.5kg||95|
|7||STRIKE ONE (GB)||Chris Waller||7=||52.5kg||95|
|8||ANUDJAWUN (NZ)||Shaun Dwyer||15||52kg||78|
|9||COUNT ENCOSTA||John P Thompson||10||52kg||90|
|10||CYBER CRIME||Guy Walter||18||52kg||64|
|11||GALIZANI||John P Thompson||11||52kg||89|
|12||KING LIONHEART||Gai Waterhouse||14||52kg||80|
|13||MISS DARCEY||Anthony Cummings||12=||52kg||88|
|14||MISS KEEPSAKE (NZ)||Joseph Pride||9||52kg||94|
|15||OLDER THAN TIME||Gai Waterhouse||6||52kg||97|
|17||STAND TO GAIN (IRE)||Chris Waller||12=||52kg||88|
|18||THE PATRIOT||Luke Price||17||52kg||68|