One of the key support races running at Doomben on Saturday for BTC Cup Day will be the 2012 Chairman’s Handicap which has attracted a classy list of nominations.
Twelve months ago the Rob Heathcote-trained Toowoomba Cup champ Humma scored victory in the quality feature, this year Heathcote represented by just one horse in the $115,000 Group 3 Chairman’s Handicap (2000m) entries with his quality staying type Marked.
Last year’s Chairman’s Handicap third placegetter Count Encosta meanwhile is nominated for another shot, John Thompson’s five-year-old coming off a credible eighth to Ginga Dude in the listed Member’s Quality Handicap over the Eagle Farm mile back on April 21.
One of the likely favourites should they accept is the Jim Conlan-trained Mornington visitor Larry’s Never Late.
The Pentire gelding will be third-up for the season following two good runs, most recently a third to Western Symbol and Herculian Prince in the Listed JRA Plate (2000m) at Randwick on April 21.
Another big danger in the race is Kiwi galloper Six O’Clock News.
The Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young-trained Zabeel seven-year-old won the Trentham Stakes – Wellington Cup double back in January and was last seen running a gallant third to Shez Sinsational in the Group 1 Auckland Cup (3200m) at Ellerslie on March 7 when ridden by Aussie hoop Nash Rawiller.
While Saturday will be a marked drop in distance from the Auckland Cup two miles, Shez Sinsational proved it can be done winning a 1400m at Tauranga after her Group 1 win before travelling to the Gold Coast to take out the Group 2 AD Hollindale Stakes (1800m) last Saturday.
Some of the highly rated hopefuls among the early entries include 2011 AJC Oaks winner Absolutely, Gerald Ryan’s Zabeel six-year-old Ironstein, and Gold Coast galloper Shuffle The Cash.
See below for the full list of 16 Chairman’s Handicap nominations which will be narrowed down to the final field at acceptance stage on Wednesday.
2012 BTC Chairman’s Handicap Nominations
Doomben – 12/05/2012
|2||COUNT ENCOSTA||John P Thompson||90|
|4||FANTASTIC BLUE||Paul N Nolan||90|
|5||HEAD NORTH||Alan L Jones||79|
|6||HUME (NZ)||Brian Smith||89.5|
|8||LARRY’S NEVER LATE (NZ)||Jim Conlan||–|
|11||SHUFFLE THE CASH||Bryan Guy||94|
|12||SIX O’CLOCK NEWS (NZ)||Trent Busuttin||–|
|14||STREETS AWAY (NZ)||Alan Bailey||88|
|15||THE VERMINATOR||Chris Waller||–|
|16||WARRIOR WITHIN||Bruce W Hill||90|