Brisbane’s winter carnival action kicks off with a bang on Saturday at Eagle Farm and one of the more open races on the eight-race program is the Group 3 2013 Chairman’s Handicap (2100m).
The $115,000 event has attracted a full 14-horse field plus five emergencies and contains a number of local hopes and raiders.
Returning to the scene of success is last year’s Queensland Oaks winner Quintessential who has received a horror “visitor’s draw” in barrier 17.
The New Zealand mare has been in solid form this preparation and was last seen running third in the Group 2 Travis Stakes at Te Rapa.
There is a strong New Zealand presence in the race with Quintessential joined by Tony Pike’s gelding Carrick, Lisa Latta’s mare Zennista and John Wheeler-trained pair Gold Cape and I Gotta Feeling.
It is a definite rise in grade for Wheeler’s hopes but both are coming off last-start victories.
One of the top local hopes is Ben Currie-trained gelding Margins who was a two-length winner in the Listed Tails Stakes on April 27.
Also representing the Queenslanders is Tony Gollan-trained gelding Topping who finished one place in front of Margins in the Members’ Handicap on April 20.
Winner of the Members’ Handicap was Transporter who showed the the Queensland form is strong when third to Lights Of Heaven and Forteller in the Group 2 Hollindale Stakes on Saturday.
Making the trip north is Tony McEvoy’s French import Sysmo who is coming off a sixth-place finish to Kelinni in the JRA Plate.
Others in the Chairman’s Handicap field include Michael Moroney’s stayer Shenzhou Steeds and Brian Smith-trained pair Rothera and Dolly Dolly.
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Chairman’s Handicap 2013 – Final Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||65354341×8||ROTHERA||Brian Smith||Ric McMahon||7||59kg||99|
|2||x648630x40||SHENZHOU STEEDS (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Eddie Wilkinson||5||58kg||97|
|3||2x056x5253||QUINTESSENTIAL (NZ)||John Sargent||Damian Browne||17||57.5kg||100|
|4||7257217×27||ZENNISTA (NZ)||Lisa Latta||Jonathan Riddell||18||57kg||99|
|5||x8939x7050||STRIKE THE STARS (NZ)||Anthony Cummings||TBA||16||56.5kg||94|
|6||x610x05x32||CARRICK (NZ)||Tony Pike||Leith Innes||19||56kg||93|
|7||152243×842||TOPPING||Tony Gollan||Larry Cassidy||10||55.5kg||92|
|8||2x74x94131||MARGINS||Ben Currie||Timothy Bell||11||55kg||91|
|9||144415×800||SAINT ENCOSTA||John P Thompson||TBA||1||55kg||91|
|10||0x141116x7||POSTE RESTANTE (NZ)||Desleigh Forster||Michael Cahill||3||54.5kg||94|
|11||1224124136||DOLLY DOLLY (NZ)||Brian Smith||Ryan Wiggins||2||54kg||89|
|12||003×442371||GOLD CAPE||John Wheeler||TBA||12||54kg||83|
|13||3931344×01||I GOTTA FEELING (NZ)||John Wheeler||TBA||14||54kg||82|
|14||16x533x216||SYSMO (FR)||Tony McEvoy||Glen Colless||6||54kg||81|
|15e||x221132x70||ANAGOLD||Bryan Guy||Jim Byrne||9||54kg||81|
|16e||3241381125||DAZZLE US||Bruce W Hill||TBA||15||54kg||80|
|18e||3x11119x41||MASTER AVATAR||Gary Duncan||TBA||8||54kg||78|
|19e||427716×260||BOREHOLE||David J Lawlor||Andrew Spinks||4||54kg||72|