The 29 two-year-old horses nominated for the Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes (1000m) was whittled down to just nine when final acceptances were taken on Wednesday.
Running at Sandown Racecourse on Saturday, the 2015 Chairman’s Stakes will be used as a final effort for many of the juveniles to earn a spot in the $1 million Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) final field in three weeks’ time.
Danny O’Brien’s Prompt Return has the best chance at winning the race and earning himself a shot in the Blue Diamond after finishing in the first two in his three career starts. The colt will carry the top weight of 58kg as he jumps from barrier seven with James Winks to ride.
Prompt Return won his debut at Bendigo last October along with the Group 2 Maribyrnong Plate (1000m). It was an impressive two length victory that has helped his form into the autumn.
The colt was due to travel to the Gold Coast for the Magic Millions Race Day but connections decided to give him a nice spell instead after he missed out on the Magic Millions Clockwise Classic at Ballarat.
Robert Smerdon’s Thurlow will enjoy a start from barrier two with Craig Williams to ride. The filly finished runner-up in the Group 3 Emirates Airline Plate (1000m) last November before winning the Listed Santa’s Magical Kingdom Stakes (1000m) 11 days later.
Gai Waterhouse’s chances at winning the 2015 Chairman’s Stakes were made that much easier when her entry Brooklyn drew the inside jump from barrier one. The gelding will be partnered with champion hoop Damien Oliver.
Trainers David Hayes & Tom Dabernig will deliver a dual-pronged attack on the race after accepting with both More Than That and Haybah.
More Than That will make his debut in the Chairman’s Stakes, set to jump from barrier three with Michael Walker, while Haybah was a fast-finishing second to Fontiton in the Group 3 Blue Diamond fillies Preview (1000m) at Sandown last Monday.
The filly drove along the inside to be prominent at the front, leading by a slender margin into the straight. She kept fighting all the way home and was only nabbed late.
Considering Fontiton is the $5 second favourite to win the 2015 Blue Diamond Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au it’s safe to say her form has held up.
Haybah will jump from barrier five with Stephen Baster to ride and carry the minimum weight of 54kg.
Check out the full 2015 Chairman’s Stakes final field and barrier draw below.
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2015 Chairman’s Stakes Field & Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||112x||PROMPT RETURN||Danny O’Brien||James Winks||7||58kg||74|
|2||21x||THURLOW||Robert Smerdon||Craig Williams||2||56kg||70|
|3||84x||BROOKLYN||Gai Waterhouse||Damien Oliver||1||56kg||61|
|4||–||ASSERTIVE STAR||Byron Cozamanis||Chad Schofield||4||56kg||–|
|5||–||BROCKHOFF||Ciaron Maher||Nicholas Hall||6||56kg||–|
|6||–||MORE THAN MOST||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Michael Walker||3||56kg||–|
|7||02412||HAYBAH||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||Stephen Baster||5||54kg||67|
|8||61||CERTAIN ELLIE||Paul Rocke||Alan Creighton||8||54kg||66|
|9||1||PARCEL||Wez Hunter||Chris Parnham (a)||9||54kg||63|