The Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes (1000m) is the lone black-type race running at Sandown on the weekend and it has attracted a field of nine talented two-year-olds.
The majority of the runners are using the Chairman’s Stakes in a bid to boost their order of standing for the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) on February 28 and earn a place in the $1 million race field.
Five of the nine juveniles are offering single figure odds in the betting market at Ladbrokes.com.au, led by Prompt Return at $3.30. The Danny O’Brein-trained colt is well tipped to not only impress in the Chairman’s Stakes but also the Blue Diamond in three weeks’ time.
However David Hayes & Tom Dabernig’s debut runner More Than Most has receive plenty of support with his price shortening from $10 to $6 over the past few days.
#7 Haybah ($4.40)
Haybah is the second of two horses saddled by Hayes & Dabernig in the Chairman’s Stakes but surprisingly does not hold a Blue Diamond nomination, which would make her win that much more upsetting. The two-year-old filly has seen a great turnaround from her second last run in the Group 3 Emirates Airline Plate (1000m) back in November, winning her maiden after four starts at the beginning of January before finishing a fast second to Fontiton in the Group 3 Blue Diamond Fillies Preview (1000m) on January 26. Her recent winning form has shocked even her trainers. Haybah has finished in the first two in three of her five starts over 1000 metres and will carry the minimum weight of 54kg as she jumps midfield with Stephen Baster in her saddle.
#1 Prompt Return ($3.30)
Unlike Haybah, Danny O’Brien’s colt is resuming in the Chairman’s Stakes so won’t be as fresh as some of his rivals. Prompt Return will however have class on his side after winning the Group 3 Maribyrnong Plate (1000m) by two lengths back in November. The colt was beaten for the first time in the Magic Millions Clockwise Classic (1000m) at Ballarat on November 22 after which he was spelled with autumn in mind. Prompt Return will have to carry the 58kg top weight all on his own as he jumps from barrier seven with James Winks.
#2 Thurlow ($4.40)
Robert Smerdon’s two-year-old filly is another juvenile resuming in the Chairman’s Stakes but will get an ideal start from barrier two with Craig Williams to ride. Thurlow has won her one start over the track and distance, which was the Listed Merson Cooper Stakes (1000m) back in November on the back of a second placing in the Airline Plate, in which she beat Haybah.
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