This weekend in Sydney Day One of The Championships steals the spotlight at Royal Randwick, Big Memory leading the nominations for one of the meeting’s support acts – the Chairman’s Handicap 2015.
Four Group 1 races highlight the race card, but there is also plenty to like about the other five Group features on the program including the $300,000 Group 2 Schweppes Chairman’s Handicap (2600m).
Nominations for the staying feature, a lead-up to the $1.6 million Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) back at the track the following Saturday, feature a dozen hopefuls and have been extended until 11am (AEDT) on Tuesday morning.
Of the current entries it is the Adelaide-based Big Memory for Angaston’s Tony McEvoy who leads the way following the Duke Of Maralade gelding’s second to Tassie star Banca Mo in the $350,000 Listed Mornington Cup (2400m) last Saturday.
In the current pre-field Sydney Cup betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au for April 11, Big Memory is paying $15 with the all-in odds firmly led by John O’Shea’s gun import Hartnell ($2.60) after his The BMW win last weekend.
The shortest-priced of the Sydney Cup hopes nominated for the Chairman’s Handicap however is Rising Romance paying $11 to win the two mile classic.
Donna Logan’s Ekraar mare from New Zealand was scratched from The BMW field last weekend due to heat in her hoof but is set to return for ‘Plan B’ this weekend, the former Australian Oaks winner last seen running second to fellow Chairman’s Handicap nominee Scratchy Bottom in the Group 3 Epona Stakes (1900m) at Rosehill on March 21.
Also relatively high-up the futures Sydney Cup odds at $26 is the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Disclaimer, another top Chairman’s Handicap nomination who ran fifth last Saturday behind Gai Waterhouse’s Doncaster Mile hope Pornichet in the Group 3 Neville Sellwood Stakes (2000m).
Other notable Sydney Cup hopes in the Chairman’s mix this weekend include Michael Kent’s seven-year-old Pins mare Epingle who was runner-up to Au Revoir in the Group 2 Sandown Classic last November, and the Chris Waller-trained duo of Grand Marshal and last start Group 3 Manion Cup (2400m) winner Permit – who all pay $34.
See below for the current Chairman’s Handicap 2015 nominations, the final field and barriers set for release on Wednesday.
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2015 Chairman’s Handicap Nominations
Royal Randwick – 04/04/2015
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Hcp. Rating|
|1||81023×4302||BIG MEMORY (FR)||Tony McEvoy||103|
|2||05143×0075||DISCLAIMER (GB)||Peter & Paul Snowden||97|
|3||135x4442x0||EPINGLE (NZ)||Michael Kent||102|
|4||23211×8894||GRAND MARSHAL (GB)||Chris Waller||88|
|6||9×35742001||PERMIT (GB)||Chris Waller||97|
|9||x47226x122||RISING ROMANCE (NZ)||Donna Logan||110|
|10||532x086x01||SCRATCHY BOTTOM||Michael Kent||90|
|11||x9x676x016||SIR JOHN HAWKWOOD (IRE)||Peter G Moody||92|
|12||320x44x078||TREMEC (NZ)||John P Thompson||90|