Nine runners have been confirmed in the final field for Saturday’s Group 2 Chairman’s Handicap (2600m) at Royal Randwick, highlighted by the inclusion of several horses seeking a berth in next weekend’s Group 1 Sydney Cup.
Big Duke has found terrific form for trainer Darren Weir this season and has been confirmed to be partnered by Craig Williams when he takes his place in the 2017 Chairman’s Handicap field.
Posting consecutive wins in a pair of Victorian minors over 1800m and 2040m respectively through late December and January, Big Duke was unable to justify his outright favouritism when second in the Group 3 Hobart Cup (2400m), but responded with a dominant win in the Group 3 Launceston Cup (2400m) a fortnight later.
Having since won the Group 3 NE Manion Cup (2400m) a fortnight ago, the Raven’s Pass gelding has drawn into the Chairman’s Handicap field on the rails.
Kinema has continued to improve upon stepping up in distance this time in and the talented stayer could find ideal conditions when he lines up in the Chairman’s Handicap field.
Capping his first Australian campaign with a smart win in the Prince Of Penzance Plate (2800m) on Melbourne Cup Day, Kinema returned this time for seventh in the James Ruse Handicap (1500m) on February 18th.
Progressing to fifth in the Listed Randwick City Cup (2000m), the Galileo gelding worked to the line well for fourth in the NE Manion Cup last time out.
Polarisation has been set for the Sydney Cup and will make his Australian debut this weekend after been confirmed in the 2017 Chairman’s Handicap field.
A strong and consistent performer for Godolphin’s British trainer Charlie Appleby, Polarisation made only three appearances at the races in 2016, but his genuine staying ability and first-up form suggests that he will be tough to beat in the Chairman’s Handicap.
Last seen running on for fourth in the Ladbrokes Mallard Stakes (2937m) on September 9th, the Echo Of Light gelding is drawn well to finish a position off the pace in barrier 7.
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2017 Chairman’s Handicap Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||x1x4211211||BIG DUKE (IRE)||Darren Weir||Craig Williams||1||58kg||98|
|2||170x41x754||KINEMA (IRE)||Chris Waller||Zac Purton||9||58kg||98|
|3||2x1x7x39x1||ALOFT (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||Ben Melham||8||56.5kg||95|
|4||067379×978||PENTATHLON (NZ)||John Wheeler||Jason Collett||3||56.5kg||95|
|5||2x9533x324||ALEGRIA||John O’Shea||Joao Moreira||6||55.5kg||93|
|6||38x2x20x4x||POLARISATION (GB)||Charlie Appleby||Kerrin McEvoy||7||55.5kg||88|
|7||2521341241||ROCK ON (NZ)||John Sargent||Brenton Avdulla||2||55.5kg||83|
|8||18×1931236||VANDANCER (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Tommy Berry||5||55.5kg||83|
|9||8835332465||SHALMANESER||Jason Attard||Tim Clark||4||55.5kg||78|