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The Kiwis were in the winners’ stall at Royal Randwick on Day 1 of ‘The Championships’ with Sydney Cup-bound stayer Sir Charles Road holding off Ventura Storm to win the Chairman’s Quality.
On debut down under in the Group 2 $300,000 Schweppes Chairman’s Quality (2600m), the Lance O’Sullivan-trained Myboycharlie four-year-old was one of the best in betting for the Sydney Cup lead-up.
With Blake Shinn in the saddle, the progressive stayer enjoyed his first victory since taking out the Group 3 City Auckland Cup (2400m) back across the Tasman in late January.
His final lead-up before racing in Sydney was a sixth when only one and a half-lengths beaten in the Group 1 Auckland Cup (3200m) over the two miles on March 10, the horse enjoying a drop in distance and weight today.
“He certainly showed he was up to having a go,” O’Sullivan said post Chairman’s Quality win.
“It’s been a great team effort, but what a super ride. Just 10 out of 10. Unbelievable.”
Shinn had the Kiwi raider settled fifth in the run as the Chairman’s Quality field was led around by Imperial Aviator who did the early work to get to the front.
He settled ahead of the fellow Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained Cismontane who was positioned third on the rails as Admiral Jello raced off the track from his wide alley to get up into second.
Approaching the turn, Shinn got Sir Charles Road off the fence looking for a run and once on the straight got the split between Imperial Aviator and Admiral Jello.
Widest coming home was the Lindsay Park-trained Ventura Storm down in grade after a last start eighth in last Saturday’s Group 1 Tancred Stakes (2400m) at Rosehill.
Sir Charles Road ($7.50) and Ventura Storm ($11) were engaged in a thrilling two-horse race to the line over the final furlong going stride-for-stride to the line.
In the end Sir Charles Road was too strong and too brave, sticking his neck out and showing a great will to win holding off the challenger Ventura Storm who put in an excellent effort carrying the 59kg top weight.
“Today was a marvellous staying performance, he relaxed lovely and I was able to get out at the right time. Once challenged he really dug deep, it was a really strong effort,” winning hoop Shinn said of Sir Charles Road post-race.
Rounding out the Chairman’s Quality trifecta in third having made up late ground was the John O’Shea-trained Peribsen ($11) coming off a third in the NE Manion Cup (2400m) from Slipper Day.
“Ran terrific, little bit further back than I thought, but he was just a bit sluggish out of the gates and I had to just ease him back quickly, got a nice run through from the 600m and he hit the line strong,” jockey Sam Clipperton said of the third placed Peribsen.
It now looks onwards and upwards for Sir Charles Road to back-up in the Group 1 $2 million Sydney Cup (3200m) over the two miles at Randwick next weekend.
“That’s the plan,” O’Sullivan said.
“This is the first target and it’s one step at a time.
“But doing what he did today, we’d be very keen to push onto next week.”
Before the Chairman’s Quality result the horse was 23rd on the Sydney Cup order of entry with 50kg.
Runner-up today Ventura Storm has also firmed in pre-field Sydney Cup betting from $26 to $13.
The Chairman’s Handicap has produced two of the past four Sydney Cup winners with The Offer (2014) the latest to do the double.
2018 Chairman’s Quality Results & Finishing Order
Randwick Race 5 – 07/04/2018
|1||6||SIR CHARLES ROAD||Lance O’Sullivan & Andrew Scott||Blake Shinn||–||10||56kg||$7|
|2||1||VENTURA STORM (IRE)||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Mark Zahra||0.2L||2||59kg||$11|
|3||11||PERIBSEN (IRE)||John O’Shea||Sam Clipperton||3.5L||8||53kg||$11|
|4||13||ORMITO (GER)||Darren Weir||Craig Williams||4.5L||5||53kg||$10|
|5||15||DOUKHAN (IRE)||Kris Lees||Craig Newitt||4.7L||4||53kg||$91|
|6||8||ALWARD (IRE)||Chris Waller||Kerrin McEvoy||5.2L||11||55kg||$4.80F|
|7||10||ADMIRAL JELLO||Kris Lees||Jason Collett||5.4L||15||53kg||$16|
|8||7||CISMONTANE (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Stephen Baster||6.2L||3||55.5kg||$5.50|
|9||2||MASTER OF ARTS (NZ)||Darren Weir||Damian Lane||6.3L||6||57.5kg||$12|
|10||4||ZACADA (NZ)||Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman||Michael Dee||7.5L||14||56.5kg||$41|
|11||17||DOMED||John P Thompson||Ms Rachel King (a)||9.6L||7||53kg||$11|
|12||12||IMPERIAL AVIATOR (GB)||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Tim Clark||10.6L||9||53kg||$41|
|13||14||WHEAL LEISURE||Archie Alexander||Ms Kathy O’Hara||13.6L||12||53kg||$21|
|14||9||DOUBLE BLUFF (IRE)||Robbie Laing||Damien Oliver||15.1L||13||54.5kg||$41|
|15||16||UP CUPS||Rhonda Mangan||Anthony Darmanin||18.8L||1||53kg||$91|
|–||5||FANATIC (NZ)||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Michael Walker||–||0||–||–|
|–||3||TALLY||James Cummings||Tye Angland||–||0||–||–|
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