Sunday at the Sunshine Coast sees the postponed...
Saturday week’s 2020 Sydney Cup over the two miles is the confirmed next-up target for Kris Lees’ import Raheen House following the former European’s strong win in the Group 2 $300,000 Chairman’s Quality (2600m) win at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
An early feature on Day 1 of The Championships, the Chairman’s Quality serves as a last chance for stayers to make the line-up for the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) over the two miles back at the track in seven days’ time.
Newcastle trainer Lees was quick to confirm Sydney Cup plans for his Sea The Stars six-year-old after Raheen House celebrated his maiden win down under in the Chairman’s.
It had officially been 911 days between wins for the stayer whose last turf triumph was at Ascot in the UK over 2816m in October of 2017.
He was well beaten twice in Melbourne during a flat spring campaign before coming back last month with back-to-back sixth place efforts including behind Young Rascal on Slipper Day in the Group 3 NE Manion Cup (2400m).
“He come down for the carnival but he wasn’t himself in the spring on a couple of firm tracks that didn’t suit him,” Lees told Sky Racing after Saturday’s victory.
“His two lead up runs were improving with each outing and today he got conditions to suit.”
Getting out over the 2600m of the Chairman’s had Raheen House back to his best form, the galloper relishing his first go on a Heavy-rated track with Hugh Bowman giving him a gun ride in the handicap feature.
Dropping from 57.5kg last time out in the Group 3 to 56kg on Doncaster Day, the gelding travelled back off the solid speed settled around eighth in running as 53kg lightweight Think It Over led the Chairman’s Quality field around.
Predicted front runner, last year’s ATC Derby winner Angel Of Truth, was beaten for speed and got caught deep early in sixth before racing wide into third without cover in a less than ideal position throughout.
As they travelled into the turn, jockey Tim Clark felt for Peter & Paul Snowden’s well-backed So You Think four-year-old Carif pulling three wide trying to improve his position.
Think It Over still looked full of running around the corner leading into the straight trying to open up a margin on the rest of the field.
Tancred Stakes fourth placegetter last weekend, Mirage Dancer carried the topweight in the race and started to really work into it out wide over the final 300m.
At the 200m, Carif moved up strongly going past the pacemaker before Raheen House ($17) drew level, got his head in front and drew away over the last 100m to win by a length.
Beaten $5 favourite Carif held for second, while the Chairman’s Quality trifecta was completed by Mirage Dancer ($15) looking brave in defeat with the son of Frankel carrying 59kg.
Finding his form third-up, Raheen House relished the conditions and put himself right into contention for the Sydney Cup.
“A lovely ride by Hugh and he was very strong, so it’s a nice set up for next week’s Sydney Cup, all being well if he pulls up well,” Lees, who won the 2006 Sydney Cup with Country Tyrone, said.
The Chairman’s Quality – Sydney Cup double has been completed by eight horses over the years, The Offer (2014) the most recent.
Updated Sydney Cup 2020 odds at Ladbrokes.com.au on Raheen House have firmed in from $14 to $7, while Carif is in from $8.50 to $7.50 in the potential rematch.
2020 Chairman’s Quality Results
|1||4||RAHEEN HOUSE (IRE)||Kris Lees||Hugh Bowman||–||6||56kg||$17|
|2||5||CARIF||Peter & Paul Snowden||Tim Clark||1.3L||4||55.5kg||$5F|
|3||1||MIRAGE DANCER (GB)||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Opie Bosson||1.7L||12||59kg||$15|
|4||3||GALLIC CHIEFTAIN (FR)||Archie Alexander||Jason Collett||2.4L||1||56.5kg||$9|
|5||7||ANGEL OF TRUTH||Gwenda Markwell||Glen Boss||3.3L||9||54.5kg||$7|
|6||6||YOGI (NZ)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Nash Rawiller||3.5L||11||55kg (cd 56kg)||$26|
|7||2||THE CHOSEN ONE (NZ)||Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman||James McDonald||3.7L||3||57kg||$10|
|8||14||THINK IT OVER||Kerry Parker||Jay Ford||6.5L||5||53kg||$13|
|9||13||HOUSE OF CARTIER||John Sargent||Ms Rachel King||6.8L||13||53kg||$10|
|10||11||YOUNGSTAR||Chris Waller||Kerrin McEvoy||6.9L||7||53.5kg||$7|
|11||12||GAYATRI||Chris Waller||Tommy Berry||12L||8||53kg||$8|
|12||8||ALL TOO SOON||David Payne||Glyn Schofield||21.6L||10||54kg||$151|
|13||10||FAIRLIGHT (IRE)||Kris Lees||Brenton Avdulla||22.4L||2||54kg||$61|
|–||15||MRS MADRID||Anthony Cummings||Jean Van Overmeire (a)||–||0||–||–|
|–||9||GREAT GLEN (GB)||Todd Smart||Robbie Dolan (a)||–||0||–||–|
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