The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
Chris Waller’s dour stayer Surefire is set to firm in 2023 Sydney Cup betting to back-up in the Group 1 over the two-miles after a gutsy win in the Group 2 $300,000 Chairman’s Quality (2600m) on Day 1 of The Championships.
It was testing conditions on a Heavy (8) Randwick track over the 2600m in the third on Doncaster Mile Day with Fastnet Rock five-year-old Surefire best handling the wet going.
The galloper, now a winner of seven of his 18 starts, was given a perfectly-timed run by Brazilian hoop Joao Moreira who is in town chasing the autumn riches in Sydney.
“We’ve had a lot of luck with him over the last few years, or the last twelve or so years and Group 1s,” Waller told Sky Thoroughbred Central speaking of Moreira after the race.
“He’s started The Championships off in good style.”
Surefire got into a lovely position mid-field settling around seventh as Zegalo led the Chairman’s Quality field around.
Once on the home straight Moreira went to the inside on Surefire who was going well as the challenges came from Gin Martini and last year’s winner Nerve Not Verve.
They were three across the track the final 100m, but with 50m to go Surefire dug deep, kicking hard to hold them off for a well-earned upset at 16/1.
“He needed to turn his form around, he’s been a little bit plain the first couple of runs,” Waller said of Surefire.
“A bit of give in the track today has been a big help.
“At the 300-metre mark I thought we were home and then all of a sudden the challengers appeared, but the last 200 metres he held them off.”
Brave in second beaten only a half-head was John Sargent’s last start Group 3 Epona Stakes winning mare Gin Martini.
She got to the line narrowly ahead of the third-placed Shocking mare Nerve Not Verve whose lead-up was a second in the Group 2 Auckland Cup (3200m) across the Tasman back on March 11.
Waller has confirmed plans for his Chairman’s Quality winner Surefire to race again Saturday week in the Group 1 $2 million Sydney Cup (3200m).
“No question, he’ll definitely be there in seven days’ time,” Waller said.
The horse ran 13th to Knights Order in last year’s Sydney Cup results.
The Offer (2014) was the last stayer to complete the Chairman’s Quality – Sydney Cup double on the short turnaround.
2023 Chairman’s Quality Results & Finishing Order
|1||5||SUREFIRE (GB)||Chris Waller||Joao Moreira||2||56kg||$17|
|2||9||GIN MARTINI (NZ)||John Sargent||Damian Lane||0.32L||7||54kg||$7.50|
|3||6||NERVE NOT VERVE (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Dean Holland||0.46L||13||55.5kg||$8|
|4||3||HIGH EMOCEAN (NZ)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||John Allen||2.72L||8||56kg||$8|
|5||17||PESTO (GB)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Zac Lloyd (a)||2.77L||3||53kg||$41|
|6||7||BENAUD||John O’Shea||James McDonald||2.87L||5||55.5kg||$7F|
|7||1||STOCKMAN (NZ)||Joseph Pride||Sam Clipperton||3.04L||6||59kg||$7.50|
|8||8||SACRAMENTO||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Tim Clark||4.24L||15||55kg||$17|
|9||16||LE BAOL (FR)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Ms Louise Day||4.54L||9||53kg||$17|
|10||12||NORMANDY BRIDGE (FR)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Tyler Schiller (a)||4.6L||16||53kg||$12|
|11||2||TORRENS||Marc Chevalier||Joshua Parr||5.9L||1||56.5kg (cd 57kg)||$18|
|12||13||RAGING BULL||David Payne||Ms Rachel King||13.56L||11||53kg||$17|
|13||18||ZEGALO (IRE)||Mike Cattell||Reece Jones (a)||18.1L||10||53kg||$101|
|14||19||TAPPY’S LAD (NZ)||Kerry Taplin||Ben Thompson||22.98L||12||53kg||$81|
|15||4||ASTERIX (NZ)||Lance O’Sullivan & Andrew Scott||Michael Dee||24.99L||14||56kg||$14|
|FF||14||ATHABASCAN (FR)||John O’Shea||Brett Prebble||4||53kg||$19|
|10||TIMOUR (FR)||Chris Waller||Kerrin McEvoy||0|
|15||ALMANIA (IRE)||Kris Lees||Dylan Gibbons (a)||0|
|11||REBEL RACER||Amy & Ash Yargi||Craig Newitt||0|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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