Chace the Great should be double good
CHACE THE GREAT has stripped fitter for tomorrow's O&S Tack Room Trophy and should complete a quick double after returning from a near two-month lay-up with a convincing victory at 1000 metres round three weeks ago.
Similar to 1000 Guineas winner, NUCLEAR AFFAIR, who scored a stunning upset among open allowance horses last Saturday after disappointing in the Jamaica Derby and finishing almost a distant third in the St Leger, CHACE THE GREAT showed on August 6 that he is far more comfortable when sprinting.
The chestnut gelding won two of his first three races, basically sprinting, including the Prince Consort Stakes, before being narrowly beaten into third on his next outing, trying to make every yard of the one-mile 2000 Guineas in April.
He was afterwards outclassed by ORPHEUS in a Lotto Classic Governor's Cup prep race at 1820 metres, mid-May, finishing seven and a half length behind his rival, who had only beaten him by a half length in the Guineas.
That run all but proved CHACE THE GREAT as a sprinter but trainer Dwight Chen still entered the gelding in the 2000-metre Lotto Classic, 17 days later, in which he finished last and lame - still sore after his exertions at a similar distance a mere two weeks earlier.
Chen took his cue and rested CHACE THE GREAT, giving him two months off and light training, a half mile in 48.2 and a moderate three-furlong spin, 36.3, hardly a week before his comeback on Independence Day.
Refreshed and ready, CHACE THE GREAT was going away at the end, clocked in an almost effortless 59.3 as he dismissed DREAMLINER and POLLY B, who returned to win at 1000 metres straight.
With that pipe-opener under his runner's girth, Chen has stepped up CHACE THE GREAT at exercise, a pair of five-furlong gallops in six days, 1:02.3 and 1:02.0, prepping him for his main threat on Saturday - Gary Subratie's United States-bred AWESOME DESTINY.
Subratie's filly started even-money favourite on August 17 to beat PINELOPE, another talented local-bred, who failed to figure in the Derby and St Leger after a stunning 16-length win among non-winners-of-two in June.
PINELOPE, however, totally outclassed AWESOME DESTINY, who had no answer when the local-bred filly kicked a half mile out.
Having shown his class, up to a mile, against the best three-year-olds in the country, CHACE THE GREAT will report much sharper, as his training suggests, and should dominate AWESOME DESTINY in what is expected to be a match race.