Will In Charge, Bigdaddykool renew rivalry in Chairman's Trophy
A VERY interesting Chairman's Trophy has pulled out the best of grade one, minus SHE'S A MANEATER, at a middle-of-the-road distance, seven and a half furlongs, in what should be a truly run race from start to finish.
As in any good grade one race, pace, handicaps and class will decide the best horse on the day, a bill which fits much-improved WILL IN CHARGE, despite the claims of his old nemesis, BIGDADDYKOOL, and back-to-form, two-time Diamond Mile winner, SEEKING MY DREAM.
The handicapper has penalised WILL IN CHARGE with topweight 126lb after the five-year-old used 119lb to wire SHE'S A MANEATER (126lb) in the Legal Light Trophy, clocking a stakes record 1:54.4 for nine furlongs and 25 yards.
Odd enough, BIGDADDYKOOL, who lost two epic battles to a much-lighter WILL IN CHARGE in match races, last August and September, but returned to finish ahead of him in the Superstakes, sitting level, before dismissing him in the Harry Jackson, comes into the Chairman's trophy a mind-boggling six pounds lighter at 120.
Lightweights include speedy SIEMPRE BUENO and MONEY MAGNET, 110lb each and capable of holding their own for a long way. SIEMPRE BUENO, especially, showed how dangerous he can be on the lead in the recent Lotto Sprint, knocking off splits of 22.1 and 45.0, unsettling the entire field before SHE'S A MANEATER used her big class to settle the issue.
Diamond Mile winner
The lightweights could be the bane of SEEKING MY DREAM, the other top-rated runner in the eight-horse field at 123lb. The two-time Diamond Mile winner romped the class below with 119 in a very friendly first half-mile split of 47.1, being pressed by stablemate DYSFUNCTIONAL and ANOTHER BULLET, before going about his business to clock a fast 1:30.2.
However, there will be no friendly fire on Saturday with SIEMPRE BUENO expected to carry the pace for as long as he can hold out, setting up a finish for closers such as his stablemates, sneaky HOUDINI'S MAGIC and classy BIGDADDYKOOL, who is not the quickest of horses but has a good turn of foot, which serves him well in stretch battles.
Though he unjustly has the weight against him, WILL IN CHARGE is the most improved horse in the line-up, for which he should have been given the benefit of the doubt by the handicapper, as it relates to his rating against BIGDADDYKOOL.
Jockeyship will, of course, play a major role if WILL IN CHARGE is to defy the handicaps heaped on him. Robert Halledeen's confidence has been mistaken for cockiness but he has been relishing that role, always wanting to prove a point against his peers.
Halledeen is on the right horse, WILL IN CHARGE, who galloped 1:12.3 for six furlongs on Sunday, the fastest exercise time at the distance since SHE'S A MANEATER posted 1:12.2 last October when prepping for the Superstakes.
WILL IN CHARGE will have to find a cosy spot behind the leaders, possibly alongside SEEKING MY DREAM, before using his form to get first run on what should be a collapsing pace. Though BIGDADDYKOOL is the closer, his recent exercise gallops, having missed the Legal Light Trophy, makes him a bit suspect at the distance.