Gold Cup now on Chairman's agenda
Trainer Freedman's charge will now attempt El Dorado Classic en route to Singapore's premier classic
Irish stayer Chairman gave his Dester Singapore Gold Cup aspirations no harm with a superlative performance in the $80,000 Open Benchmark 74 race over 2,000m at Kranji on Sunday.
The Galileo four-year-old came off a sustained run from the 800m mark under an inspiring ride by Alan Munro to shoot clear to an impressive one-and-a-half-length win from Mr Fatkid (Michael Rodd).
Show Far So Good (apprentice Zawari Razali) ran third, two lengths away.
Sent out as the $17 second-favourite, Chairman who was registering his second win, the first one coming under Laurie Laxon's polish and Perth champion jockey William Pike's steering on Singapore Derby day on July 9, will now be targeted towards the Group 3 El Dorado Classic over 2,200m on Oct 22, the traditional prelude to the 2,200m Gold Cup on Nov 12.
With trainer Lee Freedman away attending the Magic Millions Gold Coast 2YOs in Training Sale, it was left to his right-hand man Shane Ellis, who would actually know him better, given his association with the gelding from Day 1, to lead in Freedman's second Singapore winner. His first was Mr Clint on Sept 10.
"I've always had a good record when my trainers are away," joked the Perth horseman, alluding to the handful of winners he had under his care when Laxon was away as well.
"Lee is at the sales. He has always had a good opinion of this horse.
"The horse will now go for the El Dorado and the Gold Cup, just like Lim's Samurai, but that was always the plan for Chairman even before today's race.
"When William Pike won on him over 2,000m, he said we should get going before the home turn as he is a grinder. The further he goes the better he will be.
"I have to say he was very impressive today. We have no doubt he can stay 2,200m as he won over 2,400m back home going all the way."
Munro, who was actually ejected from Chairman upon pulling up, but luckily without any harm, said he was always mindful of something coming from behind.
"He improved around runners really well, but I was worried about Mr Fatkid running on," said the English jockey.
"But he stayed on really well."
Chairman, who raced as Cole Porter for the powerful team of Coolmore and Aidan O'Brien in Ireland (where he recorded his only win over 2,400m at Leopardstown on May 8 last year), has now brought up local stakes income in excess of $150,000 for his Thai connections, the Falcon Racing No. 7 Stable.