The Chairman’s Cup run over 3200m at Kenilworth on Saturday makes another strong case for the urgency of introducing sectional timing after In Writing appeared to catch his 11 rivals all napping and ran out a wide margin winner of the summer’s last Graded event in Cape Town. The key word is “appeared.” While it is easy to slate In Writing’s opposing jockeys for being caught fast asleep, without the proper evidence this can only really remain an assumption even if in truth the Chairman’s Cup can probably be described as “false-run” without too much risk of controversy, writes MATTHEW LIPS.
Most of the dozen horses who contested the Chairman’s have crossed paths before, with varying results, but few were really proven over 3200m and the race had a wide open look about it. Two Strikes and Orchard House had respectively finished third behind Blake (absent this time) in the Gr2 J & B Reserve Stayers over 2800m four weeks earlier and started as the 75/20 joint favourites, with Thanks John going off at 13/2. In Writing has disappointed more than once and was allowed to start at 15/1, but he raced without his customary blinkers for a change and this may also have made a world of difference.
The early pace was not much faster than that of continental drift and it was Another Giant who sauntered along in front of Komatipoort and Orchard House, with Jeppe’s Reef and Vertical Drift next in line. Everything changed in the back straight, though, where former champion jockey MJ Odendaal clearly decided that enough of this slow canter was enough and went past them all on In Writing and kicked on until he was some seven lengths in front on the turn for home. Straightening up with a big lead, In Writing was never in any danger of being caught as his rivals made precious little headway, and he was still 6.25 lengths ahead crossing the line.
Komatipoort came out second best ahead of his stable companions Another Giant, Jeppe’s Reef, and Thanks John, which made it a 2-3-4-5 finish for the Mike Bass stable. Whether any of them would have had the gears to challenge In Writing had they set off in pursuit earlier is impossible to say, and we’ll leave it to the grandstand jockeys to jump to their inevitable and wholly predictable conclusions, but it would really be nice to know the split times for the full two miles. The comparison between the two halves would be illuminating, to say the least. Orchard House was already being niggled along and going nowhere fast on the turn for home, so his jockey for one can scarcely be blamed for his mount’s disappointing performance as the joint favourite found nothing when asked and eventually finished 9.60 lengths behind the winner in ninth place.
Whichever way you slice it, MJ Odendaal deserves plenty of credit for an enterprising ride aboard the Dean Kannemeyer-trained In Writing, who has been threatening to win a race of this sort but who had not actually won a race of any description for well over two years going into the Chairman’s. Argentine-bred In Writing is a son of the Forty Niner stallion Editor’s Note, whose two American Gr1 wins included the Belmont Stakes of 1996. In Writing is out of the Candy Stripes mare Inalay and has won four times from 28 starts for stakes of R446 595.
Chairman’s Cup (SAf-G3) (2/25)
Kenilworth, South Africa, February 25, R200.000, 3200m, turf, good, 3.35.46 (CR 3.24.12).
IN WRITING (ARG), 59.5, ch g 6, Editor’s Note – Inalay (ARG) by Candy Stripes. Owner Fieldspring Racing; breeder Haras Abolengo (ARG); trainer D Kannemeyer; jockey M Odendaal (R125.000)
Komatipoort (SAF), 57.5, b g 4, Western Winter – Niyabah (IRE) by Nashwan
Another Giant (AUS), 56.0, b g 5, Giant’s Causeway – Another Legend (SAF) by Lyphard’s Wish (FR)
Margins: 6¼, ½, ¾
Also ran: Jeppe’s Reef (SAF) 56.0, Thanks John (SAF) 60.0, Posh Boy (SAF) 57.5, Vertical Drift (SAF) 52.0, Two Strikes (SAF) 60.0, Orchard House (SAF) 59.0, Golden Parachute (NZ) 56.0, Luno (SAF) 54.5, Vengence (SAF) 56.5