Former Champion Jockey Chris Munce will be looking for his first feature win as a trainer when he saddles up Perplexity in this weekend’s Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes on the Gold Coast. Munce has made a smart start to his training career, having prepared six winners from his first twenty-eight starters. Perplexity, formerly cared for by Chris Waller, has won two of those races for Munce from only five starts since joining his Eagle Farm stables earlier this year. He is rated a $9.00 chance with his former trainer’s representative Index Linked, on the second line of betting at $4.00. Leading the market is Sir John Hawkwood ($3.00) who will be looking to continue the extraordinary run of the Moody Stable over the few weeks. Moody runners have won seven of their past twenty-eight races, a 25% strike rate, including a Group 1 double last week with Dissident and Pasadena Girl.
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1. INDEX LINKED – G Boss (1)
Given every chance by Glenn Boss from the inside draw last weekend when fifth (2.9 lengths) in the in the JRA Plate behind Gypsy Diamond and Leebaz. Has Boss and the inside draw again and in a weaker field on a drier surface, the 7yo is going well enough to figure here for mine.
2. EPINGLE – J Bowman (10)
Mick Kent’s mare never threatened from the back of the field first up when second to last in a field of twelve (12.4 lengths) behind Noble Predictor in the G3 Schweppes Trophy (1600m). Previous second up attempts have been good over 2000m and include a fourth (1.5 lengths) to Mourinho in the Listed Cranbourne Cup last prep. Capable mare who should be right in the mix here but the first up effort, which was six week ago, has to be of major concern.
3. TREMEC – B Avdulla (9)
The John Thomas trained 6yo relished the soft conditions and light-weight (53kgs) to claim the G2 Chairman’s Handicap (2600m) at Randwick three weeks back, his first victory since winning the same race two years prior. Will serve as a good confidence booster and whilst this race isn’t as strong, he does jump to 57kgs and judging by the forecast, will be on racing on firmer footing.
4. SIR JOHN HAWKWOOD – L Nolen (3)
After an indifferent performance in the Canberra Cup (2000m) as the 5/4 favourite, it was good to see Peter Moody’s former European galloper bounce back in the G2 Chairman’s Handicap (2600m) recently.
He chased hard but, having his first start in a month on a heavy track, couldn’t reel in Tremec over the final stages and finished second (1.3 lengths). Fitter for that run and meets Tremec 2kgs better. Can easily turn the tables here and rates a leading chance.
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5. VOLKHERE – T Harrison (2)
The Dehere 6yo has shown good improvement with each of his three runs back from a spell, the most recent seeing him run third (1.1 lengths) to Perplexity in a BM 95 (2200m) a fortnight ago. Registered three wins and four seconds from nine starts at or beyond this distance last campaign but at this level, would like to see a rain-effected track for him before including him among the better hopes.
6. HI SON – J Byrne (4)
Just held his ground last start in a leader dominated affair when fifth (3.5 lengths) behind Rocket To Glory and Sir Moments in the Listed Tails Stakes (1630m). That was his third run back this prep and prepares him well for this event. Not much between him and Volkhere last campaign but with a handier draw here and the likelihood of a dry track, think he rates the better chance of the two and a place hope.
7. ORIENTAL LADY – M Cahill (5)
Strong late two starts back, off a six week let-up, when closing from last to run seventh (1.9 lengths) behind Scratchy Bottom in the G3 Epona Stakes (1900m) and off of that effort, started the short-
priced favourite (5/4) for her next and most recent start, a BM 95 (2200m) at Doomben a fortnight ago. Found herself in the box seat and ready to pounce turning but she was flat in the run home and ran a disappointing fourth (1.5 lengths) to Perplexity. Forgive here that run and go on her placings in Listed Gosford Cup and Australian Day Cup from earlier in the year as the best guide.
8. PERPLEXITY – L Tarrant (6)
The former Chris Waller galloper recorded his second victory from only five starts for new Trainer Chris Munce last time out, digging in deep late to defy Freton by a neck on the line in the BM 95 (2200m). Going just as well as any of the other local horses entered here and can fill a place.
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9. ANTON EN AVANT – SCRATCHED
10. MONACO DOLL – J Lloyd (8)
Recoded her fifth career win, and first for new her new trainer Toby Edmonds, former with Kris Lees, last Sunday when successful in a BM 85 (2200m) on the Sunshine Coast, winning by ¾ of a length. Should win more races in south-east Queensland off of that effort but can’t see this being one of them. Easier races available for her at present.
RACE OVERVIEW –
This race looks to pan out very well for the favourite Sir John Hawkwood. He’ll get a lovely trail from gate three and be in the right position throughout plus, his most recent effort will have tuned him up nicely for this. Index Linked has recently won races better than this – both under Boss, and just wasn’t able to extend on the slow ground like he couldn’t last start. Firmer surface will see him improve several lengths and he was beaten less than three last start by Tremec.
1. SIR JOHN HAWKWOOD
2. INDEX LINKED