Look to Chace The Great
CHACE THE GREAT's claim to being the reigning king of sprints and middle distance in Grade One gets the ultimate test in Monday's 1400-metre Gold Cup against old rivals, United States-bred CHOO CHOO BLUE and ANOTHER BULLET, two of the fittest horses in training.
Horse of the Year SEEKING MY DREAM has topweight 57.0 kilos, still groping for form in a bid to win a third straight Diamond Mile in December. However, from reports at exercise, the five-year-old chestnut has been struggling, hampered recently by a stone squeeze, followed by a dull workout yesterday.
SEEKING MY DREAM's presence, however, is to CHACE THE GREAT's advantage. Were DaCosta's champion horse not in the race, CHACE THE GREAT, who is on a hat-trick of wins, having romped the 1200-metre None Such Trophy on September 9, would have come in at 56.5 kilos instead of 53.5 - minus apprentice Anthony Thomas' two-kilo claim, which has him carrying 51.5.
With the weight still in his favour, four-year-old CHACE THE GREAT has the tactical speed to outgun his rivals, especially coming off a one-month rest during which time both CHOO CHOO BLUE and ANOTHER BULLET ran tough races. ANOTHER BULLET, in particular, lost races to CHOO CHOO BLUE and SHE'S A MANEATER in the space of 10 days, a total of 14 hard furlongs, the last being a week ago.
CHACE THE GREAT beat both horses, CHOO CHOO BLUE and ANOTHER BULLET in the Grade Two Seek Trophy, 1300 metres, on August 26. He won by a length and a quarter in a gate-to-wire run, carrying 54.0 kilos with Wesley Henry. CHOO CHOO BLUE finished second with 53.0 kilos and returns at the same handicaps for the rematch.
Pace will be the determining factor, specifically whether there is a horse capable of taking CHACE THE GREAT out of his comfort zone on the lead. SIR BUDGET tried last time out in the None Such Trophy and was left standing when CHACE THE GREAT changed gears in the stretch run.
Thomas is riding in excellent form and did pretty well with CHACE THE GREAT in the None Such. Having got a feel of the gelding's pace at 1200 metres, he should have a pretty good idea of how to rate him for another furlong. CHOO CHOO BLUE, though, will be a dangerous closer if SIR BUDGET proves too pesky on the lead.