The Group 3 Chairman’s Stakes is a Group 3 sprint race of 1100 metres for two-year olds. It is run under set weight plus penalties conditions.
History of the Chairmans Stakes
This race has quite a bit of history for a race that has only been around since 1990, at least in terms of the race’s name and the venue.
It began as a Listed race and remained that way until 2014, the first year it was run as a Group 3 race.
Originally, it was called the Bounding Away Quality after the mare of that name foaled in 1983. She was of primarily European extraction, but her sire was Australia’s Biscay. Biscay was undefeated as a two-year old, winner of two races, and a significant influence on progeny as a two-time Champion Juvenile Sire and throughout his stud career.
Biscay was one of those frequent examples of a stallion being sent to stud early on, as he made only eight starts, but winning six of those starts.
Bounding Away herself was a prodigious racer.
She won her first five starts. Her third race was a Group 1 won in the Blue Diamond at Caulfield. Her fourth start brought her the Golden Slipper Stakes. Her first 11 starts saw her winning six and running second five times. She won additional Group 1 races and never finished worse than sixth until her last race in 1987, when she came in last in the Group 1 Queensland Derby at Eagle Farm.
In a nutshell, she deserved to have a race named after her.
The race switched names frequently, but has been the Chairman’s Stakes since 2013. It started out as a 1000-metre trip, went to 1100, 1200, back to 1100 hundred and went back to 1000 metres from 2017 forward.
The race switched between Caulfield and Sandown a number of times and has remained at Caufield since 2016.
Caulfield Racecourse traces its roots to 1859. It was considered a bush track at the time. The site gained respectability in 1876 with the formation of the Victorian Amateur Turf Club.
Local racegoers refer to Caulfield as The Heath. It is located 9 kilometres from Melbourne’s CBD.
It is a triangular oval with banked turns with a 367-metre finishing straight.
The track stages races about 20 times per year. There is quality racing during spring and autumn. Currently 12 races run at Caulfield are Group 1, including the most prestigious, the Caulfield Cup.
Additionally, there are eight Group 2 races and 19 Group 3s.
It has been modernised a couple of times, first in 1995 and again in 2005.
Racegoers can take the Melbourne tram. Caulfield Racecourse is just 100-metres from the Caulfield railway station.
Racing History of the MRC Chairman’s Stakes
The MRC Chairman’s Stakes has been run, as of 2020, 31 times.
The 2020 winner, Mildred, is a decent sort, although she was a disappointing 13th in the 2020 Golden Slipper Stakes. The Chairman’s Stakes is her best win to date. Subsequent to that win, it would have to be said that with the exception of her next two starts, where she ran third in a Listed race and the Group 2 Reisling Stakes at Randwick, she has been a letdown, never running better than fourth in any of her races.
The only truly significant horse to win the race was Redoute’s Choice in 1999. He was a good racer, with four Group 1 wins and high placings in some other Group 1 races, but like most strong stallions, he was sent to the breeding grounds early, after 10 starts.
Redoute’s Choice was a multiple winner of breeding accolades. He was the sire of Snitzel, Not a Single Doubt and Stratum. He sired 170 stakes winners up until his death on 25 March 2019.
As to the rest of the winners, winning a Group 3 is nothing at which to scoff, but none of them leaps off the page and demands notice.
Loving Gaby was the 2019 Chairman’s Sakes winner in her very first race. She went on to win the Group 1 Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley and the Group 1 William Reid Stakes on the same track. She also had some nice runs in the Group 1 VRC Classic, where she ran second to Nature Strip and second in the Newmarket at Flemington to Bivouac. She ran third to Gytrash and Redzel in the Group 1 Lightning Stakes in February 2020. She was retired to stud in August of 2020.
Crystal Lily won the race in 2010 and went on to win the Golden Slipper Stakes, the only horse ever to notch that double.
Horses that won the MRC Chairman’s Stakes and the Blue Diamond Stakes include the aforementioned Redoute’s Choice in 1999, Road To Success in 2000 and Extreme Choice, sired by Redoute’s’ Choice offspring Not A Single Doubt.
The MRC Chairman’s Stakes, as the first group race of the Melbourne autumn racing season for two-year-olds.
The race is often a debut for two-year-olds that do not take part in the Magic Millions. Many that run well here will go on to try the Group 2 Blue Diamond Preludes for their gender, with an eye towards competing in the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes later in the month following the Chairman’s Stakes.
|Year||MRC Chairmans Stakes Winner|
|2005||Under The Floor|
|2000||Road To Success|
|1998||Coup De Grace|
|1993||Lady In Reality|