The Group 3 SAJC Chairman’s Stakes is a 2000 metre set weights race for three-year-olds run at Morphettville Racecourse in Adelaide, South Australia during the autumn racing season.
Prize money for the race is that odd figure they seem to love in South Australia - $127,250 – but we will accept on faith that the prize money for 2024 will be $150,000.
SAJC Chairman's Stakes Race Details
Race Distance: 2000m
Prize Money: $127,500
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When Is The Chairman's Stakes: 4-5-24
What Time Is The Chairman's Stakes: TBA
Where Is The Chairman's Stakes: Morphettville Racecourse
How To Live Stream The Chairman's Stakes
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More Details About The Chairman's Stakes
Red Sun Sensation claimed the top prize of $68,975, in complete compliance with South Australia’s ban on round figures.
The four-year-old gelding by Awesome Rock has won twice and placed six times from 13 jumps, with earnings of $215,000 as of his jump in the Group 3 Japanese Racing Association Plate at Moonee Valley in late October, where he finished second.
He surprised two lower priced racers and ran down the field in the final 400 metres to win by 1/3 length.
Throughout the body of this article, we will refer to the race as SAJC Chairman’s Stakes, knowing full well that our readers are well aware that we are referring to the South Australian Jockey Club version and not one of the dozens of other races and codes that use the word chairman in some way.
The race jumps at the meeting that features the Group 1 Australasian Oaks that is run under the same conditions as the Chairman’s Stakes and over the same trip as well, the distinction being is that the Chairman’s is open and the Oaks is restricted to fillies. The most recent meeting offered the Group 3 Breeder’s Stakes and the Listed grade Port Adeliade Cup.
For set weight conditions such as those used by the Chairman’s Stakes, colts and geldings carry 57.5 kg and fillies carry 55.5 kg.
The race is often approached as a lead-up for the Group 1 South Australian Derby and a few gallopers have won the Chairman’s – SA Derby double, which we will learn when we look at the racing history of the Chairman’s.
History of the SAJC Chairman’s Stakes
The race first jumped in 1983 so as of the 2023 edition, the race has been run 41 times.
It has had almost as many names. “Chairman’s” has been part of most of the various names, but from 1993 – 2003 the race was called the Veuve Clicquot Stakes. The years 2004 and 2005 used the name Yalumba Plate. From 2014 onward, the race was called in accordance with the registered name as the Chairman’s Stakes.
There have been numerous times when the race covered odd trips, too.
Most of these variances were within a few metres of 2000 and in 1991 and 1992, the race was stretched to 2250 metres.
Much of that variation was in some ways influenced by the fact that the race has been staged at various tracks. Victoria Park and Cheltenham Park have been used. Victoria Park was the original home and the race did not jump at Morphettville until 1993.
It returned to Victoria Park for one jump in 2002 before finding a permanent home at Morphettville from 2003.
Venue for the SAJC Chairman’s Stakes
Victoria Park and Cheltenham were both closed by 2009, so the venue we are using is Morphettville Racecourse.
It is located about 10 kilometres from the CBD of Adelaide and actually consists of two courses that can be alternated easily to save wear and tear on the main track.
It is a tri-oval shape. Think of Flemington with less severe corners.
Racing began there in 1876 and today offers four Group 1, four Group 2 and nine Group 3 races every year.
The important racing at Morphettville is all during the autumn, except for the Group 3 SAJC Spring Stakes held in September.
The main track at Morphettville is over 2300 metres in circumference. It is flat and wide, but the turns are slightly cambered.
For a 2000 metre race, a chute leads onto the course proper and the racers turn from the start. That leads onto the back straight, followed by a sweeping turn onto a short straight. The tightest of the course’s three turns leads onto the home straight, with the finish line and the stands located on the northwest side of the course.
Racing History of the SAJC Chairman’s Stakes
With a race such as the Chairman’s Stakes, where age restrictions mean horses only get one try, the field quality in the race has been helped by the fact that 2000 metre races for three-year-olds is not the most plentiful variety on the Australian Thoroughbred racing calendar.
The topliners can get the same race for more money in Victoria and New South Wales, but South Australian racing has supplied some better types as winners, the sorts that have left a wider impression on the sport.
We want to begin with a closer look at five good winners that were able to win the Chairman’s and then fill the double by winning the Group 1 South Australian Derby.
If the Chairman’s Stakes was as old as the SA Derby, there would have been more, but these are the ones we have from 1983.
The first was Markham in 1997, followed by Mummify in 2003, rebel Raider in 2009, Howard Be Thy Name in 2016 and Leicester in 2018.
Markham was sired by the U.S. sire Salieri. Foaled in 1993, Markham was of entirely northern hemisphere origins and was racing in Australia to chase the big staying races.
He tried the Melbourne Cup twice, running third to Might And Power and Doriemus in 1997 and less than a length behind. He was fourth to those two earlier in the Caulfield Cup. Another try in the 1998 Caulfield Cup resulted in 15th and the 1998 Melbourne Cup resulted in a 10th.
Markham burst onto the metro scene after winning his maiden in January of 1997. He won a Class 2 at Ballarat, followed by the Chairman’s and the SA Derby to close of the book on his winning.
He raced 25 times for 4 wins and 3 placings to earn $462,000.
The next to win the SA Derby/Chairman’s Stakes double was Mummify in 2003.
Mummify made most of his $5.1 million prize money haul by winning a Group 1 race in the Singapore Airlines International Cup that paid him $1.2 million. His form line reports 48 jumps for 9 wins and 17 placings.
His win in the Chairman’s Stakes was his first major win, but he had recorded a second in the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas, followed by a third place in the 2003 AJC Derby. Immediately after winning the Chairman’s, he won the SA Derby.
Racing at Caufield in September of 2003, he won the Group 1 Underwood Stakes. Second to Lonhro in the Group 1 Yalumba Stakes, his next jump resulted in a win of the 2003 Caufield Cup, where the runner in fourth was none other than Makybe Diva.
Mummify added the Group 1 Yalumba Stakes in 2004 by beating Grand Armee. His final four jumps after the win in Singapore produced a win in the Group 3 Craven Plate.
He might have won even more, but he frequently lined up in races featuring big names such as Railings, Lonhro, Elvstroem and Clangalang, so it is certain that Mummify never lacked for strong competition.
His next and final jump found him breaking down 100 metres from the post in the 2005 Caulfield Cup, where he still managed to finish third before his injury necessitated euthanization.
Here is what we can report on the next SA Derby/Chairman’s Stakes winner, 2009’s Rebel Raider.
Unlike Markham and Mummify, Rebel Raider remained entire and he sired many foals, with some true gems. One was the $2.1 million winning Noncomformist and another was Barb Raider that won just under a million dollars. Ten more Rebel Raider offspring won above $100,000 to $494,000.
Zabeel and Zedative were connected to Rebel Raider through his sire Reset. The notable Irish sire Sir Tristam was Zabeel’s sire. Some connections on the side of dam Picholine were Dehere. Secretariat, Bold Ruler and Northern Dancer.
Rebel Raider used just 21 jumps to stack up 6 wins and 4 placings for $1.4 million.
When he won the Chairman’s and the SA Derby, he already had a Group 1 win from the 2008 Victoria Derby, where he beat Whobegotyou.
The fourth of the five to fill the SA Derby/Chairman’s Stakes double was Howard Be Thy Name from 2016.
Like Rebel Raider, Howard Be Thy Name kept his reproductive organs intact. He entered stud in New Zealand in 2019, but we do not have record of any named foals as of yet.
AS a racer, this son of Redoute’s Choice made 23 jumps for 4 wins, eight placings and $615,000 in prize money. After winning the Chairman’s and the SA Derby, Howard Be Thy Name made 12 more jumps, with two placings in a Group 3 in Queensland and an unrated race on a country track.
The fifth and final in our list of SA Derby/Chairman’s Stakes was 2018’s Leicester.
Leicester’s sire was Wanted, the 2010 Group 1 Newmarket Handicap winner. His grandsire was Fastnet Rock and there was no lack of notable names from the rest of the pedigree table.
Leicester made just 9 jumps for 4 wins and two placings and $513,000 in winnings. The SA Derby was the only Group 1 win for this handy gelding.
We have no doubt that those five winners would represent the best racers and breeders associated with winning the Chairman’s Stakes.
Our remaining space will be expended seeing if anything else from the history of the race returns historically significant data.
Of course, the first winner of the race deserves mention for being first and in the case of the Chairman’s Stakes that winner was Lady Vanessa.
She was by Planet Kingdom out of Summer Serenade (NZ) with Star Kingdom for grandsire. Her racing left little impact and she supplied just two named foals that were ineffective racers.
The winner from 1988, Jolly Good Thought, was a gelding by Private Thoughts out of Enjoli with Bletchingly as grandsire.
He had a few better wins – at Group 3, but the report we found on Jolly Good Thought looked to contain some dubious data.
A New Zealand filly was named Marquise before being renamed as Our Marquise, as she was when she won the Chairman’s Stakes.
She made 26 jumps for 9 wins and 4 placings to earn $202,000. She can claim a Group 1 victory if you are willing to concede the Group 1 Captain Cook in New Zealand.
Her larger contribution to racing was as dam to 13 named foals in service to Zabeel (six foals), two by Danehill, two by Stravinsky and two by Rock Of Gibraltar and one by One Cool Cat.
The best was a 1999 filly by Zabeel named Shower Of Roses that won $621,000.
We found a million dollar winner in the 2001 race winner Bush Padre.
This gelding won just above one million by making 39 jumps for 12 wins and 6 placings, including the Group 1 Doomben Cup in 2003 from Freemason and Maguire. He was second two lengths to Big Pat in the SA Derby, or the list of doublers would have expanded from five to six.
The 2008 Chairman’s Stakes winner Zagreb was the first entire we found in quite some time. He made just 10 jumps for 3 wins and 2 placings for $218,000.
His sire was Zabeel, but we found no progeny record for Zagreb.
Red Colossus from 2010 was a gelding by Testa Rossa that won $451,000 by winning seven races and placing in nine from 46 jumps.
He was second a head to Kidnapped in the SA Derby.
The gelding Hioctdane won in 2013 and was then second to Escado in the SA Derby. After winning the Chairman’s Stakes, he was raced successfully in benchmark grade races.
The 2017 winner, Waging War, was a gelding of above average ability that was sired by the 2009 winner Rebel Raider. Waging War made 34 jumps for 7 wins and 12 placings to earn $538,000. The Chairman’s was his fourth win, but he did not try the SA Derby.
The good horse Dalasan was the winner in 2020.
His 41 jumps returned 8 wins and 9 placings for $3.5 million.
He produced good results in big races, but often found himself outclassed by such as Cascadian, Verry Elleegant, Addeybb and Alligator Blood.
He was second to Russian Camelot when he tried to back his Chairman’s win with the SA Derby.
Now standing stud, he has a 2021 and a 2023 foal, both colts.
We will conclude for now with the 2022 winner Jungle Magnate.
This New Zealand gelding by Tarzino is listed as exported following 9 jumps for 4 wins and 2 placings and $506,000 in winnings.
He is he latest to fill the Chairman’s Stakes/SA derby double, bringing the total for that list to six horses.
It has been mostly geldings to win the Chairman’s Stakes.
We found a couple good stallions and a few mares. There were some million dollar earners and a few Group 1 winners, but those were the exceptions, rather than the rules.
SAJC Chairman's Stakes Past Winners
|2023||Red Sun Sensation|
|2016||Howard Be Thy Name|
|2004||Roll On Royce|
|1988||Jolly Good Thought|