Will In Charge turns back Seeking My Dream
Robert Halledeen rode the perfect race aboard WILL IN CHARGE yesterday to turn back SEEKING MY DREAM in a stirring stretch duel, defying topweight 126lb to land the Chairman's Trophy at odds of 9-2.
Super-fit and champing at the bit at exercise after wiring Horse of the Year SHE'S A MANEATER in stakes-record time to win April's Legal Light Trophy, WILL IN CHARGE turned stalker yesterday, tracking speedy SIEMPRE BUENO and MONEY MAGNET before surging to the lead approaching the home turn.
SEEKING MY DREAM, always just behind WILL IN CHARGE down the backstretch, pounced almost immediately in mid-track after making a sweeping move off the turn.
However, WILL IN CHARGE kept finding extra under the big weight to repel SEEKING MY DREAM, who carried 123lb, but found his younger rival more resolute and determined, battling on to win the seven and a half furlong event in 1:31.2.
Trainer Robert Pearson said though he was always confident, he remains adamant that WILL IN CHARGE should not have carried topweight.
"I argued with the handicapper about that. He claimed BIGDADDYKOOL was coming off a break, that's why he had to be lighter than my horse. Where they are going wrong is they don't have a rating system. The horses must have consistent numbers," Pearson insisted.
Having now beaten the three best horses in the country - SHE'S A MANEATER, BIGDADDYKOOL and SEEKING MY DREAM - Pearson said he is wondering if everybody will stop saying WILL IN CHARGE has had luck on his side.
"They're not giving him any rating. They believe he just gets luck each time," Pearson said of the five-year-old, who, at one point, was showing odds of 7-1 on his way to the starting gate, whereas SEEKING MY DREAM opened the betting at 1-9.
"This horse is super-fit. He is a super-fit five-year-old. He keeps putting on weight after his races, normally they lose weight. Even today I was drawing the girth and I was like, "You're putting on more weight?"
Meanwhile, Pearson said there needs to be a longer break between November's Superstakes and December's Diamond Mile, at least a month.
"That definitely needs to be adjusted. It's too close. Look at last year. It was only three weeks," he pointed out.
Leading rider, apprentice Anthony Thomas, rode a four-timer on the 11-race card, extending his lead in the jockeys' championship to 11 over Shane Ellis.