The 'Chief' in total command
THERE is a dearth of talent at the top level of horse racing these days. The excessive tax and constant devaluation of the dollar have made it almost impossible for owners to purchase good quality stock overseas.
Yet despite these obvious disincentives there is still quite a buzz when the 'big' horses hit the race track to compete against each other. Such was the case last Saturday when five of our top horses (no disrespect to Amicable) competed against each other in the little used journey of nine furlongs for the The Viceroy trophy.
It was a case of two foreigners Uppa Tune and Pete'swildone, both trained by Ian Parsard, against the three top local racers in Perfect Neighbour, Commanding Chief and Typewriter.
In a race to remember, Commanding Chief (War Marshall - She Knows Beau) ridden again by champion jockey Dane Nelson made a crippling move after leaving the four-furlong marker and despite the much talked about finishing rattle of the previous Derby winners Perfect Neighbour and Typewriter, Commanding Chief was simply not for the catching on Saturday. He was too fit and ready and he promptly dispatched his younger rivals.
This was his second win from two starts this season while Perfect Neighbour was losing for the first time as a four-year-old at a distance which many thought would have been ideal for him. The margin of victory by Commanding Chief over second-placed Typewriter of three and a quarter lengths was a good indication of the class of the winner.
Two victories from two starts for Commanding Chief and if truth be told this latest win was probably one of his best to date. He was in control and when his commanding presence was required he responded with quality and great assurance. He has pace and that ultimate quality of class.
Commanding Chief is at the top of his racing at the moment with his trainer Everal Francis and connections deciding the races he participates in with aplomb. Look for a fresh and well-tuned Commanding Chief to build on this victory with runs in the Prime Minister's and Governor's General Stakes (both 10-furlongs) with the ultimate objective being the Superstakes in early November.
When our top horses clash again, look for more exciting racing but for now the kudos belongs to Commanding Chief and he will not relinquish this position easily.