A running double for the dominant Gai Waterhouse/Nash Rawiller combination in the traditional lead up race for the Sydney Cup, the Chairmans Handicap.
The four year old mare led from start to finish and ran her opponents off there feet. The Victorian-trained Anudjawan finished second, C’est La Guerre was an impressive third whilst race favourite Older Than Time and the fast finishing Count Encosta dead-heated for fourth.
Gai Waterhouse may have the last laugh over owner John Singleton following Once Were Wild’s dazzling return to form in the Chairman’s Handicap at Randwick.
Singleton has put Once Were Wild in the catalogue for the National Broodmare Sale in June, a decision Waterhouse says he might regret.
The four-year-old had not won a race since she took out the AJC Australian Oaks almost a year ago but boosted her Sydney Cup credentials when she led all the way to win Saturday’s Group Two race over 2600 metres.
“I said to Singo `ha ha’, that’s what I messaged him. Sell her! She’ll win the Sydney Cup, they should be ashamed of themselves,” Waterhouse said.
“It’s almost a year since she won but she just went a bit dormant.
“She is so special and it was just a joy to watch her win today.”
Nash Rawiller took Once Were Wild ($8) straight to the front out of the barriers and allowed her to settle into her rhythm.
She was still going strongly in front and held off the late challenge by Anudjawun ($10) by 1-3/4 lengths with C’Est La Guerre ($10) another short neck away third and Once Were Wild’s stablemate and $4.40 favourite Older Than Time fourth.
“She overraced the other day in the Manion Cup,” Rawiller said.
“But she was loving it out there today.”
Although pleased with the runner-up, trainer Shaun Dwyer said Anudjawun would head to the spelling paddock with the spring in mind.
“He goes to the paddock. He is a horse I bought with the Melbourne Cup in mind,” Dwyer said.
“Whether it is this year or next, I don’t know.
“He is qualified now by running second.
“If he muscles up in the spring then we will look at this year’s Cup.”
C’est La Guerre will join his Lloyd Williams-owned stablemates Muir and Mourayan in the Sydney Cup (3200m) in two weeks.
Auckland Cup runner-up Showcause is likely to return home to New Zealand after finishing ninth in the Chairman’s.
“I think he’ll go home,” trainer Frank Ritchie said.
“He just didn’t show any dash at the finish.”
Â AAP TURF