THE ATC Chairman’s Handicap is a group two race for three-year-olds over the 2600m distance held at Randwick.
Held on day one of The Championships, the $300,000 winner’s cheque is highly sought after, but there is a much bigger prize on offer.
The winner of the Chairman’s Handicap is exempt from the ballot and handicap for the Sydney Cup, which is run just a week later as part of day two of the Championships.
In the last ten years just two horses – The Offer in 2014 and No Wine No Song in 2008 – have won both the Chairman’s Handicap and the Sydney Cup in the same year.
The 2017 winner of the Chairman’s Handicap is Darren Weir-trained Big Duke, which enters the Sydney Cup as the $2.90 favourite to replicate the feats of those two horses.
Best Chairman’s Handicap bookmakers
Ordinarily a group two race would be a huge deal, but given the TJ Smith Stakes and the Doncaster Mile are run on day one of the Championships, the Chairman’s Handicap takes a backseat to those races.
However, that does not mean it does not draw plenty of attention.
Given what is at stake for the winner there is always buzz around the race, which means fixed odds markets tend to emerge around a week before the race jumps. The bookies we put our trust in are listed below, and we recommend anyone interested in placing a bet on the Chairman’s Handicap take a look any of these sites:
Betting on the Chairman’s Handicap
The Chairman’s Handicap has been dominated by classy types over the journey.
The Offer, Big Duke and Libran are notable short elects that have taken out the race in recent times.
Only three horses in the races history have doubled up in the Chairman’s Handicap (Tremec, No Wine No Song and Steel Phoenix) as the incentive of racing in the Sydney Cup far outweighs the allure of the Chairman’s Handicap title.
The race has also been dominated by international imports in recent times.
Irish trio Big Duke, Libran and The Offer have all come from the emerald isle and taken out the group two race while Tremec (New Zealand) has doubled up twice in the last ten years.
Once Were Wild is the last Australian-bred horse to takeout the Chairman’s Handicap back in 2011.
Recent Chairman’s Handicap winners
2018: Heading towards the Group 1 Sydney Cup punters were keen to see how Kiwi raider Sir Charles Road would go in a key lead up event. The stayer didn’t disappoint, settling midfield on the rails before engaging in a head bobbing finish with Ventura Storm.
2017: Darren Weir has not had great success in Sydney, but Irish-bred galloper Big Duke is doing its best to turn around the fortunes of one of Melbourne’s most prolific trainers. As if it knew it had bigger fish to fry, Big Duke torched its rivals in a canter to take out the 2017 edition of the race. Read a full report.
2016: Another strongly rated Irish import Libran went into the Chairman’s Handicap as a strong $2.25 favourite, but did not have it all its own way under Brenton Avdulla. The horse took the race out by a head, but could only manage a second placing a week later in the Sydney Cup.
2015: Bucking the trend of recent short priced favourites getting up, Tremec saluted in the Handicap as a $9 shot under Brenton Avdulla. The race is famously known for being postponed due to heavy race conditions and Tremec did not take part in the Sydney Cup of that year.
Full list of the Chairman’s Handicap winners
2018 – Sir Charles Road
2017 – Big Duke
2016 – Libran
2015 – Tremec
2014 – The Offer
2013 – Tremec
2012 – Permit
2011 – Once Were Wild
2010 – Jessicabeel
2009 – Divine Rebel
2008 – No Wine No Song
2007 – No Wine No Song
2006 – Fooram
2005 – Philosophe
2004 – Mummify
2003 – Grey Song
2002 – Henderson Bay
2001 – Steel Phoenix
2000 – Pravda
1999 – Steel Phoenix
1998 – Joss Sticks
1997 – Linesman
1996 – Cornwall King
1995 – Spiritual Star
1994 – Paris Fire
1993 – Te Akau Nick
1992 – Demerit
1991 – Prizaan
1990 – King Aussie
1989 – Just Trish
1988 – Round The World
1987 – Major Drive
1986 – Marooned
1985 – Duanette’s Girl
1984 – What A Nuisance
1983 – Lord Mop
1982 – Bianco Lady
1981 – Gatcombe
1980 – Just Jealous
1979 – Lady Dignitas