After a hard slog over 2600m at Randwick, Surefire proved too strong at the end in the heavy conditions, giving Joao Moreira his first win at The Championships for 2023 in the Group 2 Chairman’s Quality.
After settling close to the speed from barrier two, the five-year-old gelding received the run of the race and all Moreira had to do was wait for his run to appear and then push the button in the final 300m to grind away and hold on over the fast-finishing Gin Martini.
This son of Fastnet Rock hadn’t done a whole lot in his three starts this preparation, finishing eighth of 11, eighth of 10 and ninth of 10, so there wasn’t many that thought he could win, and his odds of $18 with online bookmakers reflected the thoughts of punters.
2023 Chairman’s Quality Replay – Surefire
Chris Waller has brought up his first winner at The Championships for 2023, and he spoke post-race about his stayer’s tough win.
“He needed to turn his form around, he’s been a little bit plain the first couple of runs,” Waller said.
“A bit of give in the track today has been a big help.
“We’ve had a lot of luck with him (Moreira) over the last few years, or the last twelve or so years and Group Ones.
“He’s started the Championships off in good style.
“No question, he’ll definitely be there in seven days’ time.”
Waller ended his interview by confirming that Surefire would be racing in the Group 1 Sydney Cup next Saturday after his win.
After his win on Surefire and possibly booking himself a ride in the Sydney Cup, Joao Moreira spoke post-race about his thoughts on the stayer.
“I’m extremely glad to be winning another race here in Australia,” Moreira said.
“I wouldn’t be doing anything without the support of trainers, owners, I would like to say a big thanks to Chris (Waller) who got me here this time.
“Talking about this horse Surefire, he pretty much enjoyed the conditions which not many horses would be able to do that.
“It looks like he got in front a little too early, started looking around a little bit in the last furlong, but he was always going to be the strongest to the line.
“He seems to be a real stayer and I presume the connections are going to give him his chance.”
Surefire is now a $26 chance in the Sydney Cup futures market with online betting sites.