Prompt Return can win Chairman’s Stakes says James Winks

By: Mark Mazzaglia
February 4th, 2015

Prompt Return’s biggest fan, jockey James Winks, says that the smart youngster can win the Group 3 $150,000 Chairman’s Stakes when he resumes at Sandown on Saturday.

And bookmakers agree with installing the Danny O‘Brien trained colt as the $3 favourite for the 1000m dash for the two year olds.

Prompt Return is expected to win the Chairman's Stakes at Sandown. Photo by Sarah Ebbett.

Prompt Return is expected to win the Chairman’s Stakes at Sandown. Photo by Sarah Ebbett.

“I would expect him to win pretty comfortably on Saturday,” Winks told AAP.

Winks has been aboard Prompt Return in all his three race starts for two wins and a second and  another win on Saturday will give him confidence heading towards the Group 1 $1m Sportingbet Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 28.

“To win a Diamond you would have to win on Saturday and then progress,” Winks said.

O’Brien took Prompt Return to Bendigo for his race debut where he collected the prize with a win in a 900m two year old maiden on October 18 before coming to town to score a two lengths victory in the Group 3 $150,000 Maribyrnong Plate (1000m) at Flemington on November 8.

But the Beneteau colt couldn’t match it with the Gai Waterhouse trained Carriages who led all of the way to win the $200,000 Magic Millions Clockwise Classic (1000m) at Ballarat on November 22 leaving Prompt Return chasing in second spot.

As well as pleasing Winks in his lead up work in preparation for his return to the race track,  he has also noticed that Prompt Return has developed physically into a strong, powerful juvenile.

“He’s the best looking two-year-old I’ve seen for a long time,” Winks said.

“He’s a big, strong, powerful unit. He’s got a great temperament. He jumps, travels, relaxes and gives you a good kick.

“There’s not much more you can ask for, as a jockey.”

Prompt Return has drawn barrier seven in the seven horse field while one of his main rivals, Thurlow, will jump from gate two with Craig Williams in the saddle.

The Robert Smerdon trained Thurlow is also high up in the market order for the Chairman’s Stakes at $3.70 and will be wearing the blinkers for the first time when she resumes on Saturday.

Thurlow was beaten less than half a length on debut when second to Antelucan in the Group 3 $150,000 Emirates Airline Plate (1000m) at Flemington on November 4 before scoring a narrow win in the Listed $120,000 Santa’s Magical Kingdom Stakes (1000m) at Sandown on November 15.

Also prominent in the betting is the David Hayes and Tom Dabernig trained Haybah ($4,20) who is coming off a close second to Blue Diamond Stakes top fancy Fontiton in the Group 3 $150,000 Sportingbet Blue Diamond Preview (F) (1000m) at Sandown on January 26.

Haybah will have Stephen Baster to ride and will jump from barrier five.

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