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By Graham Potter | Saturday, October 2, 2021

The lightly raced five-year-old gelding Hail To The Chief ($2.40) claimed his second career victory in a Class 1 Plate at Toowoomba on October 2, continuing his run of consistent form for the Michael Nolan stable.

The son of Tycoon Ruler has only finished unplaced once (and that was on debut) and he now boasts a record of two wins, a second place and two third places from only six starts

This time it was Bubba Tilley who guided Hail To The Chief from the saddle as the Nolan trained runner stepped up to 1625m for the first time in his first run beyond 1300m.

Tilley jumped Hail To The Chief into the lead from the break before choosing to settle in fourth spot, getting the run of the race on the rail, as the speed went around him.

In the sweep to the turn, Hail To The Chief momentarily gave away some ground as Tilley eased his mount slightly to ensure that he could plot a path out wider on the track … but Hail To The Chief then quickly gathered momentum and, by the time the field straightened, Hail To The Chief was in prime position, three wide with clear air in front of him and now only a length off the lead.

Inside the final 200m it had become a race in two between Hail To The Chief and Harry’s Style ($6). These two runners matched strides and looked set to carry their fight all the way to the line, but Hail To The Chief was doing enough to gain the ascendency over the final 75m and he edged away to score by a 0.20 length margin.

Apart from ticking the ‘step up in distance’ box, Hail To The Chief’s winning effort was also impressive in that, coming under the steadying burden of 59kg, all of his nine rivals enjoyed a weight advantage (between 1kg and 5.5kg) with Hail To The Chief who, nevertheless, beat them all home by margins ranging from 0.20 lengths to 15.70 lengths.

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Bubba Tilley ... he did the honours aboard Hail To The Chief

Photo: Graham Potter
Bubba Tilley ... he did the honours aboard Hail To The Chief

Photo: Graham Potter
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