Impressive Tasmanian Oaks Win for Chequerboard

Monday, February 22, 2021

Chequerboard as a yearling

Unable to meet her $300,000 reserve at Karaka 2019, Fastnet Rock filly Chequerboard added a valuable black-type victory to her CV in Sunday’s A$150,000 Listed Kevin Sharkie Tasmanian Oaks (2100m) at Launceston.

Trained by Tom Dabernig and Ben Hayes and racing in the colours of Coolmore, Chequerboard has now had 10 starts for three wins, four placings and A$176,675 in stakes.

She was expected to have too much quality for her seven opponents on Sunday, and that was exactly how the race played out. Ridden by Brendon McCoull, Chequerboard was trapped three wide early in the race but soon slid forward into fourth spot, one off the rail.

McCoull pushed the button coming up to the home turn, and Chequerboard quickly swooped around the outside to take the lead at the top of the straight. The favourite scooted away and was never in any danger from there, winning by a length and a half from a strong-finishing Queen Adele (Adelaide). The rest of the field finished another five lengths behind the first pair.

"I was a little bit worried for a second early in the race, and I was running through my options," McCoull said. "I waited until the race unfolded a bit more and, luckily, I was able to slot in.

"I was pretty confident from then on. I had a nice run and, by the 600-metre mark, I was very confident she'd win.

"She did lose concentration a bit when she hit the front, and a set of winkers might help. I think she would have put them away even more easily if she'd had something to chase."

While this was her first black-type win, Chequerboard had previously placed in the Listed Strutt Stakes (2100m) and earlier finished a close sixth in the Listed Twilight Glow Stakes (1400m) in Melbourne.

She also boasts strong pedigree credentials, being out of an unraced Zabeel mare who is a half-sister to the trans-Tasman Group winner What Can I Say (NZ) (Khozaam). Other close relatives include What Can I Say’s stakes-winning progeny Only Words (End Sweep) and Gibraltar Champion (NZ) (Rock of Gibraltar), along with Holy Snow (Fastnet Rock) and the Group One winner and sire Invader (Snitzel).

Meanwhile, Tasmanian Oaks third placegetter My Squeeze Louise (NZ) (Mongolian Khan) is also a Karaka graduate, bought for $30,000 from Regal Farm’s draft at the 2019 Ready to Run Sale. She has now had six starts for a win and three placings, earning A$43,907 in stakes along with valuable black type.


Rich Hill Stud


Fastnet Rock – Chi


Lot 638, Karaka 2019 Book 1, Psd (Res $300,000)

Bred by