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Rough Entry is favourite for Chairman’s Trophy

Shamaree Muir, who partnered another Rohan Crighton Florida invader, PROVOCATIVA, to an easy win at a mile on February 10, has the leg up aboard ROUGH ENTRY, who has looked none the worse for Saturday’s Chairman’s Trophy at seven and a half furlongs since plundering December’s Mouttet Mile.

As he did for the now seven-year-old’s local debut in the Mouttet Mile, Crighton has kept ROUGH ENTRY relatively quiet at exercise, saving the foreigner’s best for race day.

ROUGH ENTRY innocently strode galloped five furlongs out the straight 1:05.1 last Saturday morning. He strode seven furlongs in 1:35.0 the previous Sunday and galloped the trip in 1:29.4 a week earlier.

Before the Mouttet Mile, ROUGH ENTRY had galloped seven furlongs in 1:30.0 out the mile chute, returning to the exercise gallops a week before the event with a 59.2 at five furlongs straight, the first half-mile in 46.0.

ATOMICA, who had ditched Dane Dawkins two and a half furlongs out in the Mouttet Mile, returns for a crack at ROUGH ENTRY after redeeming herself with a strong victory over IS THAT A FACT in the Ian Levy Cup on New Year’s Day.

However, IS THAT A FACT, who made a late gain to place fourth in the Mouttet Mile, which he franked by his crisp effort against ATOMICA in the Ian Levy, reports with 102lb, a 10lb weight swing, which could see the United States of America-bred turning the tables on her at seven and a half furlongs.

ATOMICA doesn’t fancy holding speed but isn’t bad at the handicaps, carrying 115lb. However, ROUGH ENTRY proved that he’s out-of-country with a hole-in-one in the Mouttet Mile, toting topweight 126lb against a much more, overall, fearsome line-up.

ROUGH ENTRY returns to the scene of his Mouttet Mile victory – well, almost – a half-furlong shorter. To say the five-year-old American is the horse to beat would be the understatement of the year, considering his local introduction two months ago.

Entering the US$150,000 Mouttet Mile with a strong September 23 victory at six furlongs – among $35,000 claimers at Gulfstream Park, Florida – ROUGH ENTRY sat fourth with Frenchman Julien Leparoux before going after MAMMA MIA coming off the home turn.

Set loose by multiple Breeders’ Cup-winning rider Leparoux, ROUGH ENTRY collared MAMMA MIA a furlong and a half out, after which the issue was a foregone conclusion.

Streaking clear of MAMMA MIA, ROUGH ENTRY won as his form and exercise reports indicated, reproducing his Gulfstream Park form by outclassing the best of the local cast, clocking a solid 1:38.0, beating last year’s Jamaica Derby-winner, ABILITY, by seven gaping lengths.

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