Hall of Fame
Chichester won 12 races from 1200 to 2400m at a time when South African racing was blessed with racing talent. He was a precocious two-year-old, and trained on to win top races at three, four and five. A remarkable feature of his racing career is that his sire, Drum Beat, was one of South Africa’s best ever sires of sprinters, yet Chichester was able to win the Cape Derby over 2400m.
In another occurrence of great rarity, his full-brother, Kraken showed similar talent in winning the Cape Guineas.
Trained by Gail Thompson, Chichester was rated the best juvenile in South Africa during the 1968-1969 season, when he won two of the Cape’s top two-year-old races (Cape of Good Hope Nursery and Boland Breeders) as well as the all-aged Matchem Stakes. He went on to win the Queen’s Plate, Merchants and Cape Derby at three. Not only did Chichester beat older horses in the Queen’s Plate and Merchants, but he also won from 1200m to 2400m. Only an exceptional horse can win at both these distances; having the speed to pace it out with top sprinters, as well as the stamina to defeat Grade I performers over 2400m is a rare combination.
Chichester, owned by J Galbraith, was one of just four horses to win the Queen’s Plate twice. On both occasions he beat the 16-time winner Prairie Prince into second place. The champion contested the Queen’s Plate on three occasions, also running fourth to the legendary In Full Flight as a five-year-old.
While Chichester was not quite in the same class as In Full Flight (few horses were), he nevertheless grabbed a few big scalps in his career: Mazarin (July Handicap), Peter Beware (J&B Met), Lightning Path (SA Derby) and Special Guest (Clairwood Winter Handicap), to name a few.
Thoroughpedia (Oscar Foulkes)