Nelson can sweep first six
Orville Clarke, Gleaner Writer
Thanks to a 500-1 upset by BLESSTINE in the eighth race over 1400 metres at Caymanas Park last Saturday, the Pick-9 had no takers and the carryover going into tomorrow's Supreme Ventures Pick-3 meet stands at $1.9 million.
This will more than likely offer a Pick-9 payout in excess of $3 million. The Pick-9 will embrace races three to 11 on the card, the first Super-6 covers race one to six, while the late Super-6 is from race six to 11.
We look at the first Super-6 which gets under way with the Pick-3 'Easy to Play' Trophy race over 1820 metres for four-year-olds and up, non-winners of two.
This has attracted seven starters, including leading lights HAIL THE KING with former champion Hubert Bartley in the saddle, COSEQUIN under champion and leading jockey Dane Nelson and SWIFT GOLD with apprentice Renardo McNaughton aboard.
The Dalton Comrie-trained HAIL THE KING, a lightly raced four-year-old colt, won by the proverbial city block over a mile with Bartley aboard in maiden company on October 25, and although not beating much that day, has lots of scope for improvement. He will relish the distance, and despite the good claims of COSEQUIN and especially SWIFT GOLD, who beat him some months ago over 1400 metres when he had not yet come to hand, HAIL THE KING will prove hard to deny with only 53.0kg.
Next on the programme is a $250,000-$210,000 claiming race over 1200 metres for the Pick-3 Mix Trophy in which old rivals SAINT THERESA, RULES OF THE CAT and ST BERNARD renew rivalry after finishing first, second and fourth, respectively, over 1100 metres on November 8.
Fifth consecutive win
SAINT THERESA, who now takes orders from Dennis Lee, represents the form horse in the seven-strong field, as she bids for her fifth consecutive win since August 1. She beat the then favourite ST BERNARD into fourth place (by two lengths) last time out, but ST BERNARD, who was running on at the finish, should prove a different kettle of fish give the additional 100 metres of this race, especially with Nelson taking the ride.
Nelson should also win the third race, over a mile, for the Pick-3 Supreme Trophy aboard XQUISITE CHOICE, who was in receipt of an indifferent ride from the apprentice Davidan Robinson over 1400 metres on November 15.
After missing the break and outpaced into the straight, the three-year-old filly stayed on to finish 2 3/4 lengths third to DANOS LA PAZ and the fast-finishing GLORIOUS CAUSE, who renews rivalry with Dick Cardenas again in the saddle. Both will relish the additional furlong but with Nelson replacing the apprentice, XQUISITE CHOICE is now expected to turn the tables on GLORIOUS CAUSE, even though it should be close.
MR. AMBASSADOR, who flopped on his recent debut, reports well trained and administered Lasix as well in the fourth race over 1300 metres for maiden two-year-olds to be contested by 12 starters.
With Nelson aboard, the Patrick Chang-trained MR AMBASSADOR, who impressed at exercise in a five-furlong spin recently, should lead home the DaCosta-trained pair of CAMOUFLAGE (looking up at exercise) with Cardenas up and the debutant POKER STAR (Shamaree Muir), who has also caught the eye at exercise.
The last two races in the first Super-6 should be won by SHELLIAN GREY (Nelson up) and BORDER LINE (Nelson again), in the sixth for overnight allowance horses over 1200 metres.
The latter race promises very keen competition among the 11 starters and although the Richard Azan-trained BORDERE LINE has looked sharp at exercise, he can ill-afford to put a foot wrong with such strong contenders as SCOOP JORDYNE, EDISON and ITALIANO present.
FIRST SUPER-6 fANCIES
(1) HAIL THE KING/SWIFT GOLD
(2) ST BERNARD/SAINT THERESA
(3) XQUISITE CHOICE/GLORIOUS CAUSE
(4) MR AMBASSADOR
(5) SHELLIAN GREY/LA MADRINA
(6) BORDER LINE/SCOOP JORDYNE