Sassy Sue, Vintage Ruckus for Eight Thirty Sprint
The 2015 three-year-old campaign leading up to the season's first classics, the 1000 and 2000 Guineas in April, commences at Caymanas Park today with maiden fillies contesting the divided Eight Thirty Sprint over the straight-five course.
Ten have been declared for Division One and 11 for Division Two. The three-year-old colts and geldings (maidens) will have their day next Saturday, January 24, in the Mercury Sprint, again over the straight.
The 1000 Guineas for fillies will be run on Saturday, April 4, and the 2000 Guineas for colts and geldings on Easter Monday, April 6.
Although both sections of the Eight Thirty Sprint promise keen competition, indications are that 14-time champion trainer Philip Feanny will saddle the winner of both sections, debutante SASSY SLEW and VINTAGE RUCKUS, to be ridden by Ian Spence and Paul 'Country' Francis, respectively.
A chestnut filly, by Porto Santo out of November Lace, SASSY SLEW has had a long and steady preparation, looking sharp out of the straight on Monday morning, clocking 1:02.2 by 47.4, easily.
In a previous gallop over four furlongs on January 4, she was beaten by stable companion VINTAGE RUCKUS but, by and large, has been pretty consistent in her workouts. Having shown good speed, she gets the nod over main rivals SWEET DIMENSION and CHINITAGOODAZ, both of whom have pleased at exercise as well.
The Patrick Lynch-trained SWEET DIMENSION, who is best drawn at post position 10, showed promise on her debut behind LONG RUNNING TRAIN and SMOKEY TOPAZ over the straight on November 22 and since then has come along nicely in her preparation.
With Lasix now administered and the visor fitted for this race, the War Marshall-Brown Sugar offspring looks the principal danger to SASSY SUE.
Division Two promises even keener competition among well-forward debutantes, with BERRANGA (Jevanne Erwin up) and NOTHINGBUTTTHEBEST (Shane Ellis), both looking razor sharp at exercise for trainers Anthony Nunes and Lorne Kirlew, respectively. They are joined by the recent disqualified winner, MOM'S STUDENT, with champion jockey Dane Nelson riding for trainer Fitzroy Glispie; and the one I like best, VINTAGE RUCKUS.
A grey filly by Film Director out of the Bold Ruckus mare Silver Taler, VINTAGE RUCKUS showed little on her September 20 debut behind ALI BABA over 1200 metres, but looked vastly improved in a recent exercise spin, galloping five furlongs from the gate in 1:00.4 by 46.2.
BERRANGA, a chestnut filly by Adore The Gold out of Charity Dance who has also pleased in her preparation, should make it close.
Other firm fancies on the card are LASHING FORCE to win the second race over the straight, with Nelson now taking the ride; CONCUR (Nelson again) to go one better in the third, again over the straight; JOHN D LINJAH to win the fifth; and the well-prepared SIEMPRE BUENO in the ninth over 1100 metres for non-winners of two three-year-olds.