Consistent Deo Volente to rebound
The third race over 1400 metres for $550,000-$500,000 claiming horses takes the spotlight on today's nine-race programme at Caymanas Park.
Seven starters have been declared, among them the consistent middle- distance campaigner DEO VOLENTE, who bids for his third win since November 12.
From the stables of champion trainer Wayne DaCosta, DEO VOLENTE steps down to claiming company after failing to impress behind the progressive four-year-old colt FRANFIELD over a mile recently, but now back among his peers and programmed for this race, is confidently expected to resume winning ways.
When last competing at this level on December 27, DEO VOLENTE ran on strongly to beat subsequent winners PRINCE ANDREW and MERU over 1300 metres in decisive fashion; and prior to that scored easily over 1500 metres on November 12 on a $500,000 tag. The six-year-old gelding by War Marshall out of Did We Win was ridden by in-form Robert Halledeen on both occasions and also by him when scoring over this trip on September 12.
DEO VOLENTE renews rivalry with the bold frontrunner MERU (a recent winner), but has little to fear from his old rival in a race of this nature. The fact is that DEO VOLENTE is basically better than claiming company and while MERU and JACK DE CHARMER should set off in form ahead of the recent course winner BOLD AVIATOR, now up in class, they should fall victim to DEO VOLENTE.
He has looked sharp in his preparation, galloping five furlongs in 1:01.4 on the morning of February 17 and should prove too strong for MERU with claiming apprentice Orlando Foster aboard leaving the furlong pole.
One of the most open races on the card is the eighth, a restricted allowance race over the straight five course to be contested by 12 starters. With horses such as recent winner BRILLIANT ACE, GREAT BROWN, YOUR EMMINENCE, JUST LIKE EMMA, JAVINE, ALEXANDER, INFANTRY OFFICER and CRY OF THE POOR all in with a chance, a blanket finish is anticipated.
BRILLIANT ACE, now well drawn at post position 11 and Halledeen again in the saddle, won well over 1200 in non-winners of two on January 24 and despite her unplaced effort behind AWESOME CODE over 1300 metres on Ash Wednesday, is now suited by the conditions and should rebound at the expense of GREAT BROWN, ALEXANDER and JAVINE.
I also like down-in-class POCKET MONEY to win the second race, PRINCE O'SHAUN in the fifth, MONDAY HILL in the seventh and BLESSTINE in the night pan.