Franfield all the way in feature at Caymanas Park
The recent fast-time winner, FRANFIELD, should have the measure of the 2014 Superstakes runner-up UNCLE TAF in the annual renewal of the Bonnie Blue Flag Trophy open allowance feature over 1820 metres, to be contested by seven starters at Caymanas Park today.
When both horses last met in the November 8 Superstakes over 2000 metres, the Solomon Sharpe-trained UNCLE TAF finished 91/2 lengths second to subsequent 'Horse of the Year' TYPEWRITER, after leading for most of the way, a mere half a length ahead of the then three-year-old colt FRANFIELD, who raced prominently for fourth.
Since then, both horses have scored easy wins and, today, there is nothing much to choose between them. UNCLE TAF, with Jevanne Erwin aboard, is 3.5kg better off at the weights on the basis of their Superstakes performances. But the year younger FRANFIELD has more scope for improvement, and judging from his easy win over a mile in overnight company on February 7, when slamming HOVER CRAFT by 33/4 lengths, the four-year-old son of Traditional-Super Lei should continue on winning ways.
A month after the Superstakes, FRANFIELD caught the eye when staying on well for fourth (beaten 31/2 lengths) to POTCHEEN in the Gold Cup grade one feature over 1400 metres and, although stepping up in class today, seems destined for the top and will not go down easily with 55.0kg and champion jockey Dane Nelson again in the saddle.
While the stable companions ALL CORRECT and ROYAL VIBES have won recently and should provide worthwhile opposition, I believe FRANFIELD only has his old Superstakes rival UNCLE TAF to fear. The versatile and consistent five-year-old gelding ran above himself on February 21 when a fast-finishing second to CRUCIAL APPEAL in a fast-run straight five race (57.1) in which he was beaten only 11/4 lengths and is ready to rumble. But FRANFIELD gets my preference, but only just.
Elsewhere on the nine-race programme, the down in class FRANKENSTORM under champion jockey Dane Nelson should have an easy passage against $180,000 claimers in the second race over the round-five course.
Trained by Anthony Nunes, the five-year-old gelding showed good speed to lead into the straight some weeks ago when finishing 51/2 lengths fifth to WINESHA over 1200 metres on a $350,000 tag. He's obviously in good nick and, him this low, he should easily account of INSANE BOLT and TATTY'S BAD GAL in a field of nine.
Other firm fancies are SIR VON in the third to lead home SUNLIGHT EXPRESS in the third race over
the straight for high claimers, HE'STHEREAL TING to go one better in the fourth over 1500 metres, as well as LITTLE TUFF MAN in the sixth and TARANIS (working well) in the closing race over 1400 metres for maiden