Royal Assault all the way
With horses such as GYPSY FLASH (18-1), BARRANCA (8-1) and VIVA ZAPATA (9-1) providing notable upsets, the Pick-9
eluded punters at Caymanas Park last Saturday and continues with a $2.1 million carryover tomorrow.
The Pick-9 will be conducted from race two to 10, the first Super-6 from race one to six, the late Super-6 from race five to 10. Both Super-6s start anew with guaranteed minimums of $750,000.
We look at the first Super-6 which commences with a $250,000-$210,000 claiming race over the straight five course to be contested by eight starters. Top contenders are the recent winner FRANKENSTORM, now up in class, HAWKEYE who won over the course on January 17 in the good time of 59.4 and the speedy SENORITA, who finished a close third to LADY SHANKARI and DAGGA DAGGA LINKS behind a fast 57.2 on January 21.
All three should ensure a close contest but FRANKENSTORM, who was claimed by trainer Neive Graham as a winner out of his last race on March 7 when scoring by 63/4 lengths, acts well over the straight and bearing in mind his facile victory, should repeat with Shane Ellis replacing champion jockey Dane Nelson.
The second race over 1100 metres for three-year-olds looks tailored for ROYAL ASSAULT (Nelson up), who chased home POKER STAR in the recent Sir Howard Stakes over 1200 metres as the favourite on February 21.
Trained by Anthony 'Baba' Nunes, the 3-y-o colt by Blue Pepsi Lodge out of Mayken showed good speed until giving way to POKER STAR a furlong out and with less to do in present company, should emulate his fast-time win over this trip when making his debut on January 1. SUPERTRONICS, with Shamaree Muir returning to the saddle from a two-month layoff due to a broken leg, looks the principal danger to ROYAL ASSAULT in the eight-horse field.
Race three over 1300 metres should resolve itself into a straight fight between 2000 Guineas aspirant ALI BABA and the speedy filly COME DANCE WTH ME, who was the top two-year-old filly of last year by virtue of having finished third to ALACRANN in the SVL Jamaica 2-y-o Stakes last Boxing Day.
Both have trained well for this their Guineas prep and while I expect the Nunes-trained COME DANCE WITH ME to lead them a merry chase with Nelson up, I fear she will be caught by the Wayne DaCosta-trained colt ALI BABA, who is unbeaten in two races over 1500 metres this season, both in fast times. ALI BABA, with in-form Robert Halledeen aboard, is already a strong contender for the April 6 2000 Guineas over a mile.
Briefly, the Eddie Hamilton-trained TEISHA'S DREAM, who was an unlucky loser when decking her rider in the last 50 metres recently when having the race at her mercy, should rebound in the fourth race for maiden fillies over 1200 metres.
The fifth race over 1820 metres should be won by the proven course horse CAUSE FOR CONCERN under leading jockey Omar Walker, while TURBO MACHINE CAT (knocking at the door) with Richard Lunan riding for trainer Carl Anderson, gets the nod over SUPERLUMINAL and ACTION MAN in the sixth race for maiden three-year-olds over a mile.
FIRST SUPER-6 FANCIES
(2) ROYAL ASSAULT
(3) ALI BABA/COME DANCE WITH ME
(4) TEISHA'S DREAM/GOOD LIFE
(5) CAUSE FOR CONCERN/ PRIESTKING
(6) TURBO MACHINE CAT/