Berranca for Post to Post Jamaica 1000 Guineas feature race at Caymanas Park
The 2015 classic campaign kicks off at Caymanas Park today with the 41st running of the Post To Post Jamaica 1000 Guineas over a mile, to be contested by 14 native-bred three-year-old fillies.
The two-day Easter Racing Carnival will continue on Easter Monday with the 41st running of the Post To Post 2000 Guineas, again over 1600 metres, this for native-bred three-year-old colts and geldings. Both races offer purses of $3.25 million.
Top-line trainer Anthony 'Baba' Nunes holds a strong hand in the 1000 Guineas with the pair of COME DANCE WITH ME, with many-time Canadian champion jockey Patrick Husbands flying in for the ride, and BERRANCA, under champion jockey Dane Nelson.
Both are pitted against the other top contender, the Richard Azan-trained PUDDY POOH (Omar Walker up), who is unbeaten in two starts, having won the Hot Line Stakes over 1200 metres on February 18, in which BERRANCA was fourth.
EITHER CAN WIN
Nunes said his two fillies have pleased in their preparation and either can win - COME DANCE WITH ME from in front or BERRANCA from behind.
"Come Dance With Me, who was the top two-year-old filly of last season by virtue of finishing third to Alacrann and Ali Baba in the Supreme Ventures 2-Y-O Stakes on Boxing Day, was short of work on her seasonal debut behind Ali Baba over 1300 metres, but I had to run her then and she is a lot better for this race," Nunes explained.
"She has been beaten by the top colts in her last three races, but beat them as a two-year-old in the Cash Pot 'Only One For Me' Trophy over 1200 metres last October. She has speed and class and will be a tough opponent.
"Berranca, on the other hand, was unraced as a two-year-old, but is unbeaten in both starts this season. She is progressing along the right lines and, judging from the turn of foot she displayed in the closing stages of the Thornbird Stakes, will relish a mile. I have high hopes for both fillies," he was quick to add.
The unbeaten PUDDY POOH has worked very well in preparation for the race
(galloping six furlongs in 1:14.3) and the Adore The Gold-Shahar offspring should easily get a mile. She has good pace and, although she will be outsped by the fleet-footed COME DANCE WITH ME, should be right there to strike approaching the distance, and will only go down fighting.
Preference, however, is for old rival BERRANCA, who was beaten into fourth place by PUDDY POOH in the Hot Line Stakes over 1200 metres in February.
Now venturing over a mile and improving rapidly, BERRANCA should prove a different kettle. The chestnut filly by Adore The Gold out of Charity Dance is coming on at the right time and, having secured a good draw on the outside, should prove too strong for COME DANCE ME and PUDDY POOH in the last furlong.
Other firm fancies on the 10-race programme are PREISTKING to go one better in the first race, SAFE PASSAGE to do likewise in the second, TURBO MACHINE CAT in the fourth, as well as LADY BELRIDGE in the seventh and fleet-footed TALENTED TONY K to rebound in the ninth.