Seeking My Dream to romp St Leger
High-profile stable companions SEEKING MY DREAM and ALI BABA face off in a big rematch at Caymanas Park today, in the 89th running of the ISP Financial Services Limited Jamaica St Leger over 2000 metres, the season's final classic.
The talented colts - from the stables of champion trainer Wayne DaCosta - hold a victory over each other in recent months, ALI BABA running on to catch SEEKING MY DREAM by a length in the 2000 Guineas over a mile on April 6; and SEEKING MY DREAM turning the tables on the favourite ALI BABA in the Cal's Jamaica Derby over 2400 metres on June 13.
Both have been trained to the minute for the rematch, dubbed the 'Rivalry Continues' by the CTL marketing department, and according to DaCosta, "may the best man win".
SEEKING MY DREAM, who will again be ridden by four-time champion jockey Omar Walker for Member of Parliament Derrick Smith, showed his appreciation for the Derby distance by moving away from ALI BABA early in the straight to beat him by 4 1/2 lengths, with the Lotto Classic (Governor's Cup) winner KRONUS finishing another 6 1/2 lengths away third and the rest well beaten.
Given the shorter distance of the St Leger ALI BABA, with Robert Halledeen again in the saddle, will be gunning to turn the tables, as his class is unquestionable.
However, with the recent trend showing Derby winners coming back to win the St Leger - RELAMPAGO last year, PERFECT NEIGHBOUR in 2013 - SEEKING MY DREAM, to my mind, should follow suit.
Having lost the 2000 Guineas and Lotto Classic on the lead in deep stretch, trainer DaCosta fitted SEEKING MY DREAM with ear plugs for the Derby with a view of allowing him to keep his focus late in his races. This had the desired effect on the son of Seeking The Glory and the 2008 Triple Crown winner, Alsafra, who was steadfast to the end.
My impression is that SEEKING MY DREAM will still prove better than ALI BABA over 2000 metres and with Richard Azan's KRONUS seemingly held by both - despite the switch to big-race jockey Shane Ellis - SEEKING MY DREAM ought to be followed in present frame of mind.
As was the case in the Derby, I am expecting him to get first run on main rival ALI BABA leaving the half-mile and take it from there.
Other firm fancies on the card are the well forward two-year-old debutante, FEDORA, in the opening race, XQUISITE CHOICE in the second, ITALIANO in the third, LA MADRINA in the fifth and TRADITIONAL PRICE to catch TALENTED TONY K in the seventh over the straight for open allowance horses.