Nuclear Affair, Future King win Guineas classics
THE 42nd running of the Post to Post 1000 and 2000 Guineas - the season's first classics over a mile - went according to the script at Caymanas Park yesterday.
Victory went to the favourites NUCLEAR AFFAIR and FUTURE KING in the 1000 and 2000 Guineas races, respectively, both closing from well off the pace to win in contrasting fashion.
In the 1000 Guineas for native bred three-year-old fillies, the Gary Subratie-trained NUCLEAR AFFAIR, with three-time champion Dane Nelson riding for popular owner Michros, circled the leaders GOLD MINER (35-1) and BIRD CATCHER (6-1), entering the straight and streaking away in a flash to win by resounding margin of 91/2 lengths in the good time of 1:39.2.
The improving A THOUSAND STARS (18-1), with Robert Halledeen riding for 15-time champion trainer Wayne DaCosta, stayed on well to pip Philip Feanny's filly, SORRENTINO'S STAR (5-2), under leading all-time jockey Winston Griffiths by a neck for second in a field of 14.
Unbeaten in three starts this season, NUCLEAR AFFAIR is now on course for the Jamaica Oaks over 2000 metres on April 30 as, according to Subratie, 'this should be a mere formality as she is leagues ahead of the other fillies at this stage".
TERRIFIC TURN OF FOOT
Continuing, the second-generation trainer proclaimed: "In fact, she is so talented that she is as good as the top colts or even better, and given her terrific turn of foot, the classics is hers for the taking so long as she remains healthy."
Bred by Michael Bernard (Michros), NUCLEAR AFFAIR is a chestnut filly by Nuclear Wayne out of Commandra Affair. She has now won four races from seven starts.
Later in the afternoon, the DaCosta-trained FUTURE KING, running as the 9-5 favourite in the 2000 Guineas for colts and geldings, stormed through on the inside from a furlong out, going by long-time leader CHACE THE GREAT (3-1) to win by 11/4 lengths from ORPHEUS (3-1), who closed strongly for second, with champion jockey Shane Ellis aboard.
CHACE THE GREAT, the recent Prince Consort Stakes (Guineas Trial) winner, was another half a length away in third ahead of highly fancied BIGBADYKOOL (3-1), closing late for fourth.
FUTURE KING, who beat NUCLEAR AFFAIR by a head over a mile when they last met in the $4.25 million Supreme Ventures 2-Y-O Stakes last Boxing Day, recovered from a setback (hoof injury) over three weeks ago to provide jockey Halledeen and DaCosta with their second 2000 Guineas winner, following ALI BABA last year.
DaCosta said: "It was a race against time to prepare him for the race due to the setback, but his class saw him through and I expect great things from him in the months ahead."
Owned by Alfred Lee and Jeffrey Mordecai and bred by Y.S. (1955) Limited, FUTURE KING is a dark bay colt by Natural Selection out of Millenium Princess.
This was his third win from seven starts, but his time of 1:39.4 was slower than that of NUCLEAR AFFAIR, sparking a debate as to who is better.