Royal Assault a very strong fancy in feature
Having moved impressively at exercise last Saturday morning, the speedy four-year-old colt, ROYAL ASSAULT, looks the one to beat in today's overnight allowance feature for the G.A. "Sarge" Bucknor Memorial Cup over the straight five course at Caymanas Park.
The four-year-old colt can expect stiff competition from main rivals BUZZ NIGHTMARE and ALL CORRECT in a field of 11.
Significantly, all three are stepping down in class in a bid for this trophy, the Philip Feanny-trained BUZZ NIGHTMARE, having finished fourth to the champion sprinter, POKER STAR, in the St Catherine Cup over 1100 metres last time out on January 2 when leading to the last furlong (bled).
Despite a 4 1/2-month layoff, the fleet-footed BUZZ NIGHTMARE should make his presence felt under veteran jockey Ian Spence.
ROYAL ASSAULT, however, is not only race fitter, but having looked the sharper of the two at exercise is given the edge with champion jockey Shane Ellis riding for in-form trainer Anthony 'Baba' Nunes.
I also take ROYAL ASSAULT to beat the Wayne DaCosta-trained ALL CORRECT under top apprentice Linton Steadman, as I believe it will more than likely come down to a speed duel between ROYAL ASSAULT and BUZZ NIGHTMARE, drawn alongside each other at post positions nine and 10.
ROYAL ASSUULT is coming off two third place finishes to CAMPESINO and POTCHEEN in open allowance company, but won back-to-back sprint races prior to that and having moved impressively at exercise in preparation for this race, looks the right choice.
The four-year-old son of Blue Pepsi Lodge-Maken Joy caught the eye at exercise last Saturday morning, galloping from the gate in a brisk 58.4 by 45.3. With his preparation complete, he thus gets the nod.
Other firm fancies on the card are down-in-class EL CLIENTE in the third race for $180,000 claimers over 1200 metres; BLESSEDNESS in the fourth; WONDER GIRL in the sixth; as well as SIR LEYLAND HALL in the eighth; and the well-forward debutant PRINCESS EMANUELLE (working well) to open her account at the expense of another newcomer, LEEKOUT.
LEEKOUT is the first horse to be saddled by new trainer Michael Marlowe, son of the late great Gold Cup trainer Valbert Marlowe.