Bank on Blue Tradition
Tomorrow's pre-Xmas nine-race programme at Caymanas Park offers carryovers in the Pick-9 and twilight Super-6 amounting to more than $1.1 million each.
The Pick-9 will embrace all nine races, the first Super-6 from race two to seven, the late Super-6 from four to nine.
We look at the first Super-6 which gets under way with the Sunnyside Stakes two-year-old maiden special for fillies over 1100 metres, to be contested by 12 starters, including the highly thought of debutante BLUE TRADITION, who has looked real sharp in her preparation and should make a winning debut.
Trained by Anthony Nunes, the bay filly by Blue Pepsi Lodge out of Sense Of Tradition caught the eye at exercise last Sunday morning when galloping 51/2 furlongs in 1:07.4 by 1:01.1. And days prior to that, she galloped out of the straight in 59.0 by 45.4.
Although she can expect worthwhile opposition from fellow debutante, SARAH LEE, DUTY FIRST and TOUGH COOKIE, she has shown the requisite speed at exercise to go all the way with outgoing champion apprentice Linton Steadman aboard.
Next on the programme is a tough-looking high-claiming race over 1400 metres to be contested by eight starters.
Included in the line up is recent winner ZACKONTHEATTACK, who beat a good field over 1500 metres on Diamond Mile Day, December 10.
The five-year-old gelding from the stables of Paul 'Sleeper' Charlton made most to win by three lengths from UNBREAKABLE, STORMING and BRAVE PROSPECT (all renew rivalry), but is very light for this race (50.0kg) under the useful apprentice Jerome Innis and could well repeat. The horse who could stand in his way is down in class HOLOGRAM SHADOW (Aaron Chatrie up), who has beaten better in the not-too-distant past.
The vastly-improved PARTY CUP, who bids for a hat-trick of wins with apprentice Javaneil Patterson again in the saddle, will have lots of supporters in the fourth race over 1400 metres for four-year-olds and up (non winners of three). But standing in his way this time is the sparingly raced four-year-old filly NOTTINGBUTTHEBEST, who left us on a winning note in May 2015. She was well backed for both the 1000 Guineas and Oaks that year and looks better quality than her 10 opponents.
She reports in good condition with Ameth Robles riding for in-form trainer Patrick 'Wacky' Lynch and clearly has the back class to derail PARTY CUP.
The fifth race over the round five course for maiden three-year-olds should resolve itself into a straight fight between old rivals SHARP SKIRT under top apprentice Bebeto Harvey and the free-running PHOTOGENIC with three-time champion Dane Nelson aboard. Both finished second and third respectively to BUFFO over 1100 metres last Sunday and it could go either way with half a furlong less to travel. The vote goes to SHARP SKIRT, but only just.
The last two races in the first Super-6 should be won by MERU (Jemar Jackson up) and ICE PRINCESS. The latter is well drawn on the stands' side over the straight and has the very competent Ruja Lahoe aboard.
FIRST SUPER-6 FANCIES
(2) BLUE TRADITION
(5) SHARP SKIRT/
(7) ICE PRINCESS/