Start with Sure Step
With no trophies at stake on today's midweek programme at Caymanas Park, three-time champion jockey Dane Nelson should seize the early initiative by winning the opening race over 1200 metres, for native breed maiden 4-y-o and up, with SURE STEP.
The 4-y-o gelding from the stables of Norman Rose faces five moderate opponents and following his 31/2 lengths third to 23-1 outsider CREEDENCE over the straight on February 8, could not have asked for an easier opportunity to open his account.
SURE STEP's best performance came in November of last year when failing by a short head to beat CODED CITIZEN over the straight, a race in which JASON'S GOLD finished another neck away third in a blanket finish. The Steven Todd- trained JASON's GOLD was again behind him in a subsequent race and although considered a worthy opponent in a race of this nature, SURE STEP looks the right choice with Nelson sticking with the ride.
Next on the programme is a $450,000 - $400,000-claiming race over 1400 metres which should see the recent winner TRADITIONAL STORM and old rivals SCOOP JORDYNE and MIND SET in contention at the finish.
TURNING THE TABLES
The Kingsley Davis-trained TRADITIONAL STORM beat then 3-5 favourite SCOOP JORDYNE into third place over 1300 metres on January 14, but SCOOP JORDYNE was closing strongly a mere 13/4 lengths away and given the additional 100 metres, I take him to recoup losses, turning the tables on both TRADITIONAL STORM and the runner-up MIND SET. Apprentice Oneil Beckford, who claims 4.0kg, will ride SCOOP JORDYNE for trainer Rowan Mathie.
The day's five-star banker comes in the form of BRAVE PROSPECT in the fifth race over 1500 metres for $250,000 - $210,000 claimers. BRAVE PROSPECT has beaten much better than his nine opponents in recent months, and now stepping down two classes, should give the 2015 champion apprentice Linton Steadman, title chasing trainer Anthony Nunes, and reigning champion owner Stephan Narinesingh another winner. CHEERS, a consistent sort, looks his principal danger.
Other firm fancies on the card are DUSSELDORF to win the competitive looking eighth race over 2000 metres ahead of HEY CHAMP and MAJOR FORCE, as well as FIERY PATH with Nelson up in the seventh and the lightly-raced FIVE STAR to rebound in the sixth for maiden three-year-olds.