Chace The Great for Ash Wednesday Trophy
IT'S holiday racing at Caymanas Park today, with the well-supported nine-race programme featuring the Ash Wednesday Trophy over 1300 metres to be contested by 14 starters.
Also on the card is the annual renewal of the $250,000 - $210,000 claiming race over 1200 metres for the Clifford Stewart Memorial Cup. Twelve horses have been declared, including top contenders BARS OF GOLD, CHEERS, ROYAL GIRL, MONEY MOVE and LIGHT BRIGADE, who bids for his fourth consecutive win and could well start favourite.
The main focus, however, is on the Ash Wednesday Trophy, which should see the likes of CHACE THE GREAT, PROLIFIC PRINCESS, UNCLE TAF, TALENTED TONY K, down-in-class UPPA TUNE and champion two-year-old SOTOMAYOR making his seasonal debut in preparation for the April 8 2000 Guineas, for which he is the winter book favourite.
All of the above should ensure a competitive race, especially with much speed present in TALENTED TONY K, UPPA TUNE and CHACE THE GREAT.
I am expecting the Dwight Chen-trained 4-y-o colt CHACE THE GREAT to prove strongest entering the straight from his convenient mark of 53.0kg and former champion jockey Wesley Henry aboard.
Over this trip, the speedy son of Greatness - Our Miss Ruth should not only start favourite, but justify the support in much the same way he did when notching his last win over the distance on September 25, slamming BERRANCA and BLUE DIXIE in the fairly good time of 1:18.2.
Since then, CHACE THE GREAT has run some useful races for the most part. True, he was installed a howling 1-2 favourite to win over the straight-five course on February 11, but could only manage fourth, beaten 13/4 lengths by the much-improved KING D. He was badly drawn on the far side that day, however, and was not really disgraced considering that he drifted out badly after coming on to the main track.
Having trained well and the distance now ideal, CHACE THE GREAT should stave off the late-closing grey colt SOTOMAYOR, who will not find the distance too short after winning his last race over a mile, the $4.25-million SVL Jamaica 2-Y-O Stakes, on Boxing Day. CHACE THE GREAT, however, appears that much fitter and is tipped to resume winning ways.
BARS OF GOLD, who won decisively over 1200 metres last time out, should give his in-form trainer Gregory Forsyth and jockey Jevanne Erwin yet another winner in the Clifford Stewart Memorial Cup, while other firm fancies are FRANKENSTORM in the opening race over the straight, FEARLESS SAMURAI in the third, and BIG BLACK NATION to stave off PROUD PRESIDENT and FLYING MACHINE in the closing race over 1300 metres.