She's a Maneater ready to rumble
SHE'S A MANEATER yesterday impressed trainer Wayne DaCosta but gave jockey Omar Walker something to sleep on, scoring a four and a half length open allowance win at a mile.
"In the morning, I will know in the morning," the four-time champion jockey told The Sunday Gleaner when asked whether the filly's victory was convincing enough to sway him from her stablemate and 2000 Guineas winner FEARLESS SAMURAI, who he has been leaning towards as his mount for the June 24 Jamaica Derby.
However, there was no question as to how impressed he was with SHE'S A MANEATER's response to a hand ride in the last furlong, pulling away from superfit ANOTHER BULLET to clock 1:38.2 for the distance.
"She's just ready to run. She takes some riding but got going in the last furlong," Walker said in response to questions surrounding her ability to stay 12 furlongs in the Derby.
Speedy ANOTHER BULLET went off at odds of 4-5 on the back of his last three races, two wins, and a strong second to FEARLESS SAMURAI, also at a mile, but in a fast-run 1:37.4 on April 29, the race that has had Walker in the gelding's corner for the Derby.
However, with FEARLESS SAMURAI wilting to third under topweight in last Saturday's 10-furlong Lotto Classic Governor's Cup, albeit the handicaps were against him, Walker's dilemma increased tenfold yesterday with SHE'S A MANEATER's win.
"I don't have a clue who he will ride," DaCosta said after the race, adding that he was keeping his fingers crossed that the filly comes out of the race all right after a pulled muscle caused her to miss the 10-furlong Jamaica Oaks in April.
"I was really impressed to see her find another gear," DaCosta pointed out after watching SHE'S A MANEATER hook up with ANOTHER BULLET down the backstretch, engaging in a speed duel from the half mile in splits of 47.0 and 1:11.0 into the lane.
Game to the core, ANOTHER BULLET rallied when SHE'S A MANEATER challenged him on his inside off the turn and put up a mighty fight to the furlong pole.
"She is a classy horse, sired by a staying stallion, Natural Selection, so she should get the (Derby) distance, plus she will be five pounds lighter than the colts," DaCosta pointed out.