Sat | Dec 16, 2017

Choo Choo Blue ready to deliver

Published:Wednesday | September 27, 2017 | 12:00 AMAinsley Walters
Vastly improved GARY GLITTER (right), with Ryan Wilson aboard, losing by a nose to CHOO CHOO BLUE (Omar Walker) in an overnight allowance 1200 metres event on December 27 last year.

CHOO CHOO BLUE should be gifted a nice stalking pace in this afternoon's 1300-metre Saint Cecelia Trophy - nothing fast enough to take her off the bridle early, or too slow for the run-on horses to be a threat when she is unleashed by hot apprentice Anthony Thomas.

The only foreigner in the nine-horse line-up, four-year-old filly CHOO CHOO BLUE ran her last race at today's trip, beaten a length-and-a-quarter by improved and super-fit CHACE THE GREAT on August 26.

Going for back-to-back open allowance victories and quietly fancied at odds of

3-1, CHOO CHOO BLUE was taken out of her game plan after the horse expected to press CHACE THE GREAT, SIR BUDGET, was never better than fourth throughout.

This caused CHOO CHOO BLUE to do the chasing, having to go after CHACE THE GREAT, who was able to settle on the lead and made all to win in a fast 1:18.4, leaving CHOO CHOO BLUE closing, but not fast enough.

Returning at the exact weight, 53.0 kilos, for the Saint Cecelia, CHOO CHOO BLUE faces eight rivals, a half of whom she had behind in her last two races - GARY GLITTER, DWAYNE STAR, ANOTHER BULLET and CRUCIAL APPEAL, who has worked well but will have problems getting the distance, especially off a two-month lay-up.

As far as the others are concerned, PINELOPE has woefully lost form, GOLDEN GLORY has bitten off way more than she can chew up in class, leaving PROLIFIC PRINCESS and LOTTERY TICKET as CHOO CHOO BLUE's only real threats in the line-up.

Though she's probably at her best ever, consistent PROLIFIC PRINCESS faces a tough task from post-position one and could either get into trouble by being involved in the pace too early or be too far back when the mid-race speed kicks in leaving the half-mile.

LOTTERY TICKET has certainly improved, getting three of her five career wins this season as a four-year-old, and seems to enjoy trainer Wayne DaCosta stretching her out a little further as she progresses up in class and the early speed becomes more torrid.

CHOO CHOO BLUE appears to have a complete package and more scope for improvement. She is versatile and can sit in just about any pace her rivals can throw down, especially with CRUCIAL APPEAL highly suspect at the trip.

After beating CHOO CHOO BLUE by a length-and-a-quarter, CHACE THE GREAT returned on September 9 to turn back CAMPESINO in the grade one None Such Sprint, clocking 1:11.3 in a four-and-a-half length romp, proving that he was above the grade in his previous race.

With the handicaps in her favour, pace and distance to her liking, an in-form apprentice in the irons, CHOO CHOO BLUE is ready to deliver as she makes her way up the ladder to grade one.