Classy Chace The Great to lift Cliggott Memorial Trophy
CHACE THE GREAT really came to hand last season, especially since fitted with a one-cup blinker by trainer Dwight Chen, and will be hard to beat in this afternoon's Eileen Cliggott Memorial Trophy at 1300 metres, even though coming off a two-month lay-up.
The chestnut gelding paid his dues as a three-year-old, having to take a back seat to the likes of BUZZ NIGHTMARE and CAMPESINO before crowning himself champion sprinter as a four-year-old, winning five races last season.
Richard Azan's MONEY MAGNET was among the horses CHACE THE GREAT put to the sword in November's Caribbean Sprint, allowing the then three-year-old filly nine pounds, and beating her by a comfortable length at 1200 metres.
MONEY MAGNET returns even worse off at the handicaps, six pounds lighter than CHACE THE GREAT, who benefits from champion apprentice Anthony Thomas' two-kilo claim. Though she is not an outright dasher and could prefer 1300 metres, MONEY MAGNET was also outrun by CHACE THE GREAT, at similar weights, in December's Diamond Mile.
Both horses made their moves coming off the home turn but it was CHACE THE GREAT who quickened to go a length clear before SHE'S A MANEATER split them a furlong and a half out and ran out an easy winner.
CHACE THE GREAT was still second up to a half-furlong out before stablemates BIGDADDYKOOL and HOUDINI'S MAGIC relegated him to fourth.
Anthony Nunes' SIEMPRE BUENO underperformed last time out, beaten six lengths into sixth place, at 1200 metres, by MONEY MAGNET on February 3. However, the handicappers have given him a huge pull, all of nine pounds, which will see Wesley Henry putting him in front in an attempt to make all.
Though seven pounds lighter than CHACE THE GREAT, SIEMPRE BUENO is facing two quality opponents, one of whom, CHACE THE GREAT, will be on to him quickly.
CHACE THE GREAT's main weapon is his ability to be rated more easily since Chen added the one-cup blinker, which has had him staying on better over longer distances, in addition to curbing his tendency to drift right in the stretch run.
Though he hasn't raced since Diamond Mile day, CHACE THE GREAT reports as fresh as a daisy and less pounded than MONEY MAGNET. Having galloped six furlongs in 1:13.0 on Sunday, CHACE THE GREAT looks ready to confirm who's the boss of sprinting at Caymanas Park.