A STAR banker in Race Four
KING NEBARUE, seeking his first victory in many months, has a grand chance of entering the winners' enclosure in tomorrow's opening event of the Sunrise-6. The race, restricted to $180,000 claimers who have not placed among the first three finishers in any event since October 24, 2017, is over 1,100 metres.
Linton Calder's eight-year-old has been seen consistently on the exercise track since early January and can use his superior fitness to get off the mark for 2018. Calder, who is also the horse's owner, has removed the tongue-tie as his charge's best run in the past six months came when he was not wearing any racing equipment. On January 20, KING NEBARUE was fourth by six lengths to Tashie Baby in a 1,200 metres event. His final time, 1:17.4, shows that he is in good enough form to defeat this bottom-of-the-barrel field.
Ten will face the starter in Race Two over 1,000 metres for three-year-old maidens. The three standouts are PRINCESS ZELLA, SON SON, and GOLDEN DESTINY. The last named is my selection. He has the advantage of the outside draw and ran a very good race on his second start when beaten by Disability Charm over 1,000 metres round. Disability Charm will run in tomorrow's Hotline Stakes, a Guineas Trial for fillies, and will be one of the top contenders.
GOLDEN DESTINY was the favourite in the race and looked threatening 200 metres out before the winner sprinted clear in the final 100 metres. His only danger is PRINCESS ZELLA, who also ran well in another 1,000 metres race when second to YAYA'S DREAM on February 14.
Trainer Spencer Chung's three-year-old GARRINCHA, a losing 2-5 favourite on his January 27 debut, should recoup losses in Race Three, also over 1,000 metres straight. The Traditional-Outfither gelding ran very green in that race but returns well-trained and with the tongue-tie on. APOLLO BAY was also in that January 27 race, but he is a very short runner and should not be among the contenders in the final rush for the line.
STAR, to be ridden by veteran jockey Dane Nelson, is the strong choice for Race Four. The event has a lot of speed in KHALEESI'S REVENGE, RAGE OF THE ANGELS, LAWS OF THE CODE, and CHRISANLI, and Nelson is expected to wait on his rivals to run themselves into the ground before coming forward in the final 100 metres. The very light LAWS OF THE CODE should hold on to second.
The last two races in the Sunrise-6 should be won by the very fit BIG BLACK NATION (Shane Ellis up) and KILLER BEE, with Aaron Chatrie up.
1. KING NEBARUE
2. GOLDEN DESTINY
5. BIG BLACK NATION
6. KILLER BEE