Brandy, Another Vigorous to outclass rivals at Caymanas
ANOTHER VIGOROUS has been working like a bomb and looks all set to outclass rivals in this afternoon's Prince Consort Stakes whereas BRANDY should be the horse to beat in the fillies-only Thornbird Stakes.
After missing December's Jamaica Two-Year-Old Stakes with an injury, ANOTHER VIGOROUS returned on February 10 to blow away United States-bred horses by almost nine lengths, though not raced since October.
ANOTHER VIGOROUS was clearly the second-best two-year-old in training, bettered only by PATRIARCH, before ailments forced one out of the Jamaica Two-Year-Old Stakes and caused the other to run way below his best.
MARQUESAS benefited on the big day, running on from off the pace to go by an ailing PATRIARCH and COMMANDER TWO, whose connections thought their best chance was to engage in a duel to the death on the lead.
Though MARQUESAS was crowned champion two-year-old for winning the richest juvenile race, he did so against a weakened field, beating a filly, BRANDY, who was badly hindered at the start - a race in which the last two furlongs were run in 29.1 seconds.
ANOTHER VIGOROUS' return should set the record straight. Even though his connections have arrogantly declared non-claiming apprentice to ride overweight, all of three pounds, the bay gelding is still a cut above rivals.
Among the fillies, Anthony Nunes' FAYROUZ and Wayne DaCosta's BRANDY have been playing a cat-and-mouse game ever since they debuted against each other last October. BRANDY won that first meeting, going 1100 metres, holding off late-closing FAYROUZ.
FAYROUZ got the upper hand in their last meeting, closing for second behind speedy COMMANDER TWO at 1500 metres on January 31, going past BRANDY, who finished fourth, three and a half lengths adrift her old rival, after chasing the pace.
However, in a rather strange decision, DaCosta had started BRANDY without her regular equipment, a tongue tie and figure eight, both of which have been replaced for their Thornbird Stakes rematch.
Of their three meetings, the marker race must be the second, the Jamaica Two-Year-Old Stakes, in which BRANDY, partnered by Orlando Foster, was badly bounced at the start by PATRIARCH, who made a mad dash from the gate to go after COMMANDER TWO, dropping her second-to-last after the first furlong, which the form lines won't show, because she had recovered to race fifth at the first call, the half-mile.
FAYROUZ, meanwhile, was in a cosy position, albeit several lengths off tearaway leaders PATRIARCH and COMMANDER TWO, moving as a team with MARQUESAS, who quickened best off the turn to reel in the leaders a furlong and a quarter out.
BRANDY, recovering from her dilemma, caught FAYROUZ a furlong out and was clearly the second-best horse on the day, finishing two and three-quarter lengths behind MARQUESAS.
The speed of the Thornbird Stakes is expected to be a scorcher with horses such as MY SISTER, LICI'S PEPSI and BREEZY ADLIH, not to mention DISABILITY CHARM, all coming to run their races from on or just about off the pace.
Nunes has been priming FAYROUZ in the mornings, upside stablemate NADESHICO, injecting speed which saw her clocking 1:07.3 for a five-and-a-half furlong gallop on Sunday.
FAYROUZ and BRANDY are both racing at 55.0 kilos, lighter than BAND OF GOLD, who recently ran on to beat DISABILITY CHARM and LICI'S PEPSI in the six-furlong Hot Line Stakes.
At the handicaps and a line through her ill-fated start in the Jamaica Two-Year-Old Stakes, plus the fact that DaCosta has refitted her equipment, BRANDY gets the nod.