Honey Ryda a cinch for 1000 Guineas
HONEY RYDA could not have asked for a better preparation heading into this afternoon's 1000 Guineas, reporting fresh off a mile victory in 1:40.0, sharing the fastest time at the distance with DRUMMER BOY, who is among the top-rated colts for tomorrow's 2000 Guineas.
Trainer Richard Azan had his filly avoid the exertion of the Thornbird Stakes a month ago, instead opting to take on older horses at a mile, two months ahead of the Guineas, giving himself enough time to programme HONEY RYDA, who will report as fresh as a daisy for the race that matters.
After her convincing victory over a brave NADESHICO, Azan set about preparing HONEY RYDA like a scud missile for the fillies-only event.
Glowing exercise reports followed - three consecutive best-that-morning gallops - making her a tough horse to beat and a clear favourite over her peers, who ended almost in a straight line at the wire when they ran in last month's Thornbird Stakes.
DISABILITY CHARM, NADESHICO and MY SISTER were separated by a length in the Thornbird Stakes, a half-length either way. NADESHICO is the line horse on which to judge HONEY RYDA, who was made to skip the Thornbird.
THREE POUNDS ALLOWANCE
Anthony Nunes' NADESHICO got within a flattering half-length of HONEY RYDA when she had clocked 1:40.0 for a mile in February. HONEY RYDA, however, had allowed NADESHICO three pounds, technically giving up a length and a half by the handicapper's guide book.
NADESHICO came out of that race to carry topweight 57.0 kilos in the Thornbird Stakes, allowing DISABILITY CHARM five pounds, that's two and a half lengths for a half-length loss on the day, after trying to make all the running with the big weight.
Sitting level in the Guineas, DISABILITY CHARM will have to defy the handicaps to beat NADESHICO, who was staying on strong with the weight in the Thornbird. NADESHICO, it should be noted, also has the handicaps swung against her, in favour of HONEY RYDA with whom she now sits level.
HONEY RYDA has been setting the track alight in the mornings. Her last three speed gallops - 1:14.2, 1:29.1 and 1:07.4 - for six, seven and five-and-a-half furlongs, respectively, were the best recorded among all horses working those Saturday mornings.
With a mile under her girth, against colts and older horses, a fresh HONEY RYDA should be able to stalk and beat her peers. She is not short on pedigree, being an Adore The Gold offspring and foaled by Kathythetraina, who has produced the likes of Prince Consort Stakes winner and Jamaica Two-Year-Old Stakes runner-up, UNCLE KEN.