Disability Charm lands 1000 Guineas
DISABILITY CHARM yesterday turned back 2-1 favourite HONEY RYDA in the stretch run to land the 1000 Guineas by a length and three-quarter from late-closing LISI'S PEPSI, easily winning the season's first classic race.
Sent off at odds of 7-2, DISABILITY CHARM, last month's Thornbird Stakes winner, chased the pair of SERGEANT RECKLESS and HONEY RYDA for the first three furlongs of the one-mile fillies-only race.
Jockey Robert Halledeen made a decisive move five furlongs out to go by HONEY RYDA heading to the half-mile marker.
"I was watching them and decided to put her through to avoid some bumping that was going on. I noticed HONEY RYDA wasn't going anywhere," said Halledden, who pushed DISABILITY CHARM past SERGEANT RECKLESS three and a half furlongs out.
HONEY RYDA came charging at DISABILITY CHARM off the home turn and looked extremely dangerous, especially when Shane Ellis switched her from the rail a furlong and a half out.
However, DISABILITY CHARM found a third gear and responded by powering away from her rival inside the final furlong, leaving a tiring HONEY RYDA at the mercy of LICI'S PEPSI, who ran on from off the pace to claim second.
Trainer Patrick Lynch said DISABILITY CHARM's relatively light preparation was deliberate.
"Her right knee is really not that perfect. I have to take it one step at a time," he said, adding that he wasn't even thinking about the 10-furlong Jamaica Oaks in May.
"With a horse like her, I have to take it day by day. I have to train her to stay sound," he added.
A winner of three races from four starts, DISABILITY CHARM is owned by reggae singer Cocoa Tea, who races his horses under the nom de plume Fisherman Stables.
Bred Soul Warrior-Runnin On Empty, DISABILITY CHARM completed the distance in 1:41.1, eased close home by Halledeen, who said his job was made easy by Lynch's confidence.
"Mr Lynch had me confident. He's the man. I rode her in the Thornbird Stakes and she broke fighting me for the lead. I was really just watching them," said Halledeen, who joined Dane Nelson and Dick Cardenas as jockeys riding two winners on the 11-race card.
Trainer Anthony Nunes won three of the day's first four races but suffered misfortune in the sixth when going a four-timer with 1-2 favourite, SHE'S SYMBOLIC, who was badly hindered down the backstretch by first-past-the-post MISS ELAINE, who was subsequently disqualified.
Classic racing continues this afternoon with the 2000 Guineas for colts and geldings, featuring a clash among last year's Jamaica Two-Year-Old Stakes winner MARQUESAS, Prince Consort Stakes winner EL PROFESOR, runner-up ANOTHER VIGOROUS and champion trainer Wayne DaCosta's WITHOUT EXCEPTION.