Pearson's Will In Charge to land PM Stakes
ROBERT PEARSON'S WILL IN CHARGE should rebound from his Derby Day defeat, when a number of factors conspired against him - to land this afternoon's 10-furlong Prime Minister's Stakes, taking on four rivals, including recent winner PERFECT NEIGHBOUR.
Going for a hat-trick of grade one victories in the Viceroy Trophy on June 30, WILL IN CHARGE was among the favourites floored by shock winner HOUDINI'S MAGIC in the nine-furlong Viceroy Trophy, which also featured SHE'S A MANEATER and BIGDADDYKOOL.
However, what was expected to be a showdown among the big three turned into a steal for lightweight HOUDINI'S MAGIC, who got an unmolested lead on a racing surface that was graded three days earlier and made lightning fast, resulting in a six-furlong split of 1:10.3 and, possibly, the fastest mile split, 1:35.4, recorded at Caymanas Park in a long while.
SHE'S A MANEATER went down at the start, almost to her knees, and was tailed off, even behind BIGDADDYKOOL, after the first five furlongs. The turn of events left WILL IN CHARGE, carrying 122lb, chasing HOUDINI'S MAGIC, with jockey Robert Halledeen not wanting to have a go too early at what he clearly thought was a rabbit.
Running loose on the lead, HOUDINI'S MAGIC, and benefiting from the handicaps, Wesley Henry stole the race ,with rivals believing he was trying to keep the pace honest for late-closing stablemate BIGDADDYKOOL.
WILL IN CHARGE chased in vain, well inside the last furlong, before giving way to stablemates DONTAE and BIGDADDYKOOL.
Given two months off by Pearson, WILL IN CHARGE has been brought back freshened and raring to go. Though he has topweight 126lb, giving away 10lb to PERFECT NEIGHBOUR, he has been working like a machine - a bullet six furlongs in 1:12.3, topped off by seven in 1:27.3 on Sunday.
PERFECT NEIGHBOUR reports very light at 110lb, with leading rider, apprentice Anthony Thomas aboard. However, Halledeen is astride five-year-old WILL IN CHARGE and won't be waiting around for DaCosta's runner. At eight years old, PERFECT NEIGHBOUR will find his younger and fitter rival too tough to overhaul up the lane after taking all day to wear down LIGHTNING LILY in the class below a week and a half ago.