Sat | Mar 23, 2019

Chace The Great to waltz away with Reggae Trophy

Published:Saturday | January 19, 2019 | 12:00 AMAinsley Walters/Gleaner Writer
CHACE THE GREAT (left), with Dane Nelson aboard, wins the 31st running of the 'Glen Mills O.J.' Caribbean Sprint Championship at Caymanas Park on November 10 last year.

OUTGUNNED by big horse SHE'S A MANEATER, and before that WILL IN CHARGE in the Diamond Mile, top sprinter CHACE THE GREAT faces lesser rivals in this afternoon's Reggae Trophy at five furlongs straight.

However, the Dwight Chen-trained six-year-old gelding is allowing Richard Azan's pair of MONEY MAGNET and PEKING CRUZ tons of weight, 15lb and 17lb, respectively.

The trio last met on December 15 at five and a half furlongs, with CHACE THE GREAT giving both six pounds in an event that he lost by a head to SHE'S A MANEATER, who chased him down with the big weight that afternoon.

Now in the hot seat with 126lb, CHACE THE GREAT will have chasing to do, especially with PEKING CRUZ carrying a feather at five furlongs straight, a distance at which he clocked 58.0 seconds back in September.

PEKING CRUZ ran his best-ever race in November's six-furlong Caribbean Sprint, carrying 121lb, and fought MR UNIVERSE on the lead before CHACE THE GREAT arrived with 126lb to cut them down leaving the furlong pole.

MONEY MAGNET was kept out of the Caribbean Sprint by Azan, who instead ambitiously pointed her to the December 1 Diamond Mile, a distance at which she has never won and had no chance of beating the country's top middle-distance runners and stayers.

In the Diamond Mile, MONEY MAGNET ran as expected, prominent into the straight, third a furlong out, before weakening into fourth place behind WILL IN CHARGE, the closer BIGDADDYKOOL and CHACE THE GREAT, who bravely tried to steal the event after getting rid of MR UNIVERSE on the lead.

MONEY MAGNET has been winning the early morning battles with PEKING CRUZ from the gate in preparation for the Reggae Trophy, twice beating her stablemate, clocking 59.0 seconds, six days apart, by more than a length on each occasion.

That doesn't sit well for the four-year-old gelding with MONEY MAGNET drawn on his outside, widest in the seven-horse field, and running only two pounds heavier, leaving CHACE THE GREAT with the job of having to defy the handicaps against the mare.

In a previous meeting at five furlongs straight, CHACE THE GREAT carried 121lb and surged in the last furlong to beat MONEY MAGNET, 115lb, into third place, an event in which the pace was set by SIEMPRE BUENO.

CHACE THE GREAT has never been better, holding his own against SHE'S A MANEATER, who has only been able to beat him sprinting with the pace set up for her by stablemate MR UNIVERSE.

Though MONEY MAGNET definitely has the handicaps in her favour, the class resides with CHACE THE GREAT, a much-improved gelding, going up against a five-year-old mare, who he has consistently had the better of.