Mon | Mar 25, 2019

Nunes set to dominate today’s co-features

Published:Saturday | March 16, 2019 | 12:17 AMAinsley Walters/Gleaner Writer
EARN YOUR STRIPES (Robert Halledeen) scoring a runaway win over 1600 metres at Caymanas Park on Saturday, February 9.
EARN YOUR STRIPES (Robert Halledeen) scoring a runaway win over 1600 metres at Caymanas Park on Saturday, February 9.

CORAZON and EARN YOUR STRIPES, third and fourth, respectively, behind RUN THATCHER RUN in December’s Jamaica Two-Year-Old Stakes, should outclass rivals to hand trainer Anthony Nunes and jockey Robert Halledeen a Guineas-prep double in this afternoon’s Thornbird and Prince Consort Stakes races at seven furlongs.

Nunes has decided to have Jamaica Two-Year-Old Stakes runner-up, SUPREME SOUL, skip the Prince Consort but has a tactical stranglehold on the six-horse field with three runners – TOONA CILIATA, JUICE MAN, and EARN YOUR STRIPES – expected to gang their lone threat, Ian Parsard’s FATHER PATRICK.

FATHER PATRICK’s solid splits of 22.0, 45.0, and a final time of 1:12.0 is testimony to his blinding speed, which TOONA CILIATA had to respect in the Sir Howard Stakes before making headway inside the last half-furlong to get within three-quarter length of the speedster.

Omar Walker is aboard speedy hat-trick seeker FATHER PATRICK and won’t be waiting on any of Nunes’ horses with his mount’s stamina limitations being suspect but in trying to preserve his mount, could be under pressure from the get-go to stay clear of even no-hoper JUICE MAN.

If JUICE MAN proves to be no match for FATHER PATRICK on the lead, which is quite likely, EARN YOUR STRIPES might find himself having to do his own dirty work. The last time he was eyeballed, EARN YOUR STRIPES blinked first and was overpowered by RUN THATCHER RUN after six and a half furlongs. However, EARN YOUR STRIPES wasn’t exactly quitting at a mile in the Jamaica Two-Year-Old Stakes, which is a big plus in his favour against FATHER PATRICK, who is yet to run beyond six furlongs.

FATHER PATRICK will try escaping Nunes’ mob in his hunt for a hat-trick of wins. Though lightning fast and full of class, he is still CRUCIAL APPEAL’s brother and was coming back to TOONA CILIATA at six furlongs, after mixing it up with Philip Feanny’s CUSTER in the Sir Howard Stakes, giving EARN YOUR STRIPES the edge at the distance.

Meanwhile, CORAZON is safely expected to continue her dominance over the fillies in the Thornbird Stakes. No filly has ever finished ahead of her in a race, from five furlongs straight to her fourth-place run against colts and geldings in the Jamaica Two-Year- Old Stakes. Walker is twice the antagonist, this time astride DaCosta’s LADY BLUE, who started her career by losing three of four races to CORAZON. LADY BLUE recently returned off a three-month lay-up with a smashing win at six furlongs in the Hot Line Stakes and will have her fair share of backers after blazing a flat six furlongs at exercise in 1:12.4.

CORAZON, however, had tracked her in 1:11.1 in the Pick-3 Super Challenge, when they were two-year-olds, before blowing past to win by a length and a quarter at seven furlongs.