Sun | May 19, 2019

Nunes to cap Easter success with Patriarch

Published:Monday | April 22, 2019 | 12:29 AMAinsley Walters/Gleaner Writer
PATRIARCH (centre), with Dick Cardenas aboard, cruising to victory in the Ahwhofah Sprint at Caymanas Park on Saturday, October 20, 2018.
PATRIARCH (centre), with Dick Cardenas aboard, cruising to victory in the Ahwhofah Sprint at Caymanas Park on Saturday, October 20, 2018.

LEADING trainer Anthony Nunes looks set to continue his Easter dominance with the return of speedy PATRIARCH this afternoon, following his Guineas double with I AM DI ONE and SUPREME SOUL.

Nunes has a three-timer lined up on the holiday 10-race card, EARN YOUR STRIPES, three-year-old debutant SAN SIRO and speedy PATRIARCH in the Easter Sprint Cup at five and a half furlongs.

Unraced since hobbling home dead last in December’s Gladiator Trophy, PATRIARCH, in his only five-furlong gallop since resuming training, breezed 59.1 for five furlongs on Tuesday, displaying the marauding speed that won him his first two starts as a two-year-old in 2017 before finishing fifth, running on suspect legs, in the Jamaica Two-Year-Old Stakes.

He won on his three-year-old debut last October, returning off a 10-month lay-up, but was only good for another two months, making his exit in the Gladiator Trophy before being gradually eased back into training.

TOO FAST

PATRIARCH is actually returning to overnight allowance where he had won the Ahwhofah Trophy last October, beating ZEPHYR and SOY EL SENOR at six furlongs, clocking 1:11.4. Though carrying topweight 126lb and running without lasix, the lightning-fast Casual trick-Electrifying colt is simply too fast to be caught by any of his 12 rivals.

Gary Subratie’s United States-bred HILLY’S HALO, who finished third behind stablemate KD FLYER at five furlongs straight two Saturdays ago, having previously raced in December’s Gladiator Trophy, has done next to nothing at exercise since to suggest she should get the better of a flying PATRIARCH, who should enjoy an unmolested lead with Robert Halledeen.

Meanwhile, EARN YOUR STRIPES, who ­finished fifth behind stablemates SUPREME SOUL and TOONA CILIATA in last week’s 2000 Guineas, returns for his share of Easter spoils, carrying 110lb in a restricted stakes, against non-winners-of-four, at seven and a half furlongs.

DaCosta’s shaky AMERICAN INVADER and Ian Parsard’s HARRY’S TRAIN, who three-­quarter length separated in a stretch battle two Saturdays ago, will try matching strides with EARN YOUR STRIPES, whereas Philip Feanny’s LEGALITY will be stalking, hoping the leaders crack.

However, EARN YOUR STRIPES should have the measure of the three foreigners, being super light and fitted with blinkers for the first time. He ran well in the Guineas, disputing the lead for six furlongs, run in a split of 1:10.0, and stayed on well enough to secure fifth.

Nunes’ three-year-old factory keeps spitting out model after model, the latest being SAN SIRO, sired by Northern Giant, a son of Giant’s Causeway, a Kentucky-bred, who was the 2000 European Horse of the Year.

A smallish grey colt, SAN SIRO has not looked too flashy at exercise but he is up against three-year-old maidens in April, when most of his classier peers would have already won races, leaving him to face exposed horses, the best of which seem to be Patrick Lynch’s GLITTER RIVER, who, on breeding, could be suspect at six and a half furlongs.