Mighty battle - MAHOGANY, WOW WOW set for thrilling 2000 Guineas clash
WITH little to choose between WOW WOW and MAHOGANY, sharing 14 consecutive victories, reinsmanship could make the difference in this afternoon’s 2000 Guineas at a mile.
Robert Halledeen is a forceful rider and will try stealing a march with WOW WOW, who has not been worse than second coming off the turn in any of his races.
However, it will be up to Dane Dawkins on MAHOGANY to take his rival out of his comfort zone and off his bridle from early to make class tell in the stretch run.
It will be interesting to see what tactics Gary Subratie employs with his five runners in the 12-horse line-up. However, MAHOGANY will break widest, keeping him out of any early melee and his pace should have him creeping down on rivals from the high draw, giving Dawkins a bird’s-eye view of the field.
Detangling the two stars may require a fine-tooth comb with hardly a blotch on either horse since they embarked on their winning streaks – WOW WOW unbeaten in his last 10 starts and late-blooming MAHOGANY, who scored the first of his four consecutive wins on December 28 last year.
WOW WOW’s impressive record, having not looked back since losing on his two-year-old debut, at three furlongs straight, to ENGLAND’S ROSE made him the firm winter-book Guineas favourite and champion juvenile.
However, MAHOGANY, who lost his first two starts as a two-year-old, debuting November, transformed into a monster when fitted with blinkers 14 days after his second outing. A ridiculous 1:04.3 for five and a half furlongs, on December 28, set the tone for three follow-up victories this season, each more devastating than the last.
WOW WOW IMPRESSIVE
WOW WOW has notched two wins this season, both at six and a half furlongs, since clocking a solid 1:38.0 on December 26 to win the Jamaica Two-Year-Old Stakes at a mile. Whereas he has continued to look impressive in victory as a three-year-old, WOW WOW’s winning times at six and a half furlongs, in a five-month span, were 1:18.2 and 1:18.3, respectively, suggesting he might have showed his hand as far as improvement is concerned.
It wasn’t a difficult pace for WOW WOW to stalk as a team with UNIVERSAL BOSS as LA LA DIVA led GOD OF LOVE and CRYPTOCURRENCY in splits of 23.0 and 46.3. WOW WOW got first run on the leaders and led UNIVERSAL BOSS off the turn then quickened away after a brief duel, stamping his class on the four-year-old.
On the other hand, MAHOGANY appears to be improving with every race, especially when stretched out, and has no fear of a strong pace. Last time out, the chestnut gelding, bred Sensational Slam-Mete-orite, chased opening splits of 22.3, set by SHE’S A HIT and ENGLAND ROSE, before cozying in the catbird seat to take control coming off the home turn in 45.4.
Having won his second and third race at seven and seven and a half furlongs, respectively, MAHOGANY has the tools in his pan, pace and versatility, to floor the mighty WOW WOW, whose only real test in his 10 victories came against super-fit four-year-old, UNIVERSAL BOSS, who he beat at six and a half furlongs three weeks ago.