PATRIARCH in charge, EROY set for win today
THIS afternoon’s six-furlong Ronron trophy is a neutral battleground for SIR ALTON and EROY to renew rivalry.
The foreigners met as two-year-olds last December at five furlongs straight, EROY a disqualified winner on his November 8 debut, at six and a half furlongs, whereas SIR ALTON was making his first outing and scrambled home from CRAFTY AND READY as the 1-5 favourite.
EROY was outsped and finished fourth in the eight-horse field, seven lengths behind SIR ALTON.
However, EROY has since improved. SIR ALTON, though quick, could be susceptible to EROY’s new-found form, which saw him pop 1:05.4 in a five-and-a-half furlong spin at exercise on Monday.
SIR ALTON might have won the recent War Zone in a stakes record 1:04.4, but the track was lightning fast and he had a rabbit, speedy local filly, SHE’S A HIT, to run the first five furlongs in 57.2 before giving up the ghost a half-furlong out.
SHE’S A HIT’s form has been sketchy since June 27 when, returning off a near five-month COVID-19 lay-up, blazed splits of 22.3, 34.1, heading into 45.4, alongside ENGLAND’S ROSE, when both were outclassed by MAHOGANY. She has not been herself since and had no response when SIR ALTON rallied against the rail in the War Zone.
EROY’s form was franked last Sunday by NIPSTER, who returned to score a battling victory against an improved KING ARTHUR in the Royal Dad Trophy at nine furlongs and 25 yards.
Having worked like a monster since, EROY shouldn’t have any problems with the distance and, coming out of a tougher race, should overcome SIR ALTON in a stretch battle.
Yesterday, lightning-fast PATRIARCH splattered rivals with mud and blinded them with speed, completing back-to-back, gate-to-wire victories at five and a half furlongs.
The open allowance contest, billed as ‘open allowance/graded stakes’, to facilitate a drop in class from grade one for out-of-shape STRANGER DANGER, was a replay of PATRIARCH’S August 22 victory.
Breaking from post-position two again, PATRIARCH reeled off almost identical splits to straighten mid-track with CHACE THE GREAT looming large along the rail in underfoot conditions following a heavy downpour.
CHACE THE GREAT appeared to be gaining along the rail but, similar to his second-place run behind PATRIARCH on August 22, the ageing sprint champion swerved, this time to the left and into the rail, losing his chance of tagging his quick rival.
Running just off the rail, PATRIARCH entered the last half-furlong in a 45.2 split and stopped the clock in 1:05.4 for a one-length victory over FATHER PATRICK.
PATRIARCH closed a two-timer for apprentice Oshane Nugent, who handed trainer Phillip Elliott back-to-back winners on the 11-race card with an all-the way victory aboard LAWS OF THE CODE in the sixth event at five and a half furlongs.
Elliott had won the previous event with 8-5 favourite, MUSKETOON, who swept past long-time leader KAPPONE. a furlong out at six and a half.
Phillip Parchment also rode two winners, closing a two-timer for Wayne DaCosta, making all in the third aboard the 18-time champion trainer’s two-year-old debutant, DEN STREET, before closing strongly astride IN THE BLOOD to outfinish AWESOME GLITTER in the eighth.
DaCosta’s three-year-old filly, SWEET TOPPINS, had opened the programme with a runaway victory at nine furlongs and 25 yards with title-chasing Anthony Thomas, who moved to 40 winners, three behind leading rider, Dane Nelson.
The battle for the jockeys’ championship was kept buzzing by Nelson, who rode a two-timer, LIGHTNING MCQUEEN and TRULY AMAZING, in the fourth and seventh races, respectively.
Racing continues this afternoon with a nine-race card.