Orville Clarke, Gleaner Writer
The Thornbird Stakes, the final prep for the 1000 Guineas on April 7, takes place at Caymanas Park today and a battle royal is expected between the top two, TRINITHETUTOR and CLASSIC PRINCESS.
Gary Subratie and young Nicholas Edwards, respective trainers of TRINITHETUTOR (Omar Walker) and CLASSIC PRINCESS (Shane Ellis), are confident of winning based on the last performances and subsequent preparation of their charges to meet the engagement.
TRINITHETUTOR, who is unbeaten in two starts, is expected to start favourite judging from the manner in which she slammed the favourite EXOTIC GOLD in the Hot Line Stakes over 1200 metres on February 18. She looks a smart cookie and ought to be followed.
Subratie posted NIPHAL to win this race last year and the chestnut filly proceeded to win the 1000 Guineas three weeks later.
"TRINITHETUTOR is on a similar mission and I have high hopes for her on Saturday and beyond," said the second-generation trainer.
"She has done everything asked of her to date and could turn out to be an exceptional filly. I was particularly impressed by her last performance in the Hot Line Stakes and the fact that she continues to please me at exercise. I must say I am excited about her chances.
"This race provides an ideal stepping stone for her before the Guineas, and while I think Classic Princess is a worthy opponent, based on her near miss over 71/2 furlongs among older horses a month ago, my filly has lots of scope and should win again," concluded the in-form trainer.
Edwards readily concedes that 'TRINI' is a talented filly and will be a tough opponent. But he is gunning to expose her over the longer distance.
"She (Classic Princess) was somewhat unlucky to be touched off by the American colt There Goes Justin over 1500 metres behind a fast time on February 11 and, having shown an appreciation for the longer distance, I think she'll deliver on Saturday.
"She's not normally an exercise horse, but did a good six-furlong gallop (1:16.4) the other morning, and I think the switch to Shane Ellis is a plus in her favour," said Edwards.
'TRINI' should get first run on CLASSIC PRINCESS into the lane and it will be hell to pay thereafter.
I also like SOCA PARTY in the first race, PRICELESS GOLD (third), SABINA (fourth), HERBIOUS CORPUS (fifth), MEROVINGIAN QUEEN (seventh) and OUT FOR JUSTICE in the closing Roderick 'Pilot' Francis Memorial Trophy.