Smooth E will be hard to beat
Orville Clarke, Gleaner Writer
With the Puck-9 having no takers at Caymanas Park on Wednesday, the carryover to tomorrow's meet stands at $1.95 million.
This means the Pick-9 could offer a payout of close to $3 million if caught. The Pick-9 will embrace races two to 10, the first Super-6 from race one to six, the overlapping Super-6 from race five to 10.
We look at the first Super-6, this commencing with a restricted allowance race (non-winners of three) to be contested by seven starters. Top contenders are MISS MAY to be ridden by former champion jockey Omar Walker, the very fit GETUPSTANDUP with in-form apprentice Raju Lahoe aboard, and MY GIRL NALA, the mount of outgoing champion jockey Dick Cardenas.
Preference is for the Wilfred Chin-trained MISS MAY, who will not only love the distance but has been administered Lasix for the first time, having bled in her last race when fifth to BWANA BROWN over this trip on October 20.
Both MY GIRL NALA and GETUPSTANDUP were not beaten far over 1300 metres in the race won by WAR HERO last Saturday and are weighted to carry the fight to MISS MAY.
Walker is expected to complete a quick double aboard the free-running SPIC N SPAN in the second race over 1600 metres for four-year-olds and up (non-winners of two) in which 10 have been declared.
Trained by Dale Murphy, the 4-y-o filly has been figuring prominently in her races, finishing a close second to the outsider RISING RAJ over 1700 metres on October 27. She has good speed and will more than likely have to be caught.
INSPIRATION, who was behind her in third in that race won by RISING RAJ, looks the principal danger, but others such as TE-AMO and HATTERAS, both closers, will not be far away at the end.
It should be Walker again in the third race over 1100 metres, the four-time champion having the leg over the lightly raced imported filly SMOOTH E from the stables of Anthony 'Baba' Nunes.
SMOOTH E caught the eye when finishing a mere length away third to stable-companion RAJA HINDUSTANI over the distance on November 17 and is preferred to ALI'S WONDERBOY, who was fourth in the same race, beaten 31/2 lengths.
The fourth race over 1500 metres ($350,000 claiming) should resolve itself into a straight fight between recent winner GENERAL C, with Richie Mitchell again in the saddle, and BREDDA PAPA (Trevor Simpson up), who has beaten better in the not-too-distant past. GENERAL C has the better form to recommend and thus gets the vote in a field of nine.
I also like the consistent PRIESTKING (knocking at the door) to get the better of PRINCIPE and NUH VEX in the fifth race over the straight-five course, even from his unfavourable draw at post position one, and down-in-class GO MY ROBIN (regaining form) ahead of CHADHALIA and KEEPIN THE PROMISE in the sixth race over 1820 metres for $180,000 claimers.
FIRST SUPER-6 FANCIES
(1) MISS MAY/MY GIRL NALA
(2) SPIC N SPAN/INSPIRATION
(3) SMOOTH E
(4) GENERAL C/BREDDA PAPA
(6) GO MY ROBIN/CHADHALIA