Orville Clarke, Gleaner Writer
With the favourites having dominated the Ash Wednesday programme at Caymanas Park, the Pick-9 produced many winners and starts anew tomorrow with the guaranteed minimum of $1 million.
It will encompass all nine races on the card, while the first Super-6 will be conducted from race two to seven, the overlapping Super-6 from race four to nine.
We look at the first Super-6 which gets under way with a $450,000-$400,000 claiming race over 1820 metres to be contested by seven starters, including the recent runaway winner VONALMIGHTY (Shane Ellis up).
The seven-year-old gelding returns quickly under new management following his runaway victory in the Altamont V. Armond Memorial Cup over 2000 metres on February 2, moving from trainer Ian Parsard to Anthony 'Baba' Nunes.
VONALMIGHTY won by 73/4 lengths from CRUISER and SAINT MARY, both of whom renew rivalry but will be hard-pressed to turn the tables, as VONALMIGHTY is basically better than this group of horses when fit.
Next on the programme is division one of a 3-y-o maiden special race over 1100 metres in which 11 fillies have been declared.
SHAMROCK, who has finished second in her last two races, gets a glorious opportunity to go one better with Paul 'Country' Francis riding for 14-time champion trainer Philip Feanny.
This represents her easiest task and with only WESTERN ROSE (Omar Walker up) and the Nunes-trained EL REGALO (Ellis up, Lasix on) looking likely to carry the fight, SHAMROCK, who has good speed, looks hard to oppose this time around.
THE LEGACY, with champion jockey Dane Nelson riding for champion trainer Wayne DaCosta, gets the nod over his only serious rival, HE'STHEREAL LINKS (Ellis up) in the third Super-6 race over 1400 metres for four-year-olds and up (non-winners of two).
THE LEGACY caught the eye in running on January 30 when finishing 21/4 lengths third to ETHOS over 1500 metres. With the runner-up PRINCIPE paying tribute to the form of that race by winning last Saturday, this speaks volumes for the chances of THE LEGACY, who has been kept on the move at exercise.
The fourth Super-6 race, division two of the 3-y-o maiden special over 1100 metres, should see BLAME IT ON ME (Prince Holder up), TRADITION GIRL (Muir aboard) and the debutante SYSI with Ellis riding for trainer Spencer Chung.
SHOULD MAKE GOOD IMPRESSION
SYSI, a bay filly by Homing Instinct out of Tropical Wave, has looked forward in condition (galloping three furlongs in 36.2 at exercise) and should make a favourable first impression. Preference, however, is for the Dwight Chen-trained BLAME IT ON ME (figure eight on) who showed some promise when highly fancied on her recent debut behind MONEY MOVE, despite rearing at the start.
Down-in class SMOOTH E (Muir up) looks hard to oppose in the fifth Super-6 race over the round-five course for $250,000-$210,000 claimers. The American 4-y-o colt finished a fair sixth (prominent) to EMERGENCE over the straight on a $425,000 claiming tag last time out on January 30 and runs for only $230,000 with a mere 51.0kg. He should have little difficulty in upstaging recent winner AUSTIN LUKE, REAL MINISTER, STEP IT UP and GRANDE MARQUE.
Then, close all bets with down-in-class GREEN BERET (Ellis up) in the $180,000 claiming race over 1300 metres to be contested by 13 starters. CAJUN FIDDLER, RUN CHARM RUN and GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY should complete the Hi-5.
FIRST SUPER-6 FANCIES
(3) SHAMROCK/WESTERN ROSE
(4) THE LEGACY/HE'STHEREAL LINKS
(5) BLAME IT ON ME/SYSI
(6) SMOOTH E/GRANDE MARQUE
(7) GREEN BERET/CAJUN FIDDLER