Orville Clarke, Gleaner Writer
The three-year-old campaign leading up to the classics continues at Caymanas Park today with the native-bred fillies taking the spotlight in the valuable Hot Line Stakes (non-winners of two) over 1200 metres.
This has attracted nine starters and looking at the form and preparation of the horses, it should be closely contested among LADY ABHIJITA, SELECTABOOK, RASTARAVEN and the stable companions OLYMPIC PROSPECT and MINNIE SUNSHINE.
In-form trainer Gary Subratie holds a strong hand with OLYMPIC PROSPECT and MINNIE SUINSHINE, to be ridden by leading jockey Omar Walker and Andre Martin, respectively.
Both are in good nick, but OLYMPIC PROSPECT seems to have a bit more class and can definitely continue the good form of Subratie with his fillies.
OLYMPIC PROSPECT can therefore look to LADY ABHIJITA under champion jockey Dane Nelson, SELECTABOOK with Shane Ellis and recent winner RASTARAVEN - under champion apprentice Shamaree Muir - to provide the competition.
The Owen Sharpe-trained RASTARAVEN won over this trip in maiden company on January 30, but her time of 1:16.0 was on the slow side and she will need to improve.
LADY ABHIJITA and SELECTABOOK, however, have strong credentials, both having won over the distance in fairly good times of 1:14.2 and 1:14.3, respectively, as two-year-olds last season.
In her race, the Anthony Nunes-trained SELECTABOOK beat LADY ABHIJITA by a length when making her debut last October and it should be pretty close between them once again.
However, I expect both to fall victim to OLYMPIC PROSPECT, who also won over this trip on her December 22 debut, beating the American filly LITTLE MAMA MIA in a time of 1:14.0.
That's the best time over the distance by any of the fillies, and having come back a week later to chase home her unbeaten stable companion CITY FLIGHT in the Sweet Ruckus Trophy over 1400 metres, is tipped to resume winning ways, especially with Lasix now administered.
I am expecting her to race in close touch before finding top gear on entering the straight. Walker should do the rest.
OLYMPIC PROSPECT is a bay filly by Vanadium out of the Olympio mare Golden Olympio.
Other firm fancies on the programme are SWEET TRAIL to catch old rival CLASSY PROSPECT in the opening open allowance race over a mile; recent winner VONALMIGHTY to repeat in the second race over 1820 metres; as well as SHAMROCK in the third, THE LEGACY in the fourth and down-in-class SMOOTH E in the sixth.