Orville Clarke, Sunday Gleaner Writer
The unbeaten WILLIE GOLDSMITH established himself as the ante-post favourite for the April 6, 2000 Guineas, thanks to an emphatic victory in the 22nd running of the Prince Consort Stakes over 1400 metres for native-bred three-year-old colts and geldings at Caymanas Park yesterday.
Installed a 3-4 favourite with four-time champion Omar Walker riding for trainer Patrick Chang and leading owner W.B. Racing, WILLLIE GOLDSMITH powered home by 51/2 lengths from the stable-companions PERFECT NEIGHBOUR (6-1) and Supreme Ventures Jamaica 2-Y-O Stakes winner HOVER CRAFT (6-1) to be unbeaten in three starts.
Well away from the outside post position in a field of nine, WILLIE GOLDSMITH bided his time in the early stages as BORDER LINE (10-1) led for the first 400 metres before giving way to PISCEAN ROCKET (8-1). But WILLIE GOLDSMITH was in no mood to linger and quickly disposed of PISCEAN ROCKET leaving the half mile.
Thereafter, it was smooth sailing as he widened his lead approaching the distance to win impressively.
impressed with performance
Bred by Michael Lyncook, the chestnut colt by Traditional out of the Law Of The Sea mare Gracious Gift, who was purchased for $1.3 million in the 2011 TOBA Yearling Sale at Caymanas Park, covered the distance in the smart time of 1:26.1 despite being eased by Walker over the last 100 metres.
Chang was particularly impressed with the performance and is looking forward to the Guineas with great anticipation.
"Although the track was a bit fast, he did what was expected of him coming from a perfect draw on the outside and covered the distance in a good time," said Chang, who is popularly called "Blip".
"He was actually going away even though eased by Walker. The one mile distance of the Guineas will be right up his street," he added.
However, he conceded that three of the better colts - the unbeaten pair of ROCK UNION and BIGMAN IN TOWN as well as RUM PUNCH - elected to bypass the race and it will be interesting to see how they stack up against 'Willie' in the Guineas. All three are expected to run in a one-mile prep race for three-year-olds on Saturday.
On what turned out to be a tough day for form players, the Pick-9 eluded punters for a sixth consecutive race day and the carry over to Wednesday's meet is $4.77 million.