Sun | Jan 23, 2022

Go with Universal Boss on Monday

Published:Saturday | August 7, 2021 | 12:09 AMAinsley Walters/Gleaner Writer

UNIVERSAL BOSS should exact revenge on MR UNIVERSE in Monday’s five-straight sprint for million-dollar claimers. The run-on sprinter has an 18lb swing in his favour after losing to speedy MR UNIVERSE by a length and three-quarters at the trip in March.

A game five-furlong speedster when at his best, MR UNIVERSE welcomed UNIVERSAL BOSS to the claiming ranks with a sucker punch on March 21, breaking smartly from post-position four with 121lb to make all against his rival, who gained late with 126lb.

After one run among overnight allowance company, outsprinted by former stablemates, SIR ALTON and ROJORN DI PILOT, MR UNIVERSE returned to his happy hunting ground of top-level claimers, finishing down the track on the round course before reverting to his pet trip with a victory over PAPITO.

Whereas PAPITO was no match for the renowned speedster, he was too close for comfort at the end, getting within two lengths, suggesting seven-year-old MR UNIVERSE, who was being chased by ANASO, would have been susceptible to a stronger closer.

UNIVERSAL BOSS fits the bill perfectly, having mowed down the likes of CAPTUREMYSHIP and ENGLAND’S ROSE at the distance last December on a fast track. With the weight in his favour and MR UNIVERSE appearing suspect out of his last race, a sharp UNIVERSAL BOSS could collar his rival close home.

Unlike MR UNIVERSE, who quickly went back to his favourite trough of million-dollar claimers, UNIVERSAL BOSS was returned to overnight allowance company by his new handlers, who had snapped him up from Anthony Nunes.

In four races among overnight company, UNIVERSAL BOSS’ worst effort was ninth behind MAHOGANY at six furlongs, an event from which the winner repeated on Tuesday and third-place EL PROFESSOR emerged as an easy 8-1 stunner against DEJAE’S BOY and DOUBLE CROWN.

Last time out, UNIVERSAL BOSS ran evenly, staying on, for sixth behind course-specialist SALVATION and TREVOR’S CHOICE, who returned to make amends on the round course in his follow-up race. Carrying 119lb, UNIVERSAL BOSS was always within striking distance but lacked the raw speed to press for the lead, which SALVATION did and capitalised on TREVOR’S CHOICE topweight burden of 126lb close home.

Reporting with 112lb due to Jordan Barrett’s claim, UNIVERSAL BOSS is in receipt of 11lb from MR UNIVERSE, who he had allowed seven when beaten in March. At his best, MR UNIVERSE could very well use speed to go all the way but his victory over PAPITO should have been more convincing.

It will be interesting to see what role MR UNIVERSE’s stablemate, CARTEL, plays in the event. Though he is not the best drawn at stall two, CARTEL also feeds heavily from the claiming trough and could blight MR UNIVERSE’s chances, should they get into a duel on the lead.