Prince of Peace to rebound
Orville Clarke, Gleaner Writer
Today's 10-race pro-gramme at Caymanas Park offers no trophy race, hence the highly competitive open allowance event over 1200 takes the spotlight as the day's most valuable.
Eight horses have been declared, among them the recent winners FOREVER MINE, BRASH & SASSY, VONALMIGHTY and YOJIMBO. Also present are PRINCE OF PEACE, MEDICAL REPORT and HAIL THE GENIUS, all of whom have already visited the winners' enclosure this season.
Speed is strongly represented by FOREVER MINE, BRASH & SASSY and the lightly-weighted YOJIMBO, now up in class following his narrow win over 1100 metres in restricted company on March 3.
The Neive Graham-trained five-year-old gelding FOREVER MINE has won a number of races in good company over the last six months. He impressed on March 6 when leading home subsequent winner NEW KINGSTON by two lengths over the round five course, covering the distance in the smart time of 59.1.
Although stepping up to open allowance company today, FOREVER MINE ran well at this level as recent as February 20, finishing a close second to MINISTEROFJUSTICE over the straight course. FOREVER MINE could prove fastest of all and, with a mere 51.0kg and former champion jockey Wesley Henry now taking the ride, could well repeat.
The Peter John-Scully-trained filly BRASH & SASSY easily put away THE REAL STREAM and subsequent Ash Wednesday Trophy winner VONALMIGHTY over 1100 metres on February 3 and will have her supporters with only 49.5kg and in-form Paul 'Country' Francis aboard.
While respecting the chances of FOREVER MINE and BRASH & SASSY, I think both speedsters will set it up nicely for the stretch-running PRINCE OF PEACE in the last 200 metres.
From the in-form stable of Richard Azan, PRINCE OF PEACE was installed favourite against the top distance horses for the recent Legal Light Trophy over 1820 metres (grade one), but ended up two lengths fifth.
Prior to that, on February 6, he finished a clear second to unbeaten American CASSANOVA BOY in the fast-run King's Plate over 1500 metres, failing in his bid for the four-timer that day.
In the nick of time
Significantly, PRINCE OF PEACE last won over 1100 metres on December 12, getting up in the nick of time to beat the front-running FOREVER MINE by a head.
Both hold the key to the outcome and, although 3.0kg worse off today, PRINCE OF PEACE, now back among his peers, is preferred with customary rider Dick Cardenas aboard.
I also like the recent winner BROTHERLY LOVE to repeat in the first race; SUPER CENTRE (Lasix administered) to stave off 1000 Guineas aspirant HER-ROYALHIGHNESS in the third over 1500 metres; OCHUN in the sixth; JUNGLE QUEEN seventh; and Courtney Walsh's horse, EVER BLESSED, in the eighth.