Sir Von to extend DaCosta's trend
Orville Clarke, Gleaner Writer
The Wayne DaCosta-trained American horses should continue their dominance at Caymanas Park today, when the unbeaten SIR VON takes on six opponents in the third race over 1100 metres, for native and imported three-year-olds.
Since the start of the season, champion trainer DaCosta has done little or no wrong with his impressive string of imported horses, led by the unbeaten pair of CASSANOVA BOY and DOUBLE THE HONEY, potentially the two best horses in the country at present.
Both have been winning in fast times and CASSANOVA BOY, in particular, raced to his seventh consecutive win in the Zaleucus Trophy feature over 1800 metres on March 17.
The American-bred filly FLUFFY, an impressive winner of the Calvin O'Sullivan Memorial Cup feature over 1820 metres on Saturday, is yet another of the DaCosta 'nukes'. But more lethal is the very highly thought of American 3-y-o colt, SIR VON, who made a smashing debut over the straight on March 13, covering the distance in the smart time of 58.4.
Since then, SIR VON has looked awesome at exercise, galloping 5 1/2 furlongs in an amazing 1:05.3 on April 2, the first five in 59.2! And last Thursday, Von White's speedball breezed 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:06.1.
With his preparation complete, SIR VON, with champion jockey Omar Walker aboard, looks hard to oppose in the seven-strong field, despite the presence of the classy native-bred three-year-old colt, SPORTS STAR, from the stable of Anthony 'Baba' Nunes.
The latter was unbeaten in two starts as a two-year-old in 2009, but has had his problems (sore shins). Despite having worked well in recent weeks, he missed the 2000 Guineas on Easter Monday. Still, he looks the only danger to SIR VON.
Meanwhile, nine starters have been declared for the annual renewal of the Roderick 'Pilot' Francis Memorial Trophy over 1200 metres (claiming $180,000) and, from all indications, it should come own to a three-way tussle involving DUST ROCK, old rival CHARLIE CHAPLIN and the stretch-running grey horse, MR. WICKER, who will not find the distance too sharp.
With Walker electing to ride the likely favourite, DUST ROCK, the nine-year-old mare gets the nod. She was a fast-finishing second to bang-in-form THUNDER STORM over 1100 metres on Easter Monday, getting up in the nick of time to pip CHARLIE CHAPLIN for second, and should confirm her superiority on slightly better terms at the weights.
I also like SUPER CENTRE to win the first race; THE SMOKER to rebound in the sixth; vastly improved RIP CURRENT to complete the hat-trick in the seventh and RIVERTON over CLASS ACT in the ninth and final.