MISS Suckie's Argentina remained unbeaten in two starts and proceed on the road to the 1,000 Guineas with an impressive late run in the 22nd running of the $1,300,000 Thordbird Stakes (Gr II) at Caymanas Park yesterday.
The three-year-old daughter of Dayton Flyer swung off the final turn fourth and was still fourth under claiming apprentice Prince Holder with less than 150 metres to go, but kicked into high gear in the final 100 metres to easily outrun the 6-1 chance Perfect Day by three-parts of a length to the wire.
Argentina, a 7-1 betting option, was purchased at the 2011 Yearling Sale for the princely sum of $900,000, and ran 1,400 metres in a time of 1:27.0 minutes.
"This performance was expected. She is a nice filly, one for which I have high hopes," was how trainer McMaster described Argentina's victory run.
"The first time she ran she dropped back to dead last before coming on strongly at the finish. However, this time she jumped and was right up with the pace and was later held in check by her rider before making her move. I thought she ran really well," trainer McMaster observed.
Looking positively towards the 1,000 Guineas, McMaster said that he is hoping that Winston Griffiths will ride her on this occasion. "He was offered the ride in this race, but did not accept the invitation, probably because he might have had some doubt, but I'm sure that after this performance he will take the ride," McMaster said.
At the off, the 5-2 chance Selectabook, ridden by Shane Ellis, shot to the front, tracked by Lady Sharvani, ridden Winston Griffiths, and Perfect Day, with Ameth Robles in close attendance. Argentina was a little way off the pace fourth. However, leaving the 1,000 metres pole, apprentice Holder sent Argentina in earnest chase.
It was after turning for home that Argentina began to gallop forward as Selectabook entered the straight with a slight lead ahead of Lady Sharvani and Pertfect Day on the rails.
Lady Sharvani, the 6-1 bet, who was on a relentless chase of the longtime leader, was third, with Selectabook fading back into fourth spot to complete the frame in the field of 10 following the withdrawal of Money Move.
Argentina, a chestnut filly by Dayton Flyer out Sabatini (Texas Prospector) bred by Lorenzo Robinson, earned $709,800 as the winner's share for her win for a bankroll of $1,100,000 lifetime.