AGING Mr Skill will attempt to recapture some of his past dominance when he competes against some of the top sprinters in an Open Allowance speed glut at Caymanas Park today.
Saint Cecelia, Horse Of The Year and sprint champion, the imported colt Mismrytleboyrichie and Commanding Chief, who are Grade One campaigners, are probably missing from this spinnaker line-up of seven, three-year-olds and upward going 1,100 metres.
Owned and trained by Lawrence Freemantle, this very fast gelding by Alisios out of Unatural (Olympio) bred by Wayne DaCosta, Alfred Lee & Edmond Thomas has demonstrated in no small measure that ability to win races and has already won seven from his 10 starts with two placed finishes and an unplaced effort. In that unplaced effort Mr Skill did lead for the first 800 metres and was still plugging second 400 metres out, but faded badly in the final 200 metres.
That was 1,300 metres. He, however, returned one month later to romp 1,000 metres round and now going 100 metres farther, he will have to be caught. His favourite jockey Shane Ellis will again ride.
There are no slow horses in this field of runners, but on past performances the American-bred three-year-old bay filly Noon It Is must certainly be his nemesis. No idler on the exercise track and in her official races more so, Noon It Is has already chalked up six wins from 10 starts.
But while some of the victories for Mr Skill are among claimers, those for Noon It Is honed among Overnight and Open Allowance company which seems to give the edge to the filly who is trained by Gary Subratie for owner Michros.
In her four starts going 1,100 metres Noon It Is, the mount of Omar Walker, has only lost once and that was to none other than Saint Cecelia.
The imported chestnut colt Reasonable Press, who like Noon It Is will carry top weight of 57.0kg for Aaron Chatrie, while Smokin Man will come in at 47.0kg for Prince Holder. The two probably possess the best credentials to follow Mr Skill and Noon It Is back to the line.
Smokin Man, owned and trained by Raymond Townsend, without a doubt will again try to go all the way as he did on last with the light impost. Notwithstanding, Reasonable Press, trained by Philip Feanny for owner Hamark Farms Ltd, though he has been confined to slightly longer distances, could prove deceptive and gather momentum late in the event after turning up the lane to pick off the leaders one by one to get his head in front where it matters most.