D'NUGGET steps down in class in an attempt to revive her flagging racing career and will face 11 rivals in the $462,000 Mortimer 'Morty' Heron Memorial Cup lower-end claiming feature at Caymanas Park today.
The 'Morty' Heron, a two-turn event going 1,820 metres, is set to go to post at approximately 4:45 pm, with first post at 1:15 pm.
The event has attracted 12 runners in the $250,000 - $210,000 claiming spread and with two recent steady performances at levels above, D'Nugget can now be considered a prime candidate for success among this group of three-year-olds and upward, native bred five-year-olds (NW2) and six-year-olds (NW4).
Trained by Denrick Chambers for owner Morris M Myrie, D'Nugget, a five-year-old dark, bay/brown mare by Congrats out of Top Of The Noggin (Chief Crown) and bred by Wendy Christy, Kathie Haines & John Elder in the USA, had shown much promise as a three-year-old while campaigning as high as Overnight Allowance.
The promise never materialised as she seemed to have declined in ability as a four-year-old, but still did manage to show that she does have a liking for longer distances, as she showed up every now and then in them with a reasonably good effort.
Her best recent performance over today's journey was a good 7 3/4-length third to Greatlikethat on December 5 last year while running in claiming for the first time on a $450,000 tag.
D'Nugget had two other encouraging performances in claiming in December, and in early January on a $550,000 tag.
Still struggling to find useful form, D'Nugget was dropped farther down the claiming ladder on a $350,000 tag and finished a fair fourth behind a rampant Vonalmighty.
That performance was instructive that the mare needed a step to reach her level and now arriving at that level, it will prove difficult for her not to deliver, especially with the champion apprentice Shameree Muir getting the call to come in at a handy 50.kg after slipping 2.0kg.
Notwithstanding her good credential for a second career win among these, the imported mare will have to withstand fierce opposition from a number of recent winners and inform rivals.
King Solomon, the mount of claiming apprentice Renardo McNaughton, is a prime adversary. So too is Zack with the leading rider Dane Nelson up, and who was also aboard when the grey gelding last won over the distance by a neck in late December last year. Breath Of Life, who finished second to Zack over the distance in their December clash, is another in the line-up who will seek redress for her neck loss and will be ridden by Harriston Lewis in place of Trevor Simpson.
Simpson will have the leg-up on Naturalfantasy, another who seems to have lost his way, but will be comfortable at this level and with the distance.
Ones To Watch
Race 1 Si Puedo (Renardo McNaughton)
Race 2 Priestking (Andre Martin)
Race 3 Sir Von (Dane Nelson)
Race 4 Power By Light (Dick Cardenas)
Race 5 Light Brigade (Richard Mitchell)
Race 6 Flagrans (Richard Mitchell)
Race 7 Rum Punch (Dick Cardenas)
Race 8 D'Nugget (Shameree Muir)
Race 9 Galactus (Dick Cardenas)