Adonis makes encouraging debut

Observer staff reporter

Friday, February 02, 2018

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Following a spirited debut run from Adonis when winning the $870,000 Mercury Sprint over the five-furlong (1,000m) straight course on Saturday, trainer Anthony Nunes revealed that he was pleasanty surprised by his charge's victory.

The performance of Adonis in the Mercury Sprint, a maiden special-weight event for native-bred three-year-old colts and geldings, could signal the chestnut colt's inclusion in the mix of contenders for the Classic campaign. The season's first two Classic races – the 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas – are set for April 14 and 15, respectively.

A half-brother to Orpheus, the imposing Adonis ( Blue Pepsi Lodge La Reina), got a good break under Shane Ellis and disputed the early lead with stable companion Apollo Bay (Dick Cardenas) and Despacitio (Harristion Lewis), who raced under the stand side.

Heading past the dummy rails, Adonis and Apollo Way started to pull away from the field, with Adonis getting the upper hand and assuming the lead.

Inside the last furlong, Adonis quickened his pace and easily got home to win by over three lengths in one minute flat.

Tradition, ridden by Dane Nelson, came from far behind to claim second place ahead of Garrincha (Aaron Chatrie) and a fading Apollo Bay.

“I thought that he [ Adonis] would have run well, but I never expected him to win this race. He is still very green, plus he is immature. The team was pleasantly surprised.

“I just told Shane [Ellis] to do his thing. He knows the family well, as he has been riding La Reina and all of her offspring for his entire career, so I just wished him good luck. He has been working Adonis in the mornings, so he knows what to do in a race,” Nunes told the Supreme Racing Guide.

When asked about the Classic races, Nunes said: “He [ Adonis] is very immature, and my hope is that he will improve. That is not even on my mind right now with him especially. We will see where we go after the next race.”

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