Sport

Corazon – at the heart of deciding Thornbird Stakes

BY OBSERVER RACING WRITER

Friday, March 15, 2019

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THREE-year-old fillies come to prominence with this year's running (tomorrow, March 16) of the seven-furlong Thornbird Stakes which acts as the major precursor for the Classic 1000 Guineas on April 13.

There are nine starters in this year's renewal, all seemingly having at least a chance of winning.

Most attention is going to be placed on the Anthony Nunes trainees Corazon and Princess Ava while Gary Subratie is also well represented by Casual Trick and Princess Lauren.

Champion trainer Wayne DaCosta is not out of contention with the pair of Lady Blue and Princess Annie.

Let's take a look at the chances of each of the nine starters in the Thornbird in post-position order.

PRINCESS ANNIE: (3 b f – Northern Giant Millennium Princess) – Won her maiden race on October 15, 2018 over six and a half furlongs. Princess Annie then suffered an injury setback and did not face again until February 23, 2019. In that six-furlong encounter, Princess Annie was never a winning factor prompting many to conclude that she is not ready as yet to take on her more progressive colleagues. The Thornbird represents another attempt to get things right with the 1000 Guineas looming.

PRINCESS LAUREN: (3 ch f – Soul Warrior Lipstick Lily) – Has raced only twice in her career thus far and both times has had problems getting out of the gates. Both of Princess Lauren's races have been over six furlongs and she does give the definite impression that going long is her strong point. If she gets a reasonable start and there is the expected hot pace up front, then Princess Lauren is going to be there when the winning post arrives.

TOP SHELF: (3 ch f – Soul WarriorFirst Choice) – The most experienced of the nine in the Thornbird. Top Shelf promised much as a two-year-old with a significant win in the highly regarded Cash Pot Only One For Me Trophy on September 29, 2018. In 2019, Top Shelf was completely out of it in her only race. This trend should continue tomorrow.

WINX CHOICE: (3 b f – Forest Danger Hurricane Michelle) – Just broke her maiden on February 27 and cannot seriously be considered tomorrow.

PRINCESS AVA: (3 b f - Mine Over Matter Exotic Selection) – Just released the maiden tag on February 13 in good style but not good enough to be given a shout in this year's running of the Thornbird Stakes.

REGGAE GONE GRAMMY: (3 b f – Western ClassicLittle Thunder) – Finally found the winners' enclosure after five starts on February 9. Reggae Gone Grammy is coming along quite well but she is not ready to face the likes of her other more prominent age group rivals at this time. She does, however, have a chance of hitting the board.

LADY BLUE: (3 ch f – Blue Pepsi LodgeThe Vibes Lady) – Enters the Thornbird after taking home the Hotline Stakes over six furlongs in what was her first run in three months on Feb 23. That effort, for sure, is going to enhance the chances of Lady Blue tomorrow but she is a known front-runner who will not be allowed to go in front on her own. Yet, with all that said, Lady Blue is a developing sort with seven furlongs probably being her last stop distance. Lady Blue has been put in her place by Corazon, three different times and with all things being equal, defeating her main nemesis is simply not on the cards. Lady Blue is going to run her heart out but a winning shot is not afforded to her.

CORAZON: (3 b f – Blue Pepsi LodgeMy Heartbeat) – Four wins from five starts in her five-race career. Corazon has already beaten Lady Blue going seven furlongs and now with her heart stronger and pumping relentlessly, especially after her only run for the year when she defeated older horses going six furlongs. Corazon is at home over the distance and with the Nunes camp blazing with all guns, losing does not seem to be an option. Corazon is fighting fit and is sure to be the odds-on favourite in tomorrow's Thornbird Stakes.

CASUAL DRINK: (3 b f – Casual TrickZacapa) – Started her career on September 8, 2018 with a smashing victory over five and a half furlongs beating Princess Annie by over seven lengths. Then three weeks later Casual Drink succumbed to Top Shelf losing by two lengths. Thereafter, Casual Drink was hampered by an injury issue causing her to miss competitive racing for about five months. Casual Drink returned for her first run in 2019 on February 23 over six furlongs and finished third behind Lady Blue and Princess Lauren. Truth be told, Casual Drink stumbled when the gates opened but was seen making some progress in the final furlong. If she is not hindered, Casual Drink can be the spoiler in this year's Thornbird Stakes. Note that her trainer has made an equipment change by putting on the cheek pieces.


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