Earn Your Stripes – still a major work in progress

Observer writer

Friday, April 26, 2019

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“I know what ability Earn Your Stripes has. He has lots of it but, he is just not displaying it on the days I want and expect him to do so. I am just trying to find that loophole to release that valve,” trainer of the progeny by Nuclear Wayne Brown Sugar , Anthony Nunes indicated after the bay colt's Easter Monday (April 22) victory at Caymanas Park.

That latest win by Earn Your Stripes, his third from six starts came against four rivals in a Restricted Stakes event run over seven and a half furlongs (1,500 metres). The race originally had seven starters but was reduced to five following the late withdrawal of Harry's Train (lame) and Hot Ice (not eligible).

Earn Your Stripes, racing with the blinkers on and ridden for the first time by champion jockey Anthony Thomas, had only to deal with American bred Legality trained by Philip Feanny with Omar Walker in the saddle.

That Legality was dispatched by 3 lengths in a time of 1:32.2 gave further credence to the ability of the local bred, Earn Your Stripes.

“He ( Earn Your Stripes) always does well when he gets to dictate in his races and that is one of the reasons that we put blinkers on him.

“We found that when he got crowded at the three-eighths pole in the 2000 Guineas (April 14) as Toona Ciliata came inside and he had to be turned on the outside and I thought he began to cheat a bit. Like he was saying: I'll step back. You guys can go ahead.

“Then when he turned into the straight and Simon (Husbands) put him on the outside he attempted to run them down at that time with a clearer passage.

“You have to take into consideration, that Earn Your Stripes is not yet fully three-years-old being a May foal, so maybe he still needs time to fill out.

“He ( Earn Your Stripes) is a work in progress and putting on the blinkers today (Easter Monday) is just part of that work,” Nunes offered.

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