Sport

Performance evaluation

All the ins and outs of the March 17, 2018 race day

BY WES MARTIN

Tuesday, March 20, 2018



Race 1 - It was surprising that Fortuneonehundred, who was claimed on last, did not appear with bandages on any of his legs which all his other trainers had done before. Pizarro looked exceptionally well and disputed the lead, as the gates opened, with Fortuneonehundred and Sure Step. Fortuneonehundred predictably faded under the revised weight of allowing three kgs in this renewal of their rivalry. It was left to Shade Of Beauty, who was outpaced early, to pass the tiring pair of Fortuneonehundred and Sure Step and secure the runner-up purse.

Race 2 - Tough Cookie looked sharp in the post parade and was very alert at the start to establish an early advantage. Prince Malik chased over the last 200 metres and just failed by the narrowest possible margin to snatch victory. The rider on winner Tough Cookie, Natalie Berger nearly committed a fatal error by sitting up and almost stopped urging her mount 20 metres out, but fortunately had the momentum to last home.

Race 3 - Based on exercise reports it was predictable that Mr Universe, despite an absence of 11 months, was going to be the odds-on favourite. The odds of 9/1 against Sarah Lee was not surprising since A.P.I. finished three lengths ahead when they last met and there was now an unjustifiable two-kilogramme swing in favour of the latter. Both Cardenas ( A.P.I.) and Walker ( Mr Universe) treated the race as if it were a match and together posted a punishing fraction of 45 seconds for the first 800 metres. Mr Universe surrendered 200 metres out but the stronger A.P.I. had nothing left to resist the late challenge of Sarah Lee. Mr. Universe had enough momentum to hold third and should be better when given his next opportunity.

Race 4 - Zackontheattack rushed into the lead, as he is wont to do, and was allowed this luxury as the rider on favourite Golden Bullet, Omar Walker, cruised on the bit a couple of lengths in arrears. Confidently ridden with the rider arrogantly easy approaching the final bend, Golden Bullet strolled up to the leader and went to the front without resistance. Meet Justin, with his favourite rider (Dane Nelson) saving him for a run at the leader in the stretch, hugged the inner rails to save ground. Having every chance approaching the distance, Meet Justin gave his backers hope — but Golden Bullet was not in the mood to lose.

Race 5 - Nothingbutthebest at 40/1 against was allowed to go clear early, with Dysfunctional obliging this pacemaking tactic by sitting more than five lengths behind until the early leader came back to the field. Having assumed the lead, Dysfunctional tried to escape in upper stretch. Ridden confidently, Dontae (Anthony Thomas) enjoyed a clear run on the inner rails to save ground and delivered a successful challenge in the final 100 metres. The experiment to send confirmed sprinter Princess Emanuelle over this distance ( 7 1/2 furlongs) ended in dismal failure, as she finished last but one despite her class.

Race 6 - With favourite Fiery Path down in class, the confidence of the rider (Shane Ellis) to go in front early was undoubtedly justified. Court Call, who has been sprinting in her last seven races, had the pace to ensure she was an ever-present threat. With the pair going clear approaching the final bend and both travelling well, it was obvious from the upper stretch that the weight difference was going to be the final determinant of where the victory would go. In receipt of 3.5 kilos the versatile Court Call, strongly driven, stayed on better, having superior stamina to score a well-overdue win.

Race 7 - Nadeshico was the first to show under heavy restraint in an effort to ration her stamina. The much-improved Disability Charm went with the early pace easily and was travelling exceptionally well with the race less than halfway through. There was an unfortunate eventuality with My Sister, with the rider reporting later that the blindfolds came off late causing her to break badly. Still, her speed took her into the early gallop and secured a good spot against the rails along with Lici's Pepsi. It was clear from the top of the home stretch that nothing other than the leading four would matter from this point. Having secured a run on the inner rails, My Sister challenged for the lead approaching the distance. Both Nadeshico and Disability Charm were staying on gamely, with the former establishing a narrow advantage 100 metres out. However, a late change of lead leg gave the latter the decisive burst of finishing speed. My Sister stayed on well for third to suggest the 1,600 metres of the 1000 Guineas will not be beyond her stamina, while Band Of Gold, Brandy and favourite Fayrouz failed to make any meaningful impressions.

Race 8 - The son of Miracle Man out of a Hail Orphan mare, Reigning King, who got slowly into stride on his January 31 debut — where he could only manage to finish 16 lengths seventh to the useful Royal Aviator, was likely to make a big impression in this field, most of whom were short on stamina. Anna Lisa could not have been more favoured by the weights and was justifiably made favourite. Reigning King looked improved and ran accordingly. He got a clear run against the rails and assumed the lead entering the final 200, but was denied victory in the final stride by the well-handicapped Anna Lisa. Well-fancied debutant Messi was prominent for a long way and showed enough promise to suggest he will not remain a maiden for long.

Race 9 - In spite of the quality of the field, this turned out to be a match race between winner and runner-up. El Profesor (Anthony Thomas), running from the three draw, had the pace at the weights to ensure the quick Another Vigorous (Linton Steadman) could not overtake and claim the rails. At the top of the stretch, Another Vigorous was asked for a serious effort and got the lead approaching the distance, but El Profesor was back on terms entering the last 150 metres. A combination of the weight concession and Another Vigorous only having his fourth race were enough to tip the scales in favour of El Profesor. The fact that El Profesor was recently gelded has certainly helped him to become more focused on his racing. The well-fancied trio of Marquesas, Royal Aviator and Without Exception all failed to make any serious impression, to leave the likely outcome of the 2000 Guineas under a cloud of uncertainty.

Race 10 - Prince Sammo was pressured for the lead by several rivals but was able to turn for home with a narrow advantage. Storming assumed prominence shortly thereafter but failed to stay on. It was left to Nuclear Force to produce the finishing speed to deliver a decisive victory. Ninelifecat, showing something of a return to form, ran on late with rank outsider Smokescreen to secure second and third place, respectively.

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