Sport

Taking control

Commander Two shows he is Classic-bound after breathtaking win, trainer still expects better

BY RUDDY ALLEN
Observer staff reporter

Friday, February 02, 2018

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Following Commander Two's impressive run that led to a facile win in a non-winners of two Restricted Allowance event on Wednesday last, his trainer Patrick Taylor wants more and strongly believes that there is still much work to be done in order to get all the pieces in place for the future development of his gifted youngster.

Taylor, after the win by Commander Two, was quick to disclose that he saw a minor issue during the victory run which he wants to be address quickly ahead of the native-bred three-year-old Classic races. The first two of the five Classic races, the 1000 and 2000 Guineas, are scheduled to be competed for in mid-April.

Running over seven-and-a-half furlongs (1,500m), Commander Two led every step of the way in a dominating four-length win in a rather quick time of 1:32.3 after chopping splits 24.2; 47.3 and 1:12.1.

Despite his obvious joy in seeing Commander Two blaze to such a convincing and fast win, Taylor said while in the straight, Commander Two was drifting out and that was a concern for him going forward.

“There was no plan coming into this race today (Wednesday). The jockey (Javaniel Patterson) knows this horse very well, so I didn't say anything to him or gave him any instructions on how to ride him. All I did was just saddle the horse and let Patterson do his job of riding and he did really well. I am very pleased with his handling of Commander Two.

“The way I approach things is that I take it one day at a time — that is always how I have done it. This was a very good performance by Commander Two, but I expected more from him.

“One thing I noticed with Commander Two today (Wednesday) was that he was drifting out a bit in the straight and so that is something that I have to check and when I get to the bottom of that, then we will talk. I think he is a very good horse,” Taylor told the Supreme Racing Guide.

Breaking from the number three post as the 3/5 favourite, Commander Two assumed a slim lead over Council of Trent (Oneil Beckford) and Brandy (Omar Walker).

Patterson let the Forest Danger Hurricane Michelle bay gelding go a notch and Commander Two began to slip away at the half-mile (800m) from chasing rivals.

Turning for home with a good enough lead, Commander Two kicked once again. and, although he was drifting out a bit, he had too much on the field to be caught and cruised home ahead of Fayrouz (Dick Cardenas), Lici's Pepsi (O'Brien White) and Brandy in that order.

In winning on Wednesday , Commander Two reversed the order on both Brandy and My Beirut, who defeated him on Boxing Day (2017) in the Jamaica Two-Year-Old Stakes going a mile. Then Commander Two was locked in a do-or-die headline battle with Patriarch and faltered in the straight.

Brandy and My Beirut showed no improvement on Wednesday on their two-year-old form, thus lifting Commander Two to top of the list of Classic aspirants, while Fayrouz also turned the tables on Brandy and My Beirut.

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