Horse Racing

The beat intensifies

...as Drummer Boy makes it two in a row

BY RUDDY ALLEN
Observer staff reporter

Friday, February 16, 2018

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Drummer Boy's progress for the upcoming Classic races was strengthened after a powerful win in a Restricted Allowance event for native-three-year-olds non-winners of two that included imported three-year-olds and upward maidens over a mile (1,600m) on Ash Wednesday.

THE RACE

Drummer Boy (Omar Walker) maintained a steady gallop, even though Harry's Train (Anthony Thomas) opened a length lead at the six-furlong (1,200m) point, until approaching the half-mile turn when he drew alongside the leader. Drummer Boy and Harry's Train were locked in a fierce battle as they went away by some seven lengths ahead of rivals heading towards the home turn. Drummer Boy eventually gained the ascendency and went on, but then had to withstand a late surge from Fayrouz (Dick Cardenas), winning by a length and half. Royal Aviator (Oneil Scott), also came on strong in deep stretch to finish in third place, while Harry's Train weakened into fourth position.

THE ANALYSIS

The winning time was 1:40.2, two fifths of a second slower by Drummer Boy when compared with his last run just about a month ago. However, Drummer Boy (Natural Selection - Preach Preacher) showed in this race that he can go with the pace and still have enough left to push on to victory. This is a good sign for future endeavours and a major forward step in his development. In the last furlong of the race, Drummer Boy still looked a bit green, running off a true line, but maturity will come with experience. When making his return to the winners' enclosure, it appeared that Walker was still having trouble with Drummer Boy, who just continued to run as if not understanding that the race was over...he was still in running mode.

It was a good run from Fayrouz ( Blue Pepsi Lodge - Princess Geeta) who moved one step closer to becoming the leading candidate for the filly's Classic races. The Anthony Nunes — trained filly finished robustly from way off the leaders after entering the straight in fifth position, giving every sign that she will do well over a distance of ground.

Royal Aviator continued to progress with a noticeable late run. He was finishing as if saying 'the longer, the better for me'. Encouraging run by this offspring of Casual Trick - Royal Victress.

My Beirut, despite going with Lasix for the first time, was nowhere around during the entire race and trainer Richard Azan must be very concerned as time is running out for the Classic races.

COMMENTS

After the winner by Drummer Boy, trainer DaCosta shared the following comments: “It was a very good performance. He [ Drummer Boy] was asked to work way too early as Harry's Train took him on practically out of the gates and it was a ding-dong battle for quite a while. It was really good to see him finding extra in the last two furlongs.”

When asked about Drummer Boy's chances going into the Classic races, especially the 2,000 Guineas which is scheduled to be run on Sunday, April 15, DaCosta said once his charge remains healthy and fit, he should be right there to the end.

“The Classic races are still wide open. He ( Drummer Boy) still has quite a few obstacles in front of him as it is not like he is the only horse around. There are many good candidates out there, including the top two-year-old of last year, Marquesas, who has not raced thus far this season; Commander Two, who made a very convincing statement over seven and a half furlongs recently; and then there is Another Vigorous, who returned with a really excellent performance last week… indeed there are some good horses around, so we will see what will happen. Remember also that I have Without Exception in my barn. He has been working well and will be racing on Saturday (tomorrow) and he has been going well at exercise in the mornings.

“One thing we are certain of is that Drummer Boy will get a mile easily and that is very encouraging, and if he continues to improve from here, I think that he has a great chance but, again, there are some good horses around vying for Classic glory. For me, Drummer Boy ran better today than he did when he clocked the 1:40.0. Today (Wednesday) was about meeting a new challenge head-on, dealing with that challenge and now going on to better things. Drummer Boy passed his test today (Wednesday) and I think this was a better run than his last, although he ran slower,” said DaCosta.

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