Patriarch returns to action, faces tough competition in Ahwhofah Sprint feature

Patriarch returns to action, faces tough competition in Ahwhofah Sprint feature

Observer staff reporter

Saturday, October 20, 2018

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The long wait for a come-back to competitive racing for Patriarch is now over as the Anthony Nunes trainee takes on some real hard-knocking older rivals in the $1 million Ahwhofah Sprint feature at Caymanas Park today.

Patriarch, one of the top juveniles of last year, returns as a three-year-old after an absence of 298 days due to injury. Although he is burning up the exercise track with some exciting gallops, including a 1:05.3 for five-and-a-half furlongs (1,100m) with the five-furlong (1,000m) clocking in 58.3, it will not be a slam dunk for him here. This is the first time Patriarch is racing in Overnight Allowance company and against hot steppers Ras Emanuel, Poker Star, Zephyr and stable companion Soy El Senor.

The three-year-olds and upward event over six furlongs (1,200m) is positioned as the 10th event on the 11-race card and is set to face the starter at 4:35 pm. First post is 11:20 am.

Patriarch ( Casual Trick-Electrifying) came to the races on September 16 of last year and gave an impressive performance, winning a five-furlong straight race by 10 lengths in a very slick 58.3 seconds under a common canter. However, his next three races were even more remarkable as Patriarch won the Cash Pot “Pot Only One” Trophy over six furlongs in 1:12.0 minutes; the Juvenile Sprint over six-and-a-half furlongs (1,300m) in 1:19.1 and the Pick3 Super Challenge Trophy over seven furlongs (1,400m) in 1:25.3.

Patriarch was on the verge of becoming the island's second Triple Crown winner in the Supreme Ventures Limited-sponsored Two-Year-Old series, but he sustained injury in the final leg — The Jamaica Two-Year-Old Stakes in December — and finished in fifth position going over one mile (1,600m).

There shouldn't be any doubt about his readiness for today's assignment as Patriarch showed no signs of unsoundness in his gallops coming into this race and should return on a winning note. This is a different scenario, compared to his two-year-old races, but Patriarch has the class and talent, and so is given the edge in the 13-horse field.

Ras Emanuel did well when finishing two-and-a-half lengths behind Without Exception after a six-month break and must have stripped fitter for this race. The six-year-old bay horse, if ridden properly, is going to have a say.

Former champion sprinter Poker Star returns after 91 days off and is without a doubt, should make a race of this. Poker Star left with good form having beaten Soy El Senor on June 18 over the same distance, and if he can reproduce that effort, crossing the finishing line in front is on the table.

Zephyr is getting back to form at the right time, having narrowly lost to Without Exception on last. Zephyr will report just as fit for this and could now go one better.

Soy El Senor is good enough to win in this class, but has not found the winning post for a long time. He packs a strong finish, and if the apprentice (Radesh Roman) can get him running early, then his final rattle in deep stretch will have a telling effect.

Wong Don, Twilight Dreams, Deal Marker and Gary Glitter should run good enough races, while Royal Vibes, Diligent, Saratoga Sight and Urban Principal are out of their league.

Also on tap are the Princess Popstar Trophy, a Restricted Allowance event for native-bred and imported two-year-olds over five-and-a-half furlongs, and the Miracle Cure Sprint, a Restricted Allowance event for three-year-old and upward non-winners of two over five-and-a-half furlongs.

In the Princess Popstar, it should be a straight fight between Wayne DaCosta's American Invader and Stranger Danger for top honours with the edge being given to the latter. Sea Swan should be a lonely winner in the Miracle Cure Sprint with Necromancer, Sergeant Reckless and Alexandra expected to run well.

Ones to watch

Race 1) Resurgence/Sacrifice

Race 2) Stranger Danger/American Invader

Race 3) Dreamingofanna/Cerasini

Race 4) Ballon d'Or/Crafty Star

Race 5) Lady Carmen/Kunama

Race 6) Parajet/Sly Stalloon

Race 7) Lola Grey/Twilight Princess

Race 8) Sea Swan/Sergeant Reckless

Race 9) Storm Princess/Super Glitterman

Race 10) Patriarch/Poker Star

Race 11) Woodhouse/True Whisper

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