Favoured horses dismantled

…Disability Charm, El Profesor upset winners of Front Runner Prince Consort, Thornbird Stakes; Classic races wide open

Observer staff

Sunday, March 18, 2018

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After creating major upsets, Disability Charm (Soul Warrior – Runin On Empty) and El Profesor (Casual Trick – The Principal) have both emerged as the front-runners for the upcoming 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas Classic races on April 14 and 15 respectively, following convincing victories in their separate Classic Trial races at Caymanas Park yesterday.

Disability Charm, owned by Fisherman Stables, trained by Patrick Lynch and ridden by Robert Halledeen, found extra in deep stretch to beat rivals by half-a-length in the 27th running of the $1.3million Thornbird Stakes (for fillies), while the Clinton Rhoden-owned, Fitzroy Glispie-trained and Anthony Thomas-ridden El Profesor rallied against the inside rails in deep stretch like never before to win the 27th running of the $1.3-million Prince Consort Stakes (for colts and geldings) by a similar half-a-length. Both Disability Charm, winning at odds of 5-1, and El Profesor, at 32-1, had to survive steward's inquiries before being officially declared as the winners.

The Thornbird and the Prince Consort, both Graded Stakes races, were sponsored by Newport Mills Limited through their Front Runner brand of horse feed and were contested over seven furlongs or 1,400 metres. These races represent the final trials for 1000 Guineas (fillies only) and the 2000 Guineas (colts and geldings).

Disability Charm raced behind the early pace as Nadeshico (Linton Steadman) took control of the race, setting the fractions ahead of Ackee Pie (Anthony Thomas) and Lici's Pepsi - under the guidance of former champion jockey Shane Ellis.

Swinging into the half-mile (800m) turn, the far-striding bay filly Disability Charm went by horses to get into a striking position in third spot and immediately was challenging for the lead approaching the final bend.

Disability Charm then went three wide at the top of the lane with Nadeshico in the centre of the racetrack fighting like never before and My Sister (Oneil Beckford), who turned out to be another surprise package in the race on the inside. It was then that a raging battle for supremacy developed lasting into deep stretch.

Halledeen and Disability Charm proved the strongest of the lot and got home ahead of Nadeshico and My Sister in a three-way hustle to the line. The final time for the event was 1:26.4 with Disability Charm posting split times of 24.4 x 48.0 x 1:12.2. Lici's Pepsi was fourth.

The two most favoured horses in the race, Fayrouz (Dick Cardenas) at 6/5 and Brandy (Omar Walker) at 8/5 finished eighth and seventh respectively.

With this win Disability Charm enters the 1000 Guineas as the slight favourite to achieve Classic honours.

Meanwhile, after a couple of strides, El Profesor, who created an even bigger upset, assumed the lead over from the number three post postion over Drummer Boy (Dane Nelson) and Contractor (Robert Halledeen) in the early part of the race.

Linton Steadman sent 3-5 favourite Another Vigorous in chase of El Profesor coming around the half-mile bend and in a flash, the former picked up the lead approaching the final turn.

When all seemed lost in the straight as Another Vigorous looked strong on the lead, Thomas then produced his mount with much physical effort and El Profesor responded to the strong urgings of his pilot by getting up in time for the half-a-length victory. Drone Strike (Dane Dawkins) finished third in the 12-horse field with Western Legend (Doushane Gordon) fourth. The final time was 1:26.0.

The time posted by El Profesor in the Prince Consort was four-fifths of a second faster than that run by Disability Charm in the Thornbird. The splits were timed at 23.3 x 46.2 x 1:11.1.

El Profesor paid a whopping $1,671 to win and the exacta with Another Vigorous doled out $5,461.

Top two-year-old of last year Marquesas who was racing for the first time this season finished in fifth place while the pair of Drummer Boy and Without Exception were nowhere around at the end of the race.

Having now taken the Prince Consort Stakes, El Profesor has lifted himself into the favourite spot for the 2000 Guineas but only just.

Thomas had earlier on the programme booted home Dontae in the fifth race for trainer Anthony Nunes for a double on the 10-race programme.

Trainer Gary Subratie also completed a double as he saddled Sarah Lee (Aaron Chatrie) in the third race and Anna Lisa (Oneil Beckford) in the eighth race.

Racing continues on Wednesday with a 10-race programme. First post is at 12:45 pm.

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