Horse Racing

Nunes' Supreme Soul, Earn Your Stripes to do battle in 2000 Guineas

Observer staff reporter

Sunday, April 14, 2019

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The 2000 Guineas, sponsored by Supreme Ventures Limited, brings together by far the best native three-year-old male horses in training at the present time in the one-mile (1,600m) event at Caymanas Park today.

The likes of Supreme Soul, Earn Your Stripes and Toona Ciliata from the Anthony Nunes barn; Father Patrick, trained by Ian Parsard; Sebastian from the stables of Philip Feanny; the Gary Subratie-trained Sentient and the Wayne DaCosta's Run Thatcher Run are all poised to deliver the spectacular performance that will give them control.

Also in the line-up is the Richard Azan-conditioned Duke, who could give a capital effort here.

The 2000 Guineas, which is positioned as the 10th and final event on the card, is set to go off at 5:45 pm, with first race at 12:20 pm.

Like in the 1000 Guineas where Nunes holds the aces, he also has a glorious chance of taking the colts and geldings Classic races as his three big guns are capable enough to take this field apart in one swoop.

Supreme Soul has been beaten only once in five career starts and that was by Run Thatcher Run in the Jamaica Two-Year-Old Stakes (one mile) on Boxing Day of last year. Supreme Soul came from far behind to lose by just half-length in 1:39.1. Since that defeat, Supreme Soul has prepared immaculately and meticulously for his date with destiny.

Supreme Soul, a half-brother to Bigdaddykool, has won three-consecutive races at distances of seven furlongs (1,400m), seven-and-a-half furlongs (1,500m) and nine furlongs and 25 yards (1,820m) to prep him perfectly for the 2000. He covered the seven furlongs in 1:26.2, seven-and-a-half in 1:31.2 and nine plus in 1:55.3, which speaks volume to his potential.

Supreme Soul possesses sublime talent while showing more affinity to go longer than a mile, and when compared with his half-brother, has more early speed, thereby making a mile almost faultless at this time in his career. Supreme Soul might well just be the horse here to beat.

Earn Your Stripes has raced five times in his career which reads two wins and three third-place finishes. In all his races, Earn Your Stripes has been the favourite to win. After finishing third behind Run Thatcher Run and Supreme Soul in the Jamaica Two-Year-Old Stakes last year, Earn Your Stripes opened his three-year-old career with an impressive nine-length win over a mile in 1:39.2 on February 2. Earn Your Stripes was then all the rage in the Prince Consort Stakes over seven furlongs on March 16, but the Nuclear Wayne offspring finished third behind Toona Ciliata and Father Patrick in 1:25.4.

Whenever Earn Your Stripes is on top of his game, he is beyond doubt a top-notch campaigner, and based on his preparations coming into the 2000 Guineas, it is going to take a lot to deny him here. Simon Husbands will ride.

Toona Ciliata is one of those reaching his prime at precisely the right time. Toona Ciliata came into the spotlight after his victory over Father Patrick and Earn Your Stripes in the seven-furlong Prince Consort Stakes last month, this was after he was just beaten by Father Patrick in the Sir Howard Stakes over six furlongs (1,200m) three weeks earlier.

Toona Cilita is going to enjoy a mile, plus he has been steadily prepared for the occasion and surely packs the necessary class to become a deserved Classic winner.

Run Thatcher Run, the champion local two-year-old of last year, has had shin issues which curtailed his preparation leading into the 2000 Guineas. Run Thatcher Run has raced twice this year, seven days apart, in order to get ready for his Classic assignment.

In both of his races, Run Thatcher Run not only displayed his known talent and class, but also an advanced tendency to fight. He won by three lengths on March 23 over six furlongs in 1:12.3 and then had to fight to hold off Master Of Hall and Saratoga Sight by a head over seven-and-a-half furlongs in 1:32.2. The unbeaten Run Thatcher Run renews rivalry with Supreme Soul and Earn Your Stripes, but at present, it is going to be very difficult for Run Thatcher Run to get the better of them again in this event and his task is made even more difficult by being drawn in the number one starting stall. Run Thatcher Run is quality, but his resolve is going to be tested to the hilt today.

Sebastian is from the Sea Treaty bloodline, which is known to produce Classic winners both in Jamaica and Trinidad. If ever a horse is primed for a Classic run, then it is Sebastian. The bay gelding comes into this race on the back end of two-consecutive victories. He has won over seven-and-a-half furlongs in 1:33.3 and eight-and-a-half furlongs (1,700m) in 1:46.2, and so Sebastian has no issues with the trip of a mile and is sure to be coming at them in the final two furlongs (400m).

Father Patrick announced himself to the world on January 12, 2019 with an eye-catching win over five-and-a-half furlongs (1,100m) in a blistering 1:06.2. He then stepped the notch up a bit when he held off Toona Cilita to win the Sir Howard Stakes over six furlongs in 1:12.0.

Although finishing second to Toona Cilita in the Prince Consort Stakes over seven furlongs in his next start, Father Patrick did enough to suggest that he has a live shot in this one. With natural improvement taken into consideration, Father Patrick is expected to make a bold bid of it.

After finishing fourth in the Prince Consort Stakes on March 16, Sentient returned two weeks later to brush aside rivals by over three lengths over seven furlongs in a Restricted Allowance in a time of 1:25.4, which placed him on the watch list for the 2000 Guineas. The fact that Dane Nelson, three-time champion jockey and blessed with international experience, is sticking to Sentient and the winning run here is not beyond him. Sentient is coming along quite well and Nelson will get enough out of him to have a say.

Ones to watch:

Race 1) Rockdale/Willodeen/Mirabilis

Race 2) Black River/Cryptocurrency/Blind Faith

Race 3) Code Of Honor/Nuclear Evita/Super Mia

Race 4) Struck By Grace/Storm Lady/Rack Away

Race 5) Saratoga Sight/Master Of Hall/Sotomayor

Race 6) Kappone/Young Boy Eddie/Dad's Luck

Race 7) Abogado/Lazza/Roman Spy

Race 8) Dr Banner/Big Black Nation/Action Man

Race 9) Virtuoso/Nuclear Dan Dada/Parajet

Race 10) Supreme Soul/Earn Your Stripes/Run Thatcher Run

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