Horse Racing

Orpheus favoured for Open Allowance feature

BY RUDDY ALLEN
Observer staff reporter
ruddya@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

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Orpheus , who has been sprinting in his last four starts, gets the perfect distance of nine furlongs and 25 yards (1,820m), and should bag the top-rated Open Allowance event on the 10-race programme at Caymanas Park today.

Since winning over seven and a half furlongs (1,500m) on February 28, the 2016 Jamaica Derby winner has been racing over distances between five furlongs straight (1,000m) and six furlongs (1,200m). Facing a stretch comprising two turns — which is of his liking — Orpheus is going to take a lot of beating this time around.

It is not expected to be a walk in the park for Orpheus as Perfect Neighbour, the 2013 Jamaica Derby winner, should prove a tough contender, given the real estate of this race. The far-striding dark bay gelding enjoys going long, and with his late kicking always proving to be a threat, a competitive race is expected to unfold.

The three-year-olds and upward event, which is positioned as the ninth race on the card, will go to post at 5:20 pm, with first post at 12:40 pm.

This is the first time in a while that Orpheus is being given the opportunity of going long, and so he has every chance to deliver for his connections based on the nature of this race. In that February 28 race Orpheus had beaten Perfect Neighbour by nearly two lengths, and if he can reproduce that effort here he should be hard to deny. Orpheus, a five-year-old chestnut horse by Adore The Gold out of the Pat N Jac mare La Reina, will be ridden by former two-time champion jockey Shane Ellis at 55.0 kgs (121 lb).

Although not the force he used to be, Perfect Neighbour still packs that lethal punch when it is necessary and today might well be that time again. It is a very ordinary season so far for Perfect Neighbour as the Natural Selection- Desperatehousewife offspring has only one win from seven starts so far. His only win came at this level on March 24 when beating Donate and Hover Craft at this same distance in 1:56.2 minutes.

Perfect Neighbour is really and truly nowhere near his best form, but now down in class to contest this, a win is surely on the table here. Record six-time champion jockey Omar Walker will ride at top weight of 57. kgs (126 lb).

The race is not confined to these two former Jamaica Derby winners as there are the likes of Secret Traveller, Uncle Frank and Drummer Boy, who all can land a win.

Secret Traveller has been quite good in recent times. He has two wins from his last three starts which included going over this distance in a time of 1:58.3, but that was at the Overnight Allowance level. Secret Traveller's other run was on August 1 at the Open Allowance level over a distance of five and a half furlongs (1,100m), which is not even close to his best journey as he finished in fifth place by 10 3/4 lengths behind Mr Universe, Another Bullet and Orpheus. With today's journey much more to his liking, Secret Traveller is given every chance of winning.

Another promising runner in the line-up is Uncle Frank. The four-year-old has done remarkably well as he has climbed his way up in the rough and tumble of the various classes to the top level. Uncle Frank's first effort among the best was the Eros Trophy (seven furlongs) when he finished way behind the winner, She's A Maneater. Now he is among horses he can better manage and is given an outside chance of winning.

Drummer Boy is considered in this race to be the “dark horse”. After winning the prestigious Lotto Classic run for the Governor's Cup in late May, Drummer Boy was expected tofigure in the Jamaica Derby and St Leger but he did not shine. Although he faces a much more difficult task here, Drummer Boy has the credentials to get home.

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