Royal Ash hot favourite in today's feature race
Royal Ash

DESPITE returning to competitive racing after a 133-day break, the Anthony Nunes-conditioned roan filly Royal Ash is expected to make a winning start on the 'Road to the Triple Crown' in the 29th running of the Hotline Stakes feature race — the ninth and final event on the programme at Caymanas Park today.

The Hotline Stakes, named after the magnificent filly Hotline, is considered a major prep event for the upcoming Classic series of races and will take place over six furlongs (1,200m) for a purse of $1.2 million.

Royal Ash last faced the starter in the Cash Pot 'Only One For Me' Trophy on October 29 of last year, finishing third by 4½ lengths behind Mamma Mia and Mojito over this distance. The race finished in a time of 1:13.2, with Royal Ash coming in with a time of 1:14.2.

With none as good as Mamma Mia or Mojito in the line-up, Royal Ash could be unsaddled in the winners' enclosure when this race is over. The only issue is whether or not Royal Ash will need the run before truly finding herself.

The native-bred, three-year-old, Restricted Allowance 11 (non-winners of two) contest for fillies only is set to go off at 5:10 pm. The first race is at 12:15 pm. For her seasonal debut Royal Ash has been training well, having clocked a smooth 1:02.0 for five furlongs (1,000m) on the course on Sunday, March 5 alongside stablemate Curlin's Noon who is scheduled to face the starter in the Sir Howard Stakes on Sunday.

Expect Royal Ash to sit off the pace in the early exchanges and come with her usual late stretch run to overhaul leaders in deep stretch. Tevin Foster has replaced Reyan Lewis aboard the Fearless Vision – Greek Goddess offspring.

There are several race-fit rivals here that could cause some problems for Royal Ash. The likes of Speedie Hare, Durocell, Bazinga, and stablemate Volatility could prove to be dangerous contenders.

Speedie Hare (Conquest Cherimash – Honeymoon) made a winning start to her career on January 14 over the straight course where she defeated rivals by 4¼ lengths in a time of 1:01.1. She has been training well for this, and if allowed to dictate the fractions Speedie Hare will pose a threat to all. Note: Speedie Hare races with first-time Lasix. Speedie Hare, who is trained by Christopher Pearson, will again be ridden by apprentice Shavon Townsend.

Trained by Patrick Fong, Durocell made a bold bid at the races on February 26 when finishing in second place, 1 1/4 lengths behind Roulette Boss over seven and a half furlongs (1,500m). Bred by Soul Warrior – Savanna's Smile, Durocell is going to appreciate the reduction in distance and another good effort is expected from her. Bebeto Harvey will ride.

Bazinga, who comes from the stables of many-time champion Philip Feanny, has the class and talent to figure here. The bay filly was just a length and a half back in third place behind Awesome Anthony over the straight on February 4. Bazinga has won over the distance of the Hot Line before, and given the progress made in the mornings she is expected to be among the principals at decision time. Note: Bazinga races with first-time Lasix. Reyan Lewis will ride.

Volatility came good on her third attempt when beating Whizz Kidd and Smooth Aviator by one and a half lengths over five furlongs on the round course on January 2. She was declared a late non-starter on February 4 for a five-straight contest but Volatility has been in good shape and looks likely to challenge her stablemate Royal Ash for the top spot. Note: Volatility races with the figure 8 on. Linton Steadman has the leg up.

The rest of the field is made up of Acknowledgeme, All For Love, Boasey, Bella Bella, and She's Myhedgefund.

Ones to watch:

Race 1) Brompton Alex/Whisky/Goliath The Great

Race 2) Green Gold Rush/Doctor Grey/JNR Jones

Race 3) California Gold/Double The Cash/Digital Light

Race 4) Milkman/Fabulosity/Jon P

Race 5) Mr Senator/Roaring Thunder/Burning Valor

Race 6) Runaway Icon/Four Fiver/Wowtastic

Race 7) Money Monster/Crimson/Sistren Treasure

Race 8) Regal and Royal/Ianzha Links/Omron

Race 9) Royal Ash/Volatility/Bazinga

BY RUDDY ALLEN Staff reporter

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at


  1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper; email addresses will not be published.
  2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.
  3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.
  4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.
  5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:
  6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:
  7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy