A classic review

horseCawn’t sey mi neva dida warn yu!

Punters got useful pointers for Jamaica’s first two classics from my very early look (published April 6).  After 1,000 Guineas winner Disability Charm’s winning debut (1000m round; January 20), I noted:

Disability Charm was visually impressive….lengthening stride and readily drawing clear final 200m clocking a minute flat! His CT (1:00.3) is only 2/5ths of a second faster than nw2 but his breeding [by winner of 4 U.S. Stakes races, Soul Warrior, out of Runin on Empty (Go Rockin Robin), herself a daughter of Triple Crown winner Simply Magic] and manner of victory makes him an exciting prospect over further. Wouldn’t it be cosmic justice if a son of Soul Warrior out of a daughter of Go Rockin Robin won a first classic for long-time horse racing supporter, investor, owner and singing sensation Cocoa Tea?

On April 6, I previewed six potential starters. I warned that Band of Goldhasn’t looked the same at 1400/1600m. Her best speed rating came at 1200m. Suspect at 1600m”; My Sister unlucky in the Thornbird….but, on breeding and running, she’s suspect at 1600m”; and Nadeshicokeen, front running style could make her vulnerable.

They finished 10th; 7th and “did not finish” respectively.

The three others previewed finished 1-2-3. Their previews:

Disability Charm stayed on best of all (Thornbird); likely to relish 1600m+. One for the short list but may be more of an Oaks type.

Lici’s Pepsi sure to get the trip and is a closer so speed ratings don’t do her justice. Possible upsetter!

Honey Ryda impressive in victory on February 17 (gave1/2l 2nd, Nadeshico, 3kg); patiently prepared since. A top contender.”

Their odds? 7/2; 13/1 and 2/1 respectively. The Exacta returned $5,760.00; Quiniela $2,887; and Trifecta $5,212.00! Yum, yum!

The only bad news was early selection Fayrouz, not one of those specifically previewed, could only manage fifth. But if you heeded my frequent warnings to wait until close to post time (to take advantage of developing information unavailable 10 days in advance) to bet, you’d have benefitted by the late scheduling of the 1,000 Guineas (11th race). By then, keen observers would’ve noted the track was riding very slow, placing an emphasis on stamina over speed. Sure enough Disability Charm put her superior stamina to good use and seems a cinch for the Oaks for which she should be even better suited.

Congratulations to all connected but especially to former aspiring jockey and all-round great guy Calvin George Scott, a.k.a. Cocoa Tea!

Regarding Sunday’s 2,000 Guineas, readers needed only my summary verdict to find important clues: “…the Guineas could end up between Commander Two and Drummer Boy who fought out a fast 1500m race on March 31 (the pair finishing 5l clear of useful imported winner My Elle Belle).”

Drummer Boy failed to fire but Commander Two, top rated on my speed figures, used his superior speed intelligently on a slow track to make all at the value price of 8/1 and confirm the individual preview: “Commander Two has a winning combination of turn of foot, superior speed and courage. High on the short list!

DEPARTMENTS:

  1. Clocked-In

This is our regular review of local performances based on REAL times.

Abbreviations: CT = “Corrected Time”; TV = “Track Variant” (a calculation of the effect of track conditions on official times to arrive at “real” or “corrected” times); TVs are in fifths of a second; “minus” means a fast track; “plus” means a slow track (e.g. -2 means fast by 2/5ths of a second). Variants beside individual horse’s names represent the difference between its official time and the grade standard.

Let’s look at the Guineas race days:

Firstly, the Guineas CTs were 1:40.2 (1,000); and 1:39.2 (2,000)! At a mile, 2018’s colts are already a second faster than the fillies.

April 14, 2018 [TV +0.5/200m (Rd); +7 (Big Mistake) +4 (A.P.I)]

Sotomayor (-10) returned to form with a vengeance (Race 5; 4yonw3/OT; 1600m; TV+4) outclassing out-of-class Simply Outrageous (-7) and clocking a remarkable 1:40.1 on a slow track. The winner’s CT (1:39.2) equalled that of Sunday’s 2,000 Guineas and is 2/5ths second faster than the Overnight Allowance standard. He’s going places.

But, for betting purposes, those to take from this KEY RACE are 2nd (CT 1:40.0); 3rd (Storm Valley; CT 1:40.3) and 4th (Biblical Legend; CT 1:40.4). all are miles better than 4yonw3/0T standard (1:42.1) so should line our pockets.

Fly First Class (-5) made an auspicious debut (Race 9; 3yomdn fillies; 1200m; TV+3) after burning up exercise tracks for months; strongest in the last 200m, drawing well clear and clocking 1:14.3 (CT 1:14.0). The CT is 2/5ths second faster than nw2 but her sire’s influence for stamina is well established so she should have plenty to come over further. She looks at least a miler in the making.  Unfortunately, the Oaks may come too soon for her.

Minnifia (-3) is in the form of her life at 8yo (Race 7; $350,000 claimers; 1400m; TV+3’) and slaughtered a good field by 7 lengths in 1:28.1! Her CT (1:27.2’) is 9/10ths of a second faster than $450,000 claimers. She can win again on another going day.

April 15, 2018 [TV+0.4/200m (Rd)]

Radical (-5) returned to his best third time out after nine months away [Race 8; 4yonw3; 1400m; TV+3] outclassing a good field to beat Star (-1) by 4 lengths in 1:27.0! The winner’s CT (1:26.2) is 4/5ths second faster than nw3/0T so he should win again.

But the banker to take from the race is the unexposed second. His CT (1:27.1) is 4/5ths second faster than the grade.  Compensation awaits and he’s the type to run up a sequence!

Western Legend (+1) was a revelation in the 2,000 Guineas.  He ran a cracker treated with first-time Lasix; is still a 2yo (May 22 foal); has only run four times; and eligible for nw2! His CT (same as the winner’s 1:39.2) is already 2/5ths second faster than Overnight Allowance standard. He’s very much one to follow and, by November, could be a superstar.

Overseas Betting Opportunities (OBOs)

I wrote this about golf’s first Major ten days before the Masters (but published after the first round): “I’m confident golfing Gods are ready to give Rickie Fowler his first Major…. By now, he should’ve learned patience wins Majors. Augusta’s undulating greens places emphasis on flat-stick expertise so it’s now or never for Rickie, one of the best putters on tour!

Showing extreme patience after falling seven shots behind at half-way, Rickie was magnificent on the weekend shooting 65/67 to fail by one stroke to catch Patrick Reed. Whoever beats Rickie at Shinnecock wins the U.S. Open!

My Twitter followers (both of them) @TheTerribleTout saw the following update after Round one “MASTERS UPDATE: If the forecast high winds materialize over the weekend this should favour golfers with a low trajectory off the tee… Nobody comes out better in these categories than PATRICK REED.”  Patrick was then 8 strokes off the lead. He played the last three rounds in fourteen under par ending at (-15).

That’s the good news.  The bad news is my Grand National pick Blaklion, fell at the very first fence taking a truckload of punters’ cash with him. My alternative, Vicente, was withdrawn after rains came and the ground was declared heavy. Ugh!

So, Vicente has been shifted to the Scottish Grand National to be run at Ayr tomorrow (1605 GMT; 10.05am Jamaica time) and, providing the unseasonal weather doesn’t continue, he could be a good thing. On soft, Notebook Horse Beware the Bear (Public Opinion, March 31) would be a most enticing each way flutter at his current odds of 20/1.

Finally, a notebook horse on the flat:

Time to Study [4yo ch.c Motivator – Dissertation (Sillery)], a typically progressive staying three-year-old, including when winning Doncaster’s Mallard Handicap, just failed to make a winning return (unlucky to concede first run to Brandon Castle; then, lots to do final furlong, finishing strongly; failing by a neck) at Musselburgh. He should stay at least two miles and can win a decent prize in 2018. He’s perfectly suited to the May 11 Chester Cup.

One last thing (said Lieutenant Colombo).  Don’t forget December 22’s OBOs notebook horse, Longtown, about which I wrote “Looks all over a staying chaser… can run up a sequence once getting going and is very much one to follow.”  He ran on April 9 over an inadequate 2 ½ miles at Kempton (speed track) but was staying on determinedly to finish ¾ length 2nd. Don’t allow him to slip you going further, especially on a more galloping track.

Good Luck!

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