-by Anfield Road
Previous Winner - Pnelope, True Blue Stables
The opening race of this seasons fantastic Championship is probably one of the easiest to predict.
Wise Dane, from the all conquering Bob Baffert stable, she has been an absolute superstar this season, crushing everything in her way in the dirt division. She even had the audacity to take on the very best on turf also, with fantastic results. The only saving grace for the rest of the field is 1400M appears to be her least favourite distance, having won her last race at 1400M by just 1 length. That gives everyone else a little hope.
Running From Nemesis, from the Nemesis Stable, showed nothing like Championship form last season, however, she has turned into a top class horse this one. She constitutes the biggest danger to Wise Dane, having pushed the superstar very close last time out. She was finishing like an express train and if she can position herself a little closer in the middle part of the race she stands a great chance of getting a major win.
Midnight Hurricane, the second runner from Bob Baffert Stable, she has proven to be ultra consistent runner at the top level, never being out of the money. Failed to make last seasons final through lack of qualifying runs, where she surely would have been among the favourites. Her form has continued into this season, however, like Asiatic, I feel 1400M is beyond her stamina levels. If she is able to save a little at the end, her blistering finish could give her a shout. Over 1200M she finished her last race in just 10 seconds for the 200M, eclipsing the winner, Wise Dane’s 12 seconds.
Alphadan, from Anfield Road stable, looks to have as much chance winning as he does getting his tackle glued back on and working! In the money at all levels in 12 of his 14 races, but none have been over 1400M. He is a decent championship horses without being among the best, but always runs his best.
Ravishing Spectre, from the Rubi Rocks Stable is the only representative from this top trainer. Another who is going to struggle at this extended sprint distance, having never run this far in his career. Entered into both finals, this race being second means he is here for the bonus credits. Last win was 6 races ago, however he continued to set some decent ratings in defeat.
Stalingrad, second runner from Anfield Road stables. Capable of competing over 1400M, but not very competitive at all. In fact he will be dropping into claimers next season, so this is his swansong. He would need to start running a day earlier to stand a chance at placing against the top 2 horses!! Another picking up bonus credits after running first in the turf final
Asiatic, the third runner from Bob Baffert, she was the winner of the Juvenile dirt sprint, this filly was one of the top Juveniles of last season, and continued her form into the first 2 races of her 3 year campaign. However, since then she has failed to light the track up again, finishing well behind in both her races. 1400M looks to be beyond her talents and feel she will struggle to compete, which is a shame as it would be great to see her challenging the best of this season.
Star Pupil, third runner from the reprobate that is Anfield Road, she represents my best chance of finishing on the same day. Her times have still been improving at 1400M, but still leaves her trailing behind the best and really can’t see her making any impression at all.
Dark Angel, from the Nemesis Stable, this gelding is entered into both the dirt and turf finals. With the turf going off first, this represents nothing more than bonus money. Much like my own finalists, he isn’t good enough at the very top level, giving him a very tough task. Having never run at 1400M, we can assume he doesn’t have the energy to complete the distance in a competitive time and can only see him bringing up the rear.
Looks like 1400M has killed the final for all bar 2 horses, which is a shame for the curtain raiser. Cant help thinking Wise Dane would win no matter the distance, but it certainly would be much more competitive over shorter sprints.
Running From Nemesis