Nunes holds key to Ah­wofah sprint

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORT - Orville Clake Gleaner Writer

TOPLINE TRAINER An­thony ‘Baba’ Nunes holds a strong hand with ROYAL AS­SAULT and BERRA– CA in to­day’s Ah­who­fah Sprint over 1200 me­tres at Cay­manas Park, the overnight al­lowance fea­ture at­tract­ing 14 starters.

De­spite the large field, which also in­cludes the fleet-footed TAL­ENTED TONY K, ROYAL AS­SAULT and BERRANCA - the mounts of top ap­pren­tices Lin­ton Steadman and Dane Dawkins, re­spec­tively – are stand­outs and could form the quinella.

The 4-y-o filly BERRANCA has been a model of con­sis­tency, and with a mere 48.5kg, will have lots of sup­port­ers. She fin­ished a good sec­ond to CRU­CIAL AP­PEAL over the round-five course on Oc­to­ber 8, and three weeks ear­lier, chased home the pro­gres­sive 3-y-o colt CHACE THE GREAT in a fast-run sprint.

Although tempt­ing at the weights, BERRANCA lacks the proven class of sta­ble­com­pan­ion ROYAL AS­SAULT, who, de­spite hav­ing his first race since win­ning over 1100 me­tres on June 10, will re­port ra­zor sharp, hav­ing turned in bul­let work af­ter bul­let work in his prepa­ra­tion.

The 4-y-o colt by Blue Pepsi Lodge out of Maken Joy has won twice from five starts this sea­son, and even in de­feat, has turned in qual­ity per­for­mances against the likes of for­mer cham­pion sprinter POTCHEEN, CAM­PESINO, and BUZZ NIGHT­MARE.

Back in ac­tion from the con­ve­nient mark of 54.0kg, ROYAL AS­SAULT, who has good speed, can def­i­nitely re­turn on a win­ning note. I ex­pect him to stave off the con­sis­tent BERRANCA.

Else­where on the 12-race pro­gramme, which com­mences at 11:30 a.m., PONTIUS PILATE, who was pur­chased for the record price of $5 mil­lion in last year’s TOBA year­ling sale, should make a win­ning de­but for Nunes and cham­pion jockey Shane El­lis in the third race over 1200 me­tres for maiden two-year-olds.

A bay colt by For­est Dan­ger out of Sea Treaty, PONTIUS PILATE has moved im­pres­sively at ex­er­cise, and this half-brother to three derby win­ners should get off the mark im­me­di­ately in a field of seven.

Other firm fan­cies on the card are BROOK­LYN in the sec­ond race, DASH BOARD in the fourth, JU­NIOR DON in the fifth, and DE­MO­LI­TION BOY in the sixth.

JER­MAINE BARN­ABY/FREE­LANCE PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

Jockey Lin­ton Steadman drives BRAVE PROSPECT(left) to vic­tory over NO MONEY FRIEND (right), with Ameth Robles aboard, in the eighth race for 3-y-o & Up claimers, at $550,000, over seven fur­longs at Cay­manas Park last Satur­day.

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