Marquesas to come good in Lotto Classic

Observer staff reporter

Saturday, May 26, 2018

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It is simple and straight forward, a case of now or never for last season's champion two-year-old bay colt, Marquesas.

If Marquesas is to have a winning chance in next month's Jamaica Derby, then the Michael Marlowe-trained colt has to stamp his class here by winning the 78th running of the Lotto Classic for the Governor's Cup at Caymanas Park today.

The Lotto Classic for the Governor's Cup, a native-bred three-year-old Futurity event, will be run over a distance of 10 furlongs (2,000m) for a purse of $3 million. The race is positioned as the 10th on the 11-race card for a post time of 5:05 pm, with first post at 11:55 am.

Since winning the prestigious Jamaica Two-Year-Old Stakes last December, Marquesas hasn't really ignited any sparks, thus calling into question his progression. The Coded Warning offspring only had two starts this season in which he produced average performances — finishing fifth in the Prince Consort Stakes (seven furlongs or 1,400m) and fourth in the 2000 Guineas (one mile or 1,600m).

In both races, Marquesas was seen making up ground and coming on strongly in deep stretch, which is good for this extended trip for the Governor's Cup. Marquesas will have benefited immensely from those two runs and with the trainer deciding to put on the visor for the first time, this far-striding colt will not be easily denied this time around. Shane Ellis will continue to do riding honours.

Marquesas, however, will not have things his own way in this one as also present in the line-up of 11 are Outrageous Taj, Lightning McQueen and Without Exception to test him all the way. Of the others Drummer Boy, My Beirut and Royal Aviator should give good accounts of themselves.

If there should be a dark horse in the line-up, look no further than the Dwight Chen-trained Outrageous Taj. The improving bay gelding announced his presence on February 24 with a 59.3-second clocking over five furlongs (1,000m) straight ,which got tongues wagging heading into the Classic season.

He was then asked to test the big guns in the 2000 Guineas on his third outing but finished in sixth place by just over -four lengths. However, his over two-length win in a non-winners of two event over six and a half furlongs (1,300m), in which he came from behind to win in1:19.0 minutes, is clear indication of his class. With the trip not expected to trouble him, Outrageous Taj is not be taken lightly in a race of this nature.

Lightning McQueen is a very interesting entry in this race. The highly rated bay colt is unbeaten in two starts this season with both victories coming over six furlongs (1,200m). Lightning McQueen is asked to tackle more seasoned runners here, but based on his ability he will definitely have an impact in this one.

Without Exception started the season well but has dropped off form leading up to the Classic season. After an equipment change by trainer Wayne DaCosta to remove the tongue tie and figure 8, Without Exception found a new lease on life. He ran rivals into the ground on April 7 to win over five furlongs (1,000m) on the round course before placing third in the 2000 Guineas eight days later. His run in the 2000 Guineas gave the impression that 10 furlongs (2,000m) of the Governor's Cup might be too much for him but Without Exception has class and should play a prominent role throughout.

Although all eyes will be fixed on the Lotto Classic for the Governor's Cup, some attention will turn to the Lotto Sprint Trophy where the top nine sprinters in the land will compete over five-and-a-half furlongs (1,100m).

In the line-up is the current Horse of the Year She's A Maneater who takes on the likes of Siempre Bueno, Another Bullet, Lottery Ticket, Money Magnet and sprint champion Chace The Great in what should be a very competitive race.

Ones to watch

Race 1) Cat's Rigger

Race 2) Like A Lady

Race 3) Dreamingofanna

Race 4) Harry's Train

Race 5) Woodhouse

Race 6) Sly Staloon

Race 7) Big Black Nation

Race 8) Money Magnet

Race 9) Soy El Senor

Race 10) Marquesas

Race 11) Killer Bee

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