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She's A Maneater goes in pursuit of greatness!

Observer writer

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Today's Burger King Super Day at Caymanas Park could blossom into one of the most exhilarating, captivating and patently illustrious race days for Jamaica's thoroughbred racing with the 39th running of the Burger King-sponsored Superstakes.

On offer is a historical moment in a teeming and wide-ranging 12-race programme, punctuated by a plethora of emblematic trophy races, and therein lies a moment for history making.

Heading the list of the trophy races is the Superstakes. It is further well supported by the Glen Mills Invitational Sprint Championship, the Invitational Mile and the Juvenile Sprint — a race for native-bred two-year-olds.

The Superstakes is a three-year-old and upward Graded Stakes Invitational race, placed at the fulcrum of the 12-race card as illuminator. The race has attracted a field of eight runners going 10 furlongs (2,000m) for a purse of $4.5 million and is scheduled to go to post at approximately 4:25 pm, with the first post at 10:50 am.

Thoroughbred breeders in Jamaica are as yet to produce a quality filly that has won the Superstakes to equal the feat of the colts; that is, to win the Triple Crown and the Superstakes in the same year.

A number of fillies have tried in the past and have failed. But once again the stage is set to herald in expectant occasion to go one better at this the 39th staging of the event. Aspirant to pending nobility is none other than super filly She's A Maneater, who will be asked a serious question when the starter lets them go in her pursuit for greatness.

Simply Magic came closest to achieving the distinction, and from all indications the Wayne DaCosta-trained filly by Natural Selection out of the Royal Minister mare Ahwhofahis here given a glorious opportunity to surpass that effort and become the first filly to win both the Triple Crown and the Superstakes in the same year.

If this is achieved, She's A Maneater will become the first filly to gain the distinction and join her male counterparts The Viceroy and Mark My Word to bask in the glory as the only winners to so do.

The bay filly bred and owned by Winston Kong has won 10 of her 11 career starts and is to date undefeated as a three-year-old. Her only blemish to an illustrious career came when she was defeated as a juvenile in the Jamaica Two-Year-Old Stakes over a mile (1,600m) in December of last year.

Since then she has gone on to win the three-year-old Triple Crown Classic races that include the 1,000 Guineas, the St Leger and the Jamaica Derby, and victory in the Superstakes would immortalise the filly.

Nonetheless, She's A Maneater has given every indication to epitomise the words of the 14-time champion trainer Philip Feanny: “If she were to be prepared properly and ridden properly, she should not lose the Superstakes.”

Her main rival in her pursuit of immortality will be probably the best male stayer in Jamaica today, Bigdaddykool, a gangly and far-striding bay gelded son of Sorrentino out of the Friendly Lover mare Beware Baby bred at Ham Stables and owned by Stephan Narinesingh.

Prepared for racing by trainer Anthony Nunes, Bigdaddykool, following two distinguished runs behind Will In Charge, should be well primed for the task at hand, as only the record-seeking She's A Maneater will go lighter in the race.

This therefore should lighten his burden and the son of Sorrentino could now come into his own with a big performance to justify his staying qualities. Trainer Nunes has left no stone unturned to have Bigdaddykool at his super best for the Superstakes, having been stepped up at exercise coming into the race.

Not even the vaunted She's A Maneater is reported to be working better than Bigdaddykool. And if he were to catch the pace of the filly, then race watchers will have a race on their hands as the lesser lights in Uncle Taf, Dysfunctional, Superluminal, Hover Craft and Royal Vibes are no mugs over the distance, and will be in the mix for their share of the spoils. Royal Vibes with the tongue tie removed could run to distinguish himself.

The Invitational Mile is second only to the Superstakes in quality performers and will attract just as much attention, with some of the best sprinters in training present.

Trainer Nunes looks to be heading for a double whopper with his Bigdaddykool in the Superstakes and Bilingual and Houdini's Magic in the Invitational Mile. Bilingual may lack the class but Houdini's Magic is a seasoned campaigner amongst Grade One company and should therefore provide him with his best shot.

However, should Bilingual, who was beaten by only She's A Maneater and Marlene My Lovein the three-year-old Classics, continue to show quality improvement, then she has as good a shot as her stablemate.

A race by invitation for three-year-olds and upward, the Invitational Mile has attracted 10 runners going 1,600 metres for a purse of $1.35 million and will go to post at approximately 2:05 pm.

Also competing in the Invitational Mile will be Ian Links, Gold Miner and Lottery Ticket for trainer Wayne DaCosta, while trainer Gary Subratie will saddle his imported duo of Blue Dixie and Awesome Destiny.

Phineas, who won the event two years ago, is also present, and even as an eight-year-old, the dark bay brown gelding is no back number. Owned by Nicholas Miller and trained by Andrew McDonald, Phineas will come in at 52.0kg (115 lb) for Jemar Jackson and is reasonably fit to go up against the lively Lottery Ticket, Houdini's Magic, Dwayne Star and Ian Links.

The Glen Mills Invitational Sprint Championship is the top Grade One sprint race of the card for three-year-olds and upward, and it has attracted a tough field of 15 runners going six furlongs (1,200m) for a purse of $2 million at approximately 3:10 pm.

Trainer Philip Feanny, who has a stranglehold on the event dating from as far back as the early 1990s, is once again in the mix and is chomping at the bit for consecutive success in this year's event with his Campesino, who won it last year, or with Buzz Nightmare.

Feanny looks certain to continue his hold on the title as he is well represented on both runners by two of the best jockeys currently riding at Caymanas Park in Dane Nelson aboard Buzz Nightmare and Shane Ellis astride Campesino.

The distance is no problem for the combatants with both Buzz Nightmare and Campesinoholding victories over each other over the journey.

Hamark Farms, who owns Campesino, has another lively shot in the aging but equally effective Crucial Appeal. When last at the races on November 1, Crucial Appeal was beaten by Simply The Best in a five-furlong (1,000m) round event, but was gaining steadily on his conqueror. Since then he has impressed with his workouts and will be a force to reckon with, although Shane Ellis has moved over to Campesino to provide the opening for Arthur Budhu to climb aboard Crucial Appeal.

Another strong contender for top spot is the Patrick Lynch-trained Another Bullet, who will thoroughly enjoy this company and the distance. He has been running decent races and finished third to She's A Maneater over seven-and-a-half furlongs (1,500m) but was no match for Choo Choo Blue in the recent Gold Cup run.

Trainer Nunes has another strong hand in the Juvenile Sprint where his undefeated colt Patriarch will seek to keep his unblemished win record intact. His main danger could come from his stablemate filly Esperanza, and the Wayne DaCosta-trained Greek Goddess, who has been beaten by only the two most promising juveniles in training Another Vigorous and Patriarch.

Brandy, a stablemate of Greek Goddess, has been quite lively in her gallops and could even prove to be something special being from a well-bred filly Skittle Queen by Slew City Slew, who was a disappointing racer.


Ones To Watch

Race 1 Princess Brianna, Steve's Real, Girshom

Race 2 Granite, Ya Ya's Dream, Fayrouz

Race 3 Major Force, Hey Champ, Sorrentino Star

Race 4 Coralando, My Way, Baby P

Race 5 Patriarch, Greek Goddess, Brandy

Race 6 Mighty Crown, Senor Kwanzi, Uncle Wal

Race 7 Lottery Ticket, Bilingual, Houdini's Magic, Ian Links

Race 8 Loose Cannon, Killer Bee, Malachi

Race 9 Campesino, Siempre Bueno, Buzz Nightmare

Race 10 St Bernard, Differentgeneration, Hologram Shadow

Race 11 She's A Man Eater, Bigdaddykool, Royal Vibes

Race 12 Winter Is Coming, Aurelia's Summer, Cartel

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