Ian Parsard’s unbeaten gelding, THE CITADEL, looks set to benefit from what could be a pace meltdown in Sunday’s Kingston 2000 Guineas prep in which Prince Consort Stakes winner, front-running EMPEROROFTHECATS, will again try to make all, but is burdened by the top-weight of 126lbs.
Unbeaten in two starts, both middle-distance races, THE CITADEL, along with Prince Consort Stakes runner-up, BLUE VINYL, and recent mile-winner, POWER, are expected to be the closers at seven and a half furlongs with the handicaps in their favour.
Having won the April 3 Prince Consort Stakes at seven furlongs, hanging on by a short head from slow-starting BLUE VINYL at level weight, EMPEROROFTHECATS now gives away 15lbs to his rival, and nine to the pair of THE CITADEL and POWER.
Though Patrick Lynch’s BLUE VINYL returned in blinkers on April 23 to lose a six-furlong sprint, finishing third behind United States-bred LUKSOL and an improved NOMOREDEALS fitted with a visor, the Bern Identity-Blufield colt will be more comfortable at the extended trip minus blinkers.
However, THE CITADEL had outclassed BLUE VINYL in their only meeting, winning on debut at six and a half furlongs in February, before returning a month later to stamp his class on non-winners-of-two at seven and a half furlongs.
Clearly pointing THE CITADEL towards the 2000 Guineas at a mile on June 5, Parsard bypassed the shorter Sir Howard and Prince Consort Stakes in favour of the Kingston 2000, keeping his charge busy at exercise alongside imported stablemate, CLASSICAL ORB, a distance runner.
THE CITADEL’s cause might very well be helped by stablemate BRINKS, who trailed behind EMPEROROFTHECATS in the Prince Consort, but had raced prominently down the backstretch. BRINKS’ 12lb swing on EMPEROROFTHECATS will make a significant difference to the pace, especially with another quickster, PERFECT BREW, reporting at 115lbs.
Philip Feanny’s POWER, who won strongly at a mile with Omar Walker on April 17, clocking 1:40.4, has worked brilliantly, posting 1:12.2 for six furlongs Monday morning on a track still a bit fast after weekend rains.
Dane Dawkins is astride THE CITADEL, aiming to complete the Guineas prep double after cruising the fillies-only Portmore Guiiness prep aboard Gary Subratie’s ATOMICA on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Carl Anderson has called in Canada-based Andre Martin to replace Bebeto Harvey aboard EMPEROROFTHECATS.
BLUE VINYL also has a change of rider, with Raddesh Roman aboard in place of Dick Cardenas, who has the leg up on PERFECT BREW for Richard Azan.
The feature is to bring down the curtains on the nine-race card which runs off at 12:35 pm.
CAYMANAS PARK TIPS – SUNDAY, MAY 8
Race 1 – 1200m
Pure Heart (8), Poker Star (11)
Race 2 – 1300m
Killer Bee (7), Milkman (1)
Race 3 -1100m
Dodge This Link (4)
—-Race 4 – 1600m
Slamsilano (1), Bigmanbiden 8)
Race 5 – 1000m St
Lacrimae (10), Degaulle (9)
Race 6 – 1000m St
Race 7 -1500m
Mine That Cat (7), Positive ID (1)
Race 8 – 1700m
Never on a Sunday (9), Get A Pepsi (2)
Race 9 – 1500m
The Citadel (2), Power (12)
BETS OF THE DAY