Fri | Nov 27, 2020

Azan's Reggae Road to lead them home

Published:Friday | March 30, 2018 | 12:00 AMAinsley Walters/Gleaner Writer
REGGAE ROAD (right)

REGGAE ROAD, beaten a length and a quarter on his February 17 debut by recent Prince Consort Stakes winner EL PROFESOR, will stake his 2000 Guineas claim in this afternoon's Monday Morning Trophy.

All eyes will be on Richard Azan's REGGAE ROAD to see whether he will frank EL PROFESOR's form and lower his 1:26.4 for seven furlongs, posted on March 7, when he won his second start by six and a half lengths.

EL PROFESOR clocked a strong 1:26.0 two weeks ago, a shocking 32-1 upset over ANOTHER VIGOROUS in the Prince Consort Stakes, throwing the 2000 Guineas wide open ahead of the April 15 showdown among three-year-old colts and geldings at a mile.

REGGAE ROAD faces 10 rival,s including fillies beaten by DISABILITY CHARM, who had posted 1:26.4 in the Thornbird Stakes, making it tough for the likes of BRANDY and LICI'S PEPSI to beat a colt, who won easily in a time they struggled against.

However, REGGAE ROAD faces two 'unknowns', horses who won impressively on debut and continue to train well in the mornings - MISS FORMALITY and OUTRAGEOUS TAJ, a half-brother to SIMPLY OUTRAGEOUS, who was easily one of the most improved horses in training last season, winning as recently as Ash Wednesday.

MISS FORMALITY is well bred, a full sister to ill-fated BOY WONDER, the horse that won a sequence of races and was on his way to stardom before injury ended his career as a three-year-old. However, similar to her brother, MISS FORMALITY has issues and is being gingerly trained by DaCosta, who has his fingers crossed that she makes the 1000 Guineas on April 14.

An almost effortless runner, champion trainer Wayne DaCosta's MISS FORMALITY glided home in 1:14.0 for six furlongs on March 10, winning by four and a half lengths. Omar Walker, abandoning Jamaica Two-Year-Old Stakes runner-up, BRANDY to partner MISS FORMALITY, tells exactly what the champion jockey thinks of both horses.

OUTRAGEOUS TAJ might not be bred in the purple but certainly looked classy at 1000 metres straight, clocking an easy 59.3 on February 24. He has looked really flashy on the round course at exercise, 1:07.0 for five and a half, last five in 1:00.0, on March 13, suggesting that he could be a monster in disguise.

However, both MISS FORMALITY and OUTRAGEOUS TAJ appear to be horses that will be battling for the lead, or thereabouts, which will be very interesting with the likes of SERGEANT RECKLESS and the imported SUPER SPARKLE in the mix.

It appears as though REGGAE ROAD, a half-brother to DREAM COME TRUE appears as though will stay all day and tomorrow, with a little pace about him. Coming in at 50.5 kilos with Anthony Thomas, the lightest he has been in three starts, makes Azan's runner the horse to beat at 1400 metres.

Though running seven furlongs four-fifths slower than the winning Prince Consort time, REGGAE ROAD should not be judged on that facile victory. Instead, it should be noted that he debuted against EL PROFESOR, who he allowed four pounds - a horse that had raced six times prior and returned to beat ANOTHER VIGOROUS in the Prince Consort.