Sun | Sep 26, 2021

She’s A Wonder, Further And Beyond to take Guineas

Published:Friday | June 4, 2021 | 12:06 AMAinsley Walters/Gleaner Writer
Further And Beyond (right), ridden by Ian Spence, wins the Two-Year-Old Stakes at Caymanas Park on Sunday, December 27, 2020.
Further And Beyond (right), ridden by Ian Spence, wins the Two-Year-Old Stakes at Caymanas Park on Sunday, December 27, 2020.

IT’s really hard not to back the respective winter-book favourites, SHE’S A WONDER and FURTHER AND BEYOND, to prove their dominance, at level weight, against their peers in Saturday’s 1000 and 2000 Guineas classics.

The last time SHE’S A WONDER actually trained for a race, she won the April 7 Thornbird Stakes by 10 lengths, silencing ACTION ANN and SENSATIONAL ENDING after being slowly into stride at seven furlongs.

Returning a little under a month later in the Portmore, she wasn’t drilled as much and, on what should have been her speed-gallop morning, fell on her rump at exercise and was taken back to her barn.

With a cautious 1:18.3 for six furlongs two days later, which was preceded by 1:03.3 for five furlongs eight days earlier, her first spin after the Thornbird Stakes, SHE’S A WONDER took on the crowd with topweight 126lb and won the Portmore by three-quarter length from SENSATIONAL ENDING, who she allowed 11lb.

A cursory glance at SHE’S A WONDER’s workouts reveals a seven-furlong gallop alongside MAHOGANY jumping off the form book’s page, 1:26.4, the fastest any three-year-old - colt, filly or gelding – has prepped for either Guineas. Parsard throttled her back in 1:17.0 for six last Sunday morning. It will be Murder She Wrote for her rivals at level weight.

SECRET IDENTITY made a lot of noise recently when putting away SURE CURLIN by nearly 10 lengths in a non-winners-of-two at six furlongs. SUPER DUPER, out for the fourth time and reporting off a seven-month lay-up, exposed that victory by making all against SURE CURLIN at five and a half furlongs last Saturday.

Let’s hear it for the boys in the 2000 Guineas, which will bring down the curtain on what should be an entertaining back-end of the 10-race card, last year’s classic stars – ONE OF A KIND, KING ARTHUR and NIPSTER – facing off against older rivals in the ninth.

FURTHER AND BEYOND is the textbook handicap horse to beat in the 2000 Guineas. Carrying topweight in his last two races, he had to play leader, pace regulator and closer against lighter rivals, nine pounds, and over, who were able to relax and produce late charges, the last resulting in a dead-heat with MINIATURE MAN in the Kingston.

Sitting level at 126 for the first time since landing the Jamaica Two-Year-Old Stakes by three lengths in December, FURTHER AND BEYOND should do exactly as his name suggests, put himself farther and beyond the reach of rivals who got too close for comfort in his last two races.