Nuclear Affair, Superluminal should deliver
NUCLEAR AFFAIR announced herself as a top-class sprinter with an explosive victory in the 1300-metre Seek Exercise Book Trophy on August 20, clocking 1:18.1, with relative ease, putting away FORCE DE JOUR and CAMPESINO.
The 1000 Guineas winner renews rivalry with both, at similar handicaps and the exact distance, in tomorrow's Saint Cecelia Cup, gunning for a double as trainer Gary Subratie preps her for November's Caribbean Sprint and December's Diamond Mile.
CAMPESINO, however, was running off a near three-month lay-up and returned a better horse for last Saturday's 1200-metre None Such Sprint Trophy in which he ran a big race against stablemate BUZZ NIGHTMARE when eased in the weights.
Carrying 51.0 kilos, the six-year-old gelding was never farther than two lengths off the pace as BUZZ NIGHTMARE and POKER STAR went at it on the lead in opening splits of 22.1.
CAMPESINO actually turned for home a length and a half behind 45.0 and was still running strong inside the final furlong to finish two and a quarter lengths behind his speedy stablemate's 1:10.0 for 1200 metres.
However, it can't be denied that the track has been running fast for the last two racedays, especially Saturday, averaging almost two seconds quicker than normal, evidenced by BUZZ NIGHTMARE's 56.1 for the first five furlongs.
Therefore, despite CAMPESINO's run behind BUZZ NIGHTMARE's lightning-fast 1:10.0, NUCLEAR AFFAIR's performance on a normal track levels the playing field and puts her in good stead for a repeat win.
In addition, CAMPESINO will be made to work hard from post-position two, sandwiched by speedy FORCE DE JOUR on the inside and able SIR BUDGET to his outside. NUCLEAR AFFAIR is the fastest from mid-track, outwards, which keeps her out of trouble and gives her first run on horses dueling on the inner.
The day's co-feature, the Kenneth Mattis Memorial, will prove whether last year's St Leger winner, SUPERLUMINAL, is back to his best. One of three four-year-olds in the event, his main rivals are two battle-hardened seven-year-olds - MIRACLE STAR and TIME FOR ARMS - dominant forces in overnight allowance.
However, SUPERLUMINAL has been edging back to last year's form, which saw him beating Governor's Cup winner KRONUS and derby winner SEEKING MY DREAM, who he floored in the St Leger.
In preparation for his September 3 win over GOLDEN BULLET, he finished heads-on with stablemate LONG RUNNING TRAIN in a five-and-a-half furlong gallop, both clocking 1:06.3.