Phineas for Fontainbleu Trophy
Racing makes a quick return to Caymanas Park tomorrow after today's scheduled card was cancelled because of the passage of Hurricane Mathew.
PHINEAS, forced to race wide last time out, should atone in the 1500-metre Fontainbleu Trophy. His main threat is HOUDINI'S MAGIC, one of the most improved horses in training since the back-end of last season.
Andrew McDonald's PHINEAS proved he was grade-one material late last year with a fourth-place finish in the October's Gold Cup behind PERFECT NEIGHBOUR, UPPA TUNE and UNCLE TAF.
The dark bay gelding afterwards cemented himself as a dangerous spoiler, beating SEEKING MY DREAM by a head in the Invitational Mile on Superstakes Day. He followed up with another battling win over CAMPESINO in December's Gladiator Trophy.
When he made his 2016 debut in February, at the ripe age of seven, he ran none other than Sprint champion POKER STAR to a length and a half in the 1300-metre grade-one Eileen Cliggott Trophy.
A near five-month lay-up followed and PHINEAS reared at the start at 1000 metres round when he returned on July 9. However, he closed well to finish third behind in-form BRAWN and speedy CRUCIAL APPEAL.
Punters made him a 1-2 favourite for his next race and he didn't disappoint, easily beating ANOTHER BULLET and United States-bred BLUE DIXIE at 1500 metres, clocking a decent 1:25.3
Though beaten by two much-improved horses on last, BRAWN and DREAMCOME-TRUE, it would have been a different story had PHINEAS not been forced to race wide drawn at post-position 10 among speedy runners.
Trainer McDonald has replaced lightweight rider Wesley Henry with Robert Halledeen, a more forceful rider.
HOUDINI"S MAGIC has been keeping really good company and has not been out of the first four in his last 10 races.
PHINEAS, however, has a bit more pace than the four-year-old colt. He should get first run on expected leaders SIR BUDGET, TRADITIONAL PRINCE and FORCE DE JOUR.