Red Parrot best of the bunch
THE $1m purse for Monday's McKay Security Limited Trophy, $546,000 to the winner, has lured a trio of horses back down to $180,000 claiming after being separated by no more than a length at the finish, three weeks ago, on $250,000 tags.
MONEYNEVERSLEEP, DR TRAIN and RED PARROT all figured in a bang-up finish at a mile on December 10, Diamond Mile Day, placing second to fourth, respectively.
All three had beaten $180,000 company in their previous races and had stepped up in class hunting an enhanced $1m purse on Diamond Mile Day. They were, however, caught at the wire by down-in-class PLAY STATION, who flew home to win by a short head.
With another $1m carrot dangling in the McKay Security Trophy, the trio renews rivalry at a longer distance, 1820 metres, one of three co-features on the New Year's Day 10-race card.
RED PARROT, the mount of Dane Nelson, has the best pace of his 11 rivals and represents the lone speed in the event. On Diamond Mile Day, the four-year-old colt attempted to make all but was hounded relentlessly by a sprinter, CHEERS, who tried to use his speed to steal the race.
Bred to get a distance of ground, by Miracle Man-Lady Noorie, RED PARROT battled CHEERS gallantly and still had enough gas in the tank to quicken from his challengers a furlong out. However, he wilted at the very end to finish third, a short head by a head, nipped for second by MONEYNEVERSLEEP.
The distance also suits DR TRAIN, who was a runaway winner at 10 furlongs, beating $180,000 claimers by 18 lengths the last time he ventured around two turns. He was closing fast for fourth along the rail behind PLAY STATION, MONEYNEVERSLEEP and RED PARROT, making him a big danger as a course specialist.
Last year's most accomplished apprentices, Linton Steadman and Bebeto Harvey, should account for the other co-features aboard SOY EL SENOR and AWESOME DESTINY, respectively.
Steadman, who won the Governor's Cup, Lotto Classic St Leger, Superstakes and Jamaica Two-Year-Old Stakes is aboard SOY EL SENOR in the 1300-metre New Year's Day Trophy after the grey's victory at the same distance on Diamond Mile Day, beating a crack field.
Harvey, who pushed Omar Walker to the limit in the jockeys' championship, should also repeat aboard United States-bred AWESOME DESTINY in the 1820-metre CTL Fan Appreciation Day Trophy. He was aboard the Gary Subratie-trained filly for her victory at the same trip in the United Racehorse Trainers Association Trophy.