Royal Assault, the class horse
ROYAL ASSAULT hasn’t raced since November 30 but is the class horse in Saturday’s G.A. ‘Sarge’ Bunny Bucknor Memorial, a quick 1000-metre straight sprint on a racing surface which should be running a bit heavier after being sanded last weekend.
A heavier track could be a plus for Anthony Nunes’ ROYAL ASSAULT, considering the five-year-old is drawn widest at post-position 12, the more compact part of the track. He is not too far, though, from race-fit horses such as FORCE DE JOUR, VISION and DANCING QUEEN at gates seven, nine and 10, respectively.
ROYAL ASSAULT comes in at joint topweight 56.0 kilos, rightly so, after beating TALENTED TONY K at 1100 metres when last raced and was fourth in the Grade 1 Caribbean Sprint on Superstakes Day in his previous race.
Though lightly raced and seemingly doing nothing at exercise, ROYAL ASSAULT must not be taken lightly. The chestnut horse returned off a near five-month lay-up in October to place third behind PROLIFIC PRINCESS and DREAMLINER, two weeks before placing fourth in the Caribbean Sprint.
Only a Grade 1 horse could have pulled off such a feat, placing fourth behind CAMPESINO, BUZZ NIGHTMARE and CHACE THE GREAT, beaten by less than five lengths in his second start in five months.
ROYAL ASSAULT had actually placed second in this very race last year, beaten by none other than BUZZ NIGHTMARE, who won in 57.1. ROYAL ASSAULT, who had stumbled at the start, was second in 58.1.
Nunes’ runner clearly has the beating of overnight allowance, winning three of his last four starts at the level, beaten only by BUZZ NIGHTMARE.
If ROYAL ASSAULT is, indeed, rusty, Philip Feanny’s DANCING QUEEN, carrying only 50.0 kilos, should be the horse to beat. She is better than VISION and has the jump in the handicaps on FORCE DE JOUR, who is down to carry 55.0 kilos.