Choo Choo Blue will shine
PETER McMaster's CHOO CHOO BLUE is really hard to oppose in tomorrow's Saint Cecelia Trophy at a middle-of-the-road distance, 1300 metres, not too sharp or long for the United States-bred filly to handle.
Last time out four-year-old CHOO CHOO BLUE was forced to do the chasing in the Seek Exercise Book Trophy, having to go after super-fit and refocused CHACE THE GREAT after the speedster SIR BUDGET failed to fire.
Returning at the exact weight for the Saint Cecelia, CHOO CHOO BLUE faces eight rivals, a half of whom she had behind in her last two races - GARY GLITTER, DWAYNE STAR, ANOTHER BULLET and CRUCIAL APPEAL.
As far as the others are concerned, PINELOPE has woefully lost form, GOLDEN GLORY has bitten off way more than she can chew up in class, leaving PROLIFIC PRINCESS and LOTTERY TICKET as CHOO CHOO BLUE's only real threats in the line-up.
Though she's probably at her best ever, consistent PROLIFIC PRINCESS faces a tough task from post-position one and could either get into trouble by being involved in the pace too early or be too far back when the mid-race speed kicks in leaving the half-mile.
PROLIFIC PRINCESS, however, remains a dangerous contender, having finished only a length off LOTTERY TICKET, who had a similar deficit behind CHACE THE GREAT when he beat them both in June's Hall of Fame Trophy.
LOTTERY TICKET has certainly improved, getting three of her five career wins this season as a four-year-old.
CHOO CHOO BLUE appears to have a more complete package and more scope for improvement. She is versatile and can sit in just about any pace her rivals can throw down, especially with no really dominant speed horse in the race.
After beating CHOO CHOO BLUE by a length-and-a-quarter a month ago, CHACE THE GREAT returned on September 9 to turn back CAMPESINO in the grade one None Such Sprint. Apprentice Anthony Thomas' two-kilo claim will have CHOO CHOO BLUE carrying 53.0 kilos, really a dandy point for the American filly to get the better of her local rivals, some of whom are heavier though inferior.