Another Vigorous looks good
SMASHING debuts by PATRIARCH and ANOTHER VIGOROUS have had punters in a quandary for the last month, trying to figure which of the two are better or, at least, will draw first blood in the $12m Supreme Ventures Limited (SVL) Two-Year-Old Series, which kicks off with Saturday's 1,200-metre Cash Pot 'Only One For Me' Trophy.
PATRIARCH , bred in the purple (Casual Trick-Electrifying), a half-brother to Guineas and Oaks runner-up BILINGUAL, set tongues wagging on September 16, by scoring a runaway 10-length win at 1,000 metres straight, a super-fast 58.3, eased down by Panamanian jockey Dick Cardenas.
Long touted by clockers and railbirds as Anthony 'Baba' Nunes 'big horse', PATRIARCH not only looked the part but delivered the goods in convincing fashion.
Just when everybody thought they had seen the horse to beat in the opening race of the SVL Series, along came an unheralded gelding, ANOTHER VIGOROUS, named by his owner, Lloyd Davis, for a succession of horses he raced under the 'Vigorous' moniker - Mr Vigorous and Lady Vigorous being the two most well known.
Unlike PATRIARCH, ANOTHER VIGOROUS is modestly bred, Legal Process - Miss Nickels, a half-brother to FIRST'K'BOY, a struggling nine-year-old, who last raced on the lowest of claiming tags, $120,000, and finished fourth in a three-furlong straight race on September 9.
However, such is the uncertainty of the breeding shed because ANOTHER VIGOROUS debuted a week after PATRIARCH and floored a field that included the favourite, champion trainer Wayne DaCosta's GREEK GODDESS, winning an 1,100-metre race by almost three lengths in a cracking 1:05.4.
ANOTHER VIGOROUS' sire, Legal Process, is renowned for throwing mainly fillies, the likes of Triple Crown winner ALSAFRA, along with 1,000 Guineas winners AL FOUZIA and NIPHAL. Reports from Port Henderson Road's New Blue Limited are that Legal Process has for the past two seasons been siring mainly colts, ANOTHER VIGOROUS now being the flagship.
The bay gelding gave ample warning of his ability before his debut, clocking 59.3 for five furlongs round at exercise on September 17, afterwards confirming stable confidence which was quietly raging in Rowan Mathie's barn.
Both horses have continued to train well and will, undoubtedly, start as favourites in the 10-horse field. Last Sunday morning, ANOTHER VIGOROUS again blazed 59.3 on the round course. PATRIARCH later took the track and clocked 1:00.2, almost a full second slower, beating up on stablemate NADESHICO (1:02.2).
Oldstagers relish saying, 'time only matters when you're in jail'. However, consistency is another matter. Having given a glimpse of his ability before debuting, ANOTHER VIGOROUS' actual performance, 1:05.3 for 1100 metres, came a week after super-fast LOOSE CANNON had posted 1:05.4 to dismiss BILINGUAL, PATRIARCH's big sister.
ANOTHER VIGOROUS returned to clock the same workout, 59.3, last Sunday, ahead of the Cash Pot, and will race with lasix administered this Saturday. It is proven that the raceday medication invariably improves horses' performance, which makes ANOTHER VIGOROUS a frightening prospect at 1,200 metres.