Ras Emanuel to get first run
RAS EMANUEL gets a decent pull in the scale, coming in at 118lb, for Saturday's 1,200-metre overnight allowance, dropping seven pounds from his last race, the Ash Wednesday Trophy won by down-in-class ANOTHER BULLET.
Returning in a full field this weekend, RAS EMANUEL will be partnered by three-kilo claiming apprentice, Oneil Scott, who has been quietly making use of his bug, winning aboard Richard Azan's WILSON last week in the Sir Howard Stakes and astride SIR PUDDINGTON at 1,820 metres on Wednesday after suffering grave interference at the start.
After twice losing in February with Robert Halledeen riding at topweight, including a stinging neck at 1,000 metres straight to rank upsetter UNCLE TAF, trainer Peter McMaster has seemingly had enough and has opted for a useful apprentice to shed weight.
RAS EMANUEL beat overnight allowance runners last August, a ridiculously easy win with sparingly used veteran jockey Vassel Najair, clocking 1:12.0 for six furlongs. Automatically thrust up in class to open allowance, his next two races were against CHACE THE GREAT and SHE'S A MANEATER, horses who returned to be crowned champion sprinter and Horse of the Year, respectively.
When the company was a bit weaker for his next race, RAS EMANUEL got within two lengths of vastly improved SIR BUDGET at five furlongs round, closing fast into third place with Najair aboard. Still cherry-ripe, RAS EMANUEL next competed in November's grade one Caribbean Sprint and finished fifth, three and a half lengths behind CHACE THE GREAT, at 1200 metres.
Given some time off by McMaster, RAS EMANUEL returned on February 3, recipient of a drop in class, having not won in open allowance since last August. The six-year-old horse responded with a blistering run at five furlongs straight, only to lose by a neck in a fast 57.0, carrying topweight 126lb with Halledeen aboard.
When he returned on Ash Wednesday, going a little too far outside his pet trip of six furlongs, RAS EMANUEL was drawn widest in a 14-horse field and carried 124lb with Halledeen again aboard, allowing all but down-in-class ANOTHER BULLET lumps of weight.
After being forced to race wide to the half-mile and still three or four wide to the final turn, chasing tearaway lightweight leader TWILIGHT DREAMS, RAS EMANUEL didn't have the kick at the top of the straight to accelerate alongside ANOTHER BULLET with whom he had raced as a team into the lane.
Nevertheless, he ran a great race, only relegated into fourth, a furlong out by his stablemate, PRINCESS EMANUELLE, and LOTTERY TICKET, who closed past tired horses late in the event.
With the speedsters in the race sitting closer to him, heavier in some cases, RAS EMANUEL only has the run-on sprinters to fear, stablemates LOTTERY TICKET and ARMAGEDDON. However, he should get first run on the sprinters and hang tough at his favourite distance.