All eyes on Crucial Appeal in Saturday's ninth
CRUCIAL APPEAL is down two classes, actually three, should his Caribbean Sprint run to be taken into consideration, to race on an $850,000 optional claiming tag in Saturday's ninth race at 1,000 metres straight.
Getting on in age at eight years old, the speedy chestnut gelding might have lost a step or two to beat younger grade one and open allowance runners, but showed in December that no ordinary overnight allowance horse can test him at 1,000 metres straight, more so claimers.
Running with 121lb mid-December, CRUCIAL APPEAL made all at his favourite trip to beat PRINCESS EMANUELLE by a comfortable length and three-quarter, clocking 57.2, a time only bettered by SIEMPRE BUENO's 57.0 three weeks earlier, carrying 115lb.
Prior to his mid-December race, CRUCIAL APPEAL had finished four and a half lengths behind CHACE THE GREAT in the 1,200-metre grade one invitational Caribbean Sprint, sharing topweight 126lb with the winner.
Less than two weeks before the Caribbean Sprint, 10 days to be exact, CRUCIAL APPEAL, again carrying 126lb, chased home SIMPLY THE BEST at 1,000 metres round in an overnight allowance, which the then filly won in 58.1.
CRUCIAL APPEAL's most distinguished rivals on Saturday are LITTLE BIG HORN (117lb) and LOOSE CANNON (119), along with A.P.I. and SARAH LEE running at 117lb apiece.
However, coming off a fifth-place finish, beaten four and three-quarter lengths by ZEPHYR, SIEMPRE BUENO and MONEY MAGNET, on January 18, at 1,100 metres, carrying 120lb that afternoon, CRUCIAL APPEAL should now be a cinch at 121lb in optional claiming.
ZEPHYR, running very light had benefitted tremendously from a very fast pace set by SIEMPRE BUENO trying to escape MONEY MAGNET. However, both SIEMPRE BUENO and MONEY MAGNET have since graduated to grade one whereas CRUCIAL APPEAL, who was less than five lengths behind, has headed south.