Tony K's talent to make difference
SPEEDY seven-year-old, TALENTED TONY K, gets a reprieve, dropping two classes lower than his last outing, December's Diamond Mile, to face overnight allowance horses in Wednesday's ninth event.
Still one of the fastest horses in training at Caymanas Park, TALENTED TONY K, equalled the 1,000-metre straight track record of 56.1 as a four-year-old - a year after landing the 10-furlong Lotto Classic for the Governor's Cup.
Sparingly raced by wily Patrick Lynch, who nursed him back to top shape over the last two years, TALENTED TONY K is hardly ever led in a race, even in grade one. In December, he carried the Diamond Mile field to the half-mile and had turned for home on the lead in the Caribbean Sprint three weeks earlier.
With such a resume, the only question to be asked of TALENTED TONY K, among overnight allowance horses, is whether he will report sharp enough, coming off a near 14-week lay-up since the Diamond Mile.
OUT OF CONTENTION
Lynch brought TALENTED TONY K off exactly the same rest in November, to carry grade one horses into the lane in the Caribbean Sprint, and was only three and a half lengths off the lead a furlong out, before weakening out of contention with 57.0 kilos.
One of the toughest trainers to decipher at the Park, Lynch has shown his hand with TALENTED TONY K, who qualifies for the drop in class via the get-out-of-jail card, which allows top-class horses to lower their sights, after not winning within eight months of graduating to open allowance or grade one.
Shane Ellis, Lynch's choice of rider was also well thought out. Instead of opting for a claiming apprentice to slip weight off 57.0 kilos, he has chosen experience to regulate out-of-class TALENTED TONY K's speed.
The horse closest in speed to TALENTED TONY K is SIMPLY THE BEST. However, she will also be close to him in the handicaps, considering Dane Nelson rode as heavy as 54.5 kilos a week and a half ago, suggesting he could go heavier than the declared 53.5 kilos.
Ellis was aboard TALENTED TONY K for his last victory, beating POKER STAR and KING D at 1,000 metres straight last June, 10 days after going all the way against CAMPESINO and CHACE THE GREAT in the grade one Lotto Sprint at 1,100 metres.
If the speed should collapse, which is hardly likely at the minimum trip for out-of-class TALENTED TONY K, ARMAGEDDON and CARTEL will have a dogfight for the spoils.