Honey Ryda for 1000 Guineas
HONEY RYDA has the fastest mile on record of any three-year-old, not just fillies, heading into Saturday's 1000 Guineas. Her glowing exercise reports which followed - three consecutive best-that-morning gallops - make her a tough horse to beat, having avoided the exertions of races such as the Hotline and Thornbird Stakes.
Reporting as fresh as a daisy for the 1000 Guineas, having last raced on February 17, HONEY RYDA has been programmed like a scud missile by Richard Azan for the fillies-only event.
She is the only winner of three races in the 13-horse line-up, the last of which was February 17. She not only upstaged WITHOUT EXCEPTION, after being slowly into stride, but also beat older horses, on her second start as a three-year-old, clocking 1:40.0 for a mile.
As a two-year-old, Azan tested her against two of the best colts, PATRIARCH and COMMANDER TWO, in November's Pick-3 Super Challenge, and watched her chase them almost to the wire before being relegated by BRANDY.
He skilfully avoided those fellas a month later by having the filly bypass the Boxing Day Jamaica Two-Year-Old Stakes, instead racing her four days later at seven furlongs against then-unbeaten WITHOUT EXCEPTION.
Running seven pounds lighter than the colt, HONEY RYDA kept him honest from start to finish, WITHOUT EXCEPTION getting away from her only inside the last half-furlong to win in 1:27.2.
Azan brought her back mid-January for a five-furlong straight blowout, placing third behind speedy older horse, TWILIGHT DREAMS, who won in 58.2.
Stretched out to a mile for her next race, February 17, HONEY RYDA showed her preference for a distance of ground by turning the tables on WITHOUT EXCEPTION, who struggled home sixth, beaten five lengths by her 1:40.0, again allowing the filly seven pounds.
Though she has not raced since, HONEY RYDA has been setting the track alight in the mornings. Her last three speed gallops - 1:14.2, 1:29.1 and 1:07.4 - for six, seven and five-and-a-half furlongs, respectively, were the best recorded among all horses working those Saturday mornings.
Her rivals from the Thornbird Stakes bang-up finish - DISABILITY CHARM, NADESHICO and MY SISTER - are all decent runners but all ran tough races that afternoon and have not trained as well as she has for the Guineas.
The opening quarter and half-mile split of the Thornbird Stakes, 24.4 and 48.0, pale in comparison to HONEY RYDA's 24.1 and 46.2 for her last race. NADESHICO, however, was the runner-up in that event, and, although well held for second, appears to have improved since stretched out by trainer Anthony Nunes.
DISABILITY CHARM has great pedigree on her bottom line and absolutely revelled in the slow splits of the Thornbird Stakes, overpowering NADESHICO and MY SISTER at the wire. A quicker pace is expected in the Guineas with SERGEANT RECKLESS, MISS FORMALITY and MY SISTER, who had a terrible start in the Thornbird.
With a mile under her girth, against colts and older horses, a fresh HONEY RYDA should be able to stalk and beat her peers.
Not short on pedigree, HONEY RYDA, an Adore The Gold offspring, was foaled by Kathythetraina, who has produced the likes of Prince Consort Stakes winner and Jamaica Two-Year-Old Stakes runner-up, UNCLE KEN.
On the fillies side, Katrhythetraina has thrown TRINITHETUTOR, winner of the Hotline Stakes, Eight Thirty Sprint, and runner-up in the Thornbird Stakes.