Siempre Bueno has advantage on five-furlong straight
SIEMPRE BUENO has the draw to his advantage and MR UNIVERSE has youth on his side in Saturday's five-furlong straight Reggae Trophy, a clash between the country's two fastest horses with no corners to negotiate.
MR UNIVERSE's stablemate, two-time Horse of the Year SEEKING MY DREAM, will break from post-position one with joint topweight 121lb, out of his middle-distance comfort zone, and would have preferred at least another furlong and a half.
SIEMPRE BUENO and MR UNIVERSE's only meeting was the May 26 Lotto Sprint in which they separated themselves from the field in a duel to the top of the straight in the five-and-a-half furlong grade one race.
MR UNIVERSE was up two classes for the Lotto Sprint in which he was the lead-off for Team Wayne DaCosta in a relay against Anthony Nunes' SIEMPRE BUENO, who stayed on better in the stretch run but was no match for DaCosta's closer, SHE'S A MANEATER, inside the last furlong.
DaCosta brought back MR UNIVERSE a month later and he mauled rivals by almost a dozen lengths in the Racing Hall of Fame Stakes at six furlongs, winning the open allowance event in a wicked 1:11.1.
However, four-year-old MR UNIVERSE, drawn at post three, now has matching speed, SIEMPRE BUENO, breaking from post six and running three pounds lighter.
The draw is always critical in a five-straight race unless there is a lone speed. Even though the gate will be centred, taking MR UNIVERSE closer to mid-track, SIEMPRE BUENO should be able to keep DaCosta's speedster to his inside throughout the event, giving him the benefit of the track bias, which favours horses on the outside.
Though two years older than MR UNIVERSE, SIEMPRE BUENO showed in their only meeting that he can match his younger rival and have enough left in the tank when racing two lengths clear a furlong out in the Lotto Sprint before SHE'S A MANEATER arrived.
Meanwhile, derby-winning trainer Patrick Lynch's FORMAL GLADIATOR, has the handicaps against him but should still turn back Philip Feanny's filly, FLY FIRST CLASS, in the six-furlong Jamaica Racehorse Trainers Association trophy.