Will In Charge firm favourite for BK Superstakes
IT’s hard to look past WILL IN CHARGE’s Gold Cup performance, albeit with 119lb, and not fancy him to land the Superstakes against archrivals SHE’S A MANEATER and BIGDADDYKOOL.
Depending in which saddle pundits sit, legitimate cases can be made for all three horses, the best local-breds the country has to offer at any distance on the Caymanas Park circuit.
SHE’S A MANEATER, more than any other horse, for the last two decades, possibly longer, has become a household name, not only for her sexy moniker but more so the feat of winning the Triple Crown, Superstakes and Diamond Mile last season.
Unlike the flashy filly, Anthony Nunes’ BIGDADDYKOOL has gone about his business exactly as his name suggests, quietly improving into the country’s top handicapper going two turns, handed the 2016 Superstakes in the stewards’ room, following the agony of being part of a double disqualification after passing the post second in the Jamaica Derby behind FUTURE KING.
Burdened by topweight at the back end of last season, BIGDADDYKOOL was picked apart by a then rapidly improving WILL IN CHARGE and SHE’S A MANEATER in four consecutive races before easily winning the 12-furlong Harry Jackson Memorial, the distance of which had to be reverted to its historic marathon, resulting in only four runners after the racing office controversially tried to reduce the event by two furlongs.
Debuting in June, almost six months after his Harry Jackson walkover, BIGDADDYKOOL had two blowouts, including a third-place finish in the Chairman’s Trophy behind WILL IN CHARGE at seven and a half furlongs – his first race back off the long lay-up.
Having not won a grade one race since the Harry Jackson allowed Nunes’ runner to plunder open allowance company a month ago, winning the event named after his trainer’s late father, the Nigel B Nunes Memorial at nine furlongs and 25 yards.
Since winning the Nigel B Nunes with jockey Linton Steadman standing tall and grinning ear-to-ear inside the last half-furlong, BIGDADDYKOOL has been brilliant at exercise, putting down fast times, but on a track which has been suspiciously fast in the mornings.
A day before BIGDADDYKOOL clocked 1:12.2 for his last speed gallop, SHE’S A MANEATER posted 1:25.0 out of the mile chute for a seven-furlong work, after being taken off the boil by DaCosta following her third-place finish in the Gold Cup behind WILL IN CHARGE.
Whereas the distance is in BIGDADDYKOOL’s ballpark, the handicaps have swung in SHE’S A MANEATER’s favour against both him and WILL IN CHARGE, a five-pound sex allowance, the lightest she has been since her devastating Diamond Mile performance last year.
WILL IN CHARGE has simply been a revelation this season. Though he was in receipt of seven pounds on both occasions that he beat topweight SHE’S A MANEATER this season, the nine furlongs and 25 yards Legal Light Trophy and Gold Cup, his immense improvement is unquestionable.
On both occasions, he gave her front-running lessons, most notably getting within two-fifths of a second of Eros’ Gold Cup track record, pulling away at the end to win the seven-furlong event by three and a half lengths.
Carrying 126lb and clocking 1:24.0, not only showed SHE’S A MANEATER big Gold Cup effort but shone the spotlight on the quality of the race and WILL IN CHARGE’s monster run, taking charge of the event by brushing aside the sprinters before the half-mile marker came up.
The manner in which WILL IN CHARGE won the Gold Cup makes him the top-rated horse in the country, dismissing the best sprinters and top middle-distance performer, SHE’S A MANEATER, with almost disdain.
The only question to be asked of WILL IN CHARGE is whether he can sit level and beat fit-again BIGDADDYKOOL at 10 furlongs, which, on the weight of his Gold Cup run, considering he will be the controlling speed, has to be a ‘yes’.