She's A Maneater a gem for Diamond Mile
SHE'S A MANEATER had a bunch of excuses in the Gold Cup, which led to her being punished by WILL IN CHARGE - a bad draw, slowly into stride, still last after the first two furlongs and worst, terrible handicapping, which saw the filly giving up seven pounds, despite losing the Legal Light Trophy by a length to her rival, at the same handicaps.
Though the tables were turned in the Superstakes, going three furlongs longer, a 12lb weight swing in SHE'S A MANEATER's favour, she only managed to beat WILL IN CHARGE by a short head, but still vindicated herself, in receipt of five pounds from her rival, who had topweight 126lb.
It is tempting to use WILL IN CHARGE's dominant victory in the seven-furlong Gold Cup, followed by his stubborn loss in the Superstakes, to declare him the winner of the Diamond Mile, even with SHE'S A MANEATER still in receipt of five pounds.
However, the Gold Cup was one of those races in which everything came together at the right time for WILL IN CHARGE, the most improved horse in training, hands down.
First, the breathtaking move he made down the backstretch to grab the lead four and a half furlongs out should be carefully examined under the actual circumstances of the race itself. The horse who was leading at that stage was HOUDINI'S MAGIC, who had slipped past his obviously unfit stablemate, SIEMPRE BUENO, a scenario not even the most discerning pundit could have envisaged.
SIEMPRE BUENO, who had only one easy three-furlong work entering the Gold Cup, hasn't been back to the races since, explaining how HOUDINI'S MAGIC found himself on the lead in tame splits of 23.0 for the first two furlongs and why WILL IN CHARGE was able to have won the race from the half mile, while SHE'S A MANEATER raced sixth, with one horse behind her, two-turn specialist PERFECT NEIGHBOUR.
Missing from the Gold Cup were MR UNIVERSE, MONEY MAGNET and her stablemate, PEKING CRUZ, horses who are now in the Diamond Mile and all getting weight from WILL IN CHARGE, ensuring a genuine grade one pace from the word go.
None of the three are expected to be around at the end of a mile but their effect on the first six furlongs of the race is what matters, considering WILL IN CHARGE's hopes of launching an early attack to get away from SHE'S A MANEATER.
Jockey Omar Walker came to a very humbling realisation after SHE'S A MANEATER's Superstakes win, declaring in his post-race interview that "she now seems to like it longer", suggesting that she doesn't like to be rushed too early, which is exactly what happened in the Gold Cup when he looked up at the half mile and saw Robert Halledeen kick for home with WILL IN CHARGE, almost three lengths in front of him.
To have turned for home with topweight after a bad break and caught flat-footed from the half-mile, it was no surprise that SHE'S A MANEATER struggled thereafter and lost second place to ANOTHER BULLET, who is nowhere in her league.
Take nothing from WILL IN CHARGE, he had every answer when she came calling in the stretch run of the Superstakes, losing by the intervention of the winning post during a bobbing of heads.
However, SHE'S A MANEATER has not lost a race this season in which MR UNIVERSE has set the pace, the Lotto Sprint and None Such Trophy, five and a half and six furlongs, respectively.
MR UNIVERSE is drawn right beside WILL IN CHARGE whereas PEKING CRUZ, who had mixed it up with him on the lead in the Caribbean Sprint, will be joining the fray from post-position 11, with 115lb, setting up what should be a cracking pace heading into the half mile.
SHE'S A MANEATER is lethal under these circumstances with Walker having an eyeful of all his rivals, unlike the Gold Cup when she had to dig herself out of post-position one and was at the rear of the field for the first two furlongs.
The super filly, thus, gets the nod to mow them down in what could be an even more exciting finish than the Superstakes.