Will In Charge the horse to beat
WITH no rabbit and the handicaps against them both, WILL IN CHARGE and SHE'S A MANEATER were taught a lesson in sprinting by second-past-the-post CHACE THE GREAT at six furlongs a month ago, finishing third and fourth, respectively, behind rank upsetter, ANOTHER BULLET, in the Lady Geeta trophy.
Renewing rivalry at a more favourable distance, nine furlongs and 25 yards, in Saturday's Legal Light Trophy, hoping to make amends for their third and fourth-place finishes, WILL IN CHARGE and SHE'S A MANEATER are up against old foe, BIGDADDYKOOL, who has actually gone down in weight after winning the season-ending Miracle Man Trophy with 120lb.
WILL IN CHARGE and SHE'S A MANEATER can both be forgiven for their ambitious attempts at six furlongs in the Lady Geeta, allowing CHACE THE GREAT 12 and 14lb, respectively. With no stablemate to keep CHACE THE GREAT honest, SHE'S A MANEATER had no chance whatsoever, despite being backed down to even-money, outsped and flattening in the lane to run her second-worst race in 24 starts, eclipsed only by the day she came out of the gate on her nose and finished sixth in the Viceroy Trophy.
Courage and pace
Whereas WILL IN CHARGE had the courage and pace to go after CHACE THE GREAT, he, too, suffered with 124lb and not having help to press CHACE THE GREAT. He never got a breather in splits of 22.3, 33.4, 45.0 and 57.3, which led to a relatively slow final time, 1:11.3, pounced on by ANOTHER BULLET carrying 108lb.
Refreshed for the longer trip and working great as usual, WILL IN CHARGE and SHE'S A MANEATER both have the jump on BIGDADDYKOOL with early season-openers and full-blast preparations whereas he only started looking serious at exercise this month.
Though the distance and handicaps are in his favour, BIGDADDYKOOL could find his old rivals too race-fit for him to nail with his customary stretch run. He only got close to WILL IN CHARGE in the Diamond Mile because Robert Halledeen had stopped riding. In the Miracle Man, he had the handicaps in his favour against SHE'S A MANEATER, running her third race in 16 days with topweight 126lb.
WILL IN CHARGE's Gold Cup victory, narrow Superstake's loss with the handicaps in favour of winner, SHE'S A MANEATER, followed by his smashing Diamond Mile run, makes him the horse to beat on sheer pace.
He will, no doubt, set off in front, just as he did last year, when beating SHE'S A MANEATER for the first time, proving an elusive target for the now-five-year-old mare. Big, strong and powerful, WILL IN CHARGE has improved leaps and bounds since, making him the horse to beat, defying the five-pound advantage he will give SHE'S A MANEATER.