Sure coronation for Double Crown
DOUBLE CROWN, NIPSTER, GREEN GOLD RUSH and RUM WITH ME renew rivalry at the Guineas distance with some history among them.
Take WOW WOW and runner-up MAHOGANY out of the picture, Saturday's Restricted Stakes at a mile all but resembles the 2000 Guineas 'B' Team line-up, third to seventh past the post, minus fourth-place TOMOHAWK.
As far as class is concerned, the Guineas finish had DOUBLE CROWN third-best at the trip, which should make him the winner, turning the tables on NIPSTER, who had outsped him at seven and a half furlongs in their July 5 warm-up.
GREEN GOLD RUSH, who impressively returned to the races as a fast-time winner, 11 days after running an even race for sixth in the Guineas, is seven pounds off NIPSTER and five less than DOUBLE CROWN, a tough ask against the favourite, who had as many lengths to spare on him in the Guineas.
RUM WITH ME was rather lucky to have beaten a tardy-starting, five pounds overweight and wide-into-the-lane GREEN GOLD RUSH in their Guineas warm-up at a mile, the same day NIPSTER barely got away from a charging DOUBLE CROWN at seven and a half.
Everything about the two races, run in similar conditions, especially splits and final time, point to a class difference, which the weight conditions will do little to equalise, especially NIPSTER having to allow DOUBLE CROWN weight after finishing almost three lengths behind him for fifth in the Guineas.
NIPSTER has to run from in front and bet your last dollar that Omar Walker will be going after him aboard improving but too-heavy United States-bred EROY, making them fodder for DOUBLE CROWN with Shane Ellis, who just loves being aboard a favourite with the pace being set up for him.
The following event, the Ahwhofah Sprint, marks a near six-month return for speedy United States-bred SPARKLE DIAMOND, not seen at the races since hauled up by Simon Husbands on February 22 after hearing what he thought was a serious injury, which turned out to be his mount clipping heels with speedy TREVOR'S CHOICE.
Despite being hauled up, SPARKLE DIAMOND was still second a furlong out, two lengths off TREVOR'S CHOICE half-mile split of 45.4, class which should make him hard to beat at six furlongs despite the lengthy lay-up.