Jimmie, Star Racing Writer
PHILIP FEANNY'S 2000 Guineas hopeful BRUCEONTHELOOSE returns off a two-month lay-up well trained for a winning return in tomorrow's Ash Wednesday Trophy race for overnight allowance runners.
The three-year-old colt disappointed his backers as a 4-5 favourite to win the one-mile Jamaica Two-Year-old Stakes on Boxing Day, finishing a well-beaten third behind the filly MISS RUTH and THE GUMMER.
However, with the distance reduced by a furlong and a half, BRUCEONTHELOOSE, who showed signs of struggling at a mile, should relish 1300 metres.
There's not much speed in the race to have Paul Francis take Feanny's runner off his bridle down the backstretch.
He should race comfortably behind expected leader NATURALLY ROYAL and possibly THE REAL STREAM before making his move.
Having thrashed BLUE MAGIC at exercise last week Monday, clocking 59.4 on the round course, BRUCEONTHELOOSE seems set to stake his 2000 Guineas claim with what will have to be a command performance to satisfy his doubters.
THE REAL STREAM struggled to beat stablemate UNBREAKABLE HEART at 1200 metres on last and should be no match for Feanny's colt, who also has fellow three-year-old MY SPACE safely held.
HAIL THE GENIUS, who continues to run big races in defeat since beating non-winners-of-four in November, appears to be a safe exacta bet as he will be closing fast over the final half-furlong.
It should be noted that he was only beaten a length and three-quarter by MINISTEROFJUSTICE at 1300 metres on December 13.
Feanny should complete a three-timer on the 11-race card with MAN A YARD in the second at 1100 metres and TWENTYFIRSTOFJUNE in the fifth at 1000 metres straight.
MAN A YARD came home readily on debut behind IT IS WRITTEN after being hindered at the start at 1000 metres straight on February 4, closing almost 14 lengths in the last two furlongs.
He has since returned to train well, 1:00.0 on the round course last week Monday, and should be a cinch if he reproduces his workout.
TWENTYFIRSTOFJUNE, who was outfinished by FIRST LADY at 1100 metres on February 7, clashes with Percy Hussey's course specialist RISK REWARDS at 1000 metres straight in the fifth.
RISK REWARDS posted super-fast times, 58.1 and 58.2, in two wins over the course but looks susceptible to matching speed. TWENTYFIRSTOFJUNE is better drawn, has better mid-race pace and should be onto him coming across the dummy rail.
Close those Track Price Plus Pick-6 bets with CHARLIE CHAPLIN in the fourth at 1000 metres straight and JUNGLE QUEEN in the ninth at 1300 metres.
JUNGLE QUEEN, who returns treated with lasix, should improve significantly on her third-place finish to MEELO at 1400 metres on February 7.
However, Noel Ennevor's debutant SEGURO ORO, a full sister to HOMBRE, has been working well in the mornings, getting the better of stablemate RIFLEMAN at a mile on February 12 and must be a big threat to JUNGLE QUEEN.