November 22, 2012
Royal Vibes not right for DaCosta
Jimmie, Star Racing Writer
CHAMPION trainer Wayne DaCosta has the firepower in Saturday's Supreme Ventures Limited Pick-3 Super Challenge Trophy, a trio of runners in the 10-horse field, ROYAL VIBES, HOVER CRAFT and PERFECT NEIGHBOUR.
However, his worst fear was realised late yesterday evening when ROYAL VIBES, an impressive winner of the October 15 Hi-Pro Trophy, was drawn at post-position one in the 1300-metre event, Race 2 of the $11.7m Supreme Ventures Limited Two-Year-old Series.
Prior to the overnight programme being released, DaCosta noted how ROYAL VIBES had things his way from an outside draw in the Hi-Pro when he clocked a fast 1:19.0. He was hoping for a similar high post this Saturday.
"The draw will be very important. There is a distinct disadvantage when you draw one, especially two-year-olds. Any of the outside posts would be good. He had everything his way that day. He broke from an outside draw and did what good horses do," said the champion trainer.
However, the luck of the draw escaped DaCosta late yesterday and ROYAL VIBES will have to break from the dreaded inside post against ante-post favourite, UNCLE TAF, who he described as "a tough horse to beat".
UNCLE TAF is unbeaten in two starts, winning Race One in the series, the 1200-metre Cash Pot Only One For Me Trophy, 10 days after debuting on October 3. In both victories, the chestnut gelding raced without a whip, hand-ridden by four-time champion jockey Omar Walker.
"He is unbeaten and he's a good horse, it's tough," DaCosta reasoned yesterday.
"We won't know until Saturday evening," he added when asked how the Owen Sharpe-trained runner can be stopped in his quest to become the first horse to sweep the three-race series, dubbed the Two-Year-Old Triple Crown, which concludes on December 26 with the Jamaica Two-Year-Old Stakes over a mile.
With the draw compounding matters, DaCosta said though ROYAL VIBES won impressively, he will be going up against stiffer opposition.
"ROYAL VIBES is coming into this race just as good as he did in the Hi-Pro. I am not sure how fast the track was that day but the performance was a good one," he said.
"However, this will be a much better field. He ran against maidens. He's now up in class against winners, horses who have won more than once," he added.
The champion trainer said his trio all looked good at exercise in their respective six-furlong gallops, noting that HOVER CRAFT was fastest in 1:13.2.
"They all worked comfortable six furlongs. HOVER CRAFT went 1:13.2. In fact, the three of them worked within a length of each other 1:13.2, 1:13.3 thereabouts," he said.
DaCosta believes HOVER CRAFT will be suited to the distance after running on for second behind UNCLE TASF in the 1200-metre Cash Pot Only One For Me.
"I think this is his signature running style. I think seven furlongs will suit him more than a six-furlong race," he said.
PERFECT NEIGHBOUR, he noted, appears to need some more time to settle down.
"He still seem s a bit on the green side. He more seems like a next-year horse and seemingly needs a bit more distance," he said.
Dick Cardenas rides HOVERCRAFT, Dane Nelson is aboard ROYAL VIBES and apprentice Orlando Foster is astride PERFECT NEIGHBOUR.