Tough call for Distinctly Irish
Saturday's Distinctly Irish should be approached with caution and respect for the handicaps. SHE'S MY DESTINY reporting 22lb and 19lb lighter than I AM FRED and CALCULUS, respectively, could spell trouble for the pair at nine furlongs and 25 yards.
At first glance, I AM FRED putting away MAHOGANY in the April 22 Viceroy Trophy at a mile in which CALCULUS ran on to be second by a length and three-quarters would suggest they have the distance Distinctly Irish at their mercy.
However, a deeper look at the skewed handicaps, regardless of the trip, shows SHE'S MY DESTINY, I AM FRED's stablemate, allotted 108lb after romping the graded stakes-open allowance Lady Geeta Trophy with 126lb a month ago.
In another performance with 126lb, SHE'S MY DESTINY allowed I AM FRED nine pounds at five and a half furlongs on March 4. SHE'S MY DESTINY led for four and a half furlongs with 126lb, finishing third by two lengths as the 1-5 favourite, the event which started a hat-trick of victories for I AM FRED.
Rated at 108lb, having won a graded stakes-open allowance last time out, Jason DaCosta appears to have a two-pronged attack in mind with SHE'S MY DESTINY, not a relay strategy as it would appear on paper.
Trip has no business determining allotted weight in a handicap race, which must have been the factor in SHE'S MY DESTINY's 108lb, made even lighter, 104lb, by DaCosta calling in claiming rider Jordan Barrett.
Summoning Barrett points to a catch-me-if-you-can race for SHE'S MY DESTINY, whose speed saw her clocking a stakes record 1:04.4 for five and a half furlongs, carrying 119lb, December 26, a little over three weeks after chasing MAHOGANY to the furlong pole in the Mouttet Mile.
CALCULUS who boasts a 10-furlong win against I AM FRED in last September's Menudo Trophy, has only lost once in five route races since last September. CALCULUS' fifth-place finish in the Mouttet Mile, a rip-speed event, underlines his class, which he brings to the fore in two-turn events.
However, similar to I AM FRED, giving up 19lb to in-form speedster SHE'S MY DESTINY, who was still ahead of him a half-furlong out in the Mouttet Mile, also makes him susceptible at the handicaps despite getting one of his pet trips.
I AM FRED has improved significantly this season, reeling off a hat-trick, twice beating SHE'S MY DESTINY into third. However, completing a circuit with 126lb, chasing a super-light and speedy rival could take a toll should SHE'S MY DESTINY catches a second wind with an unmolested lead.