DaCosta's Loose Cannon a good bet in Race 9
CHAMPION trainer Wayne DaCosta and stable jockey Omar Walker, newly minted six-time top rider, appear set to pick up from exactly where they left off last October.
After testing his wrist with a fourth-place effort on his first mount back in last Saturday's second race, Walker returned to the winners' enclosure for the first time in months astride DaCosta's ARMAGEDDON in the sixth.
Satisfied that his lucky charm is back to himself, DaCosta has handed Walker three mounts this week, YAYA'S DREAM in the opening event, UNCLE FRANK in the fifth and LOOSE CANNON in the ninth.
Taking on nine rivals at 1200 metres, an overnight allowance event, LOOSE CANNON is a good bet to use his pace, not necessarily speed, to stalk and steal a march in the stretch run.
The four-year-old colt appears to have matured, somewhat, at the back end of last season, being a more relaxed runner, certainly since DaCosta removed the figure eight from the one-time tearaway leader on his return from a four-month layup in September.
With the figure eight off, LOOSE CANNON scored a composed win over BILINGUAL in his first back and was not his usual speedy self in his follow-up race, a 1000-metre straight loss against A.P.I.
In his subsequent races, LOOSE CANNON might have disputed the lead, but not in the manner his name suggests, proving that the champion trainer had worked out how to have the Blue Pepsi Lodge-Devil Woman colt curb his need for all-out speed.
POLLY B, running with 52.5 kilos, seven pounds lighter than LOOSE CANNON, is the rival speed in the event. Similar to when the pair met at 1300 metres on Boxing Day, POLLY B will want to hog the lead, especially from her near-rail draw of post position two.
However, LOOSE CANNON is drawn next to POLLY B, on the outside, giving Walker a picture-clear view of every move three-kilo claiming apprentice Oneil Scott will make aboard the six-year-old gelding down the backstretch.
LOOSE CANNON had no problems brushing POLLY B off the lead approaching the home turn on Boxing Day before he was outstayed in the last half-furlong by DWAYNE STAR. Therefore, his danger is certainly not the six-year-old gelding but instead run-on sprinters PROLIFIC PRINCESS and GARY GLITTER, horses stepping down in class from open allowance with grade one races under their girths as well.
GARY GLITTER was a hot horse last year, starting 2017 with back-to-back victories in overnight and open allowance, January and February, before beating open allowance again in April - a win which had him floating between that class and grade one up to November's Caribbean Sprint.
After two races back among overnight allowance company, GARY GLITTER lit up the exercise track with a solid 1:14.0 for six furlongs on Sunday, signalling his connections' intent after running an even race behind DWAYNE STAR, LOTTERY TICKET and LOOSE CANNON, finishing fifth on Boxing Day.
PROLIFIC PRINCESS has similarly made her way back to overnight allowance after twice beating the class last year, March and August, and is down in class on a get-out-of-jail condition, having not won in open allowance.
She, too, has worked well, 1:14.4, last week Wednesday morning, spurring hopes of new trainer Junior Small starting a double to close with MY COMPANION in the following race after CUP O TEA's New Year's Day disqualification.
Despite their back class, GARY GLITTER and PROLIFIC PRINCESS face an improving LOOSE CANNON, who is faster, younger and now gamer in the stretch run. His Boxing Day effort was fabulous, beaten in 1:17.4 by a cleverly trained DWAYNE STAR, who just happened to outstay him at 1300 metres.