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Ransom Man for Royal Dad Trophy
Orville Clarke, Freelance Writer
RANSOM MAN, who romped home in the Digicel Derby on June 3, takes on five opponents in today's Royal Dad Trophy Restricted Stakes feature over the circular nine course and looks the one to beat, despite top weight of 57kg.
Having changed hands after finishing second to ALLIED-FORCE in the July 1 St. Leger, RANSOM MAN is prepping for the November 11 Red Stripe Superstakes and will need to win easily if he intends to finish among the first three in that prestigious mile and quarter race which offers a $4 million purse.
RANSOM MAN moved from his Derby-winning trainer Eraldo Fullerton to Gary Subratie in late July after he was purchased for $1.7 million by new owner Phillip Azar, and has run only once since.
On that occasion - September 27 - RANSOM MAN finished last of eight in an open allowance race over a mile won by the 46-1 outsider PITTACUS.
The three-year-old bay gelding by Ghost Ransom out of Dame O'Mandy led under pressure from AD INFINITUM and the favourite, DISTINCTLY IRISH, for most of the way before calling it a day.
Significantly, RANSOM MAN was fitted with the blinkers for the first time then, but this obviously did not have the desired effect and Subratie has removed it for this race. What's more, RANSOM MAN will have stripped fitter for today's encounter and given the milder pace and weaker opposition, should be able to put away his five opponents with Derby winning jockey Brian Harding again in the saddle.
The free-running MAJOR MAYER, recent winner CALA-BASH BAY and the vastly-improved filly MYLEGACY should ensure that RANSOM MAN does not have things too easily.
But none measures up to his class and providing all is right with him, RANSOM MAN should prevail in a race of this nature.
Also on the 10-race programme is race number four in the CTL Claiming Series No. 2 ($200,000 - $170,000) to be contested by 11 starters over 1800 metres.
Despite the presence of hat-trick seeker MAMBO, who was a runaway winner in good time over 2000 metres on October 7, the one to beat must surely be the down in class BLOW WIND BLOW from the stables of Desmond Shand.
The six-year-old gelding last won at this level by 6 1/4 lengths from NO TEAR on August 5 and although stepping up in class with two losing efforts, is back among his peers today and should rebound at the expense of MAMBO and NO TEAR.
Marklee Buchanan is slated to ride BLOW WIND BLOW from the convenient mark of 52.0.
Other firm fancies on the card are recent winner INSATIABLE to repeat in the second race, POWER CRACKER over FLYING FIRE-TAIL in the fourth, THREE SIXTY DEGREE in the sixth, KING AL in the eighth and PUNDIT to catch DANIELLE MY GIRL in the 10th.