The three-year-old campaign leading up to the 1000 and 2000 Guineas in April reaches a crucial stage at Caymanas Park today with the $1.3 million Thornbird Stakes for native-bred fillies and the Prince Consort Stakes for colts and geldings, both sponsored by Front Runner, sharing the spotlight over 1400 metres. The fillies, in particular, have been lighting up the campaign, and going into this their final prep, the 11 declared coming to ensure an intriguing contest. Among the principals are the hat-trick seekers RUNALLDAY from the Anthony ‘Baba’ Nunes stables, BILINGUAL, who is also trained by Nunes, and Dwight Chen’s MARLENE MY LOVE, All three have looked potential classic winners but may need to show further improvement to stop the classy SHE’S A MANEATER, who has won four races from five carer starts, including a fast-time win over this trip in January. Trained by 16-time champion Wayne DaCosta for owner Winston Kong, the free-running bay filly by Natural Selection out of the 2009 ‘Horse of the Year’ Ahwhofah lost her only race on Boxing Day when caught and beaten by the grey colt SOTOMAYOR in the $4..25 million Supreme Ventures Jamaica 2-Y-O Stakes over a mile, a race in which she turned for home a clear leader. However, she showed in her last race that she had definitely trained on, winning impressively ahead of subsequent winner ANOTHER FURY in the good time of 1;25.3 with customary rider, reigning champion jockey Omar Walker aboard. She continues to look sharp at exercise, and having won twice over this trip, her proven class should ensure that nothing overhauls her in the closing stages. Three time winner DaCosta and Walker should complete the feature race double with recent winner FEARLESS SAMURAI in the Prince Consort Stakes to be contested by nine starters. The chestnut colt by Fearless Vision out of Sayuri has won three races from five starts, but really turned heads last time out when slamming MONEY MAGNET over 1100 metres, covering the distance in the smart time of 1:06.0. FEARLESS SAMURAI (working well) will be seen to even better advantage over this trip, and despite the strong claims of hat-trick seeker DON CHASSIS and recent winner DONTAE, he should take a lot of catching. A notable absentee from the line-up is the ‘Baba’ Nunes-trained SOTOMAYOR, who has bypassed the Prince Consort Stakes in preference for the 3-y-o and up overnight allowance mile, a race he should win ahead of the in-form IAN LINKS, now stepping up to a mile. Other firm fancies on the card are LAWS OF THE CODE in the first race, ZEPHYR in the third, BIG BLACK NATION in the fourth, TIZ A VIBE in the fifth and SUBBIE in the seventh.
Scotland will host the Republic of Ireland at Celtic Park on Friday in a Euro 2016 qualifier and former Tartan Army skipper Colin Hendry joined the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast show ahead of the big game.Ahead of the Group D clash, Ireland are sitting second in the table, with Scotland three points behind them in fourth, and Hendry has warned the hosts must win to keep alive their qualification hopes.“It is a big, big match for us. Gordon Strachan is playing down the fact it is not a must-win game. Well for me, I think it really is,” he said.