Don't oppose Orpheus in Allan E. ‘Billy’ Wiliams Memorial
Anthony Nunes’ ORPHEUS is down in class with the handicaps in his favour, facing 13 rivals in Saturday’s 1400-metre Allan E. ‘Billy’ Wiliams Memorial feature at Caymanas Park.
Shane Ellis is back aboard five-year-old ORPHEUS, who was historically awarded the 2016 Jamaica Derby in the stewards’ room following the disqualification of the first two horses past the post, FUTURE KING and BIGDADDYKOOL.
ORPHEUS broke down on the lead in his next race, the Jamaica St Leger, and went off on a 13-month lay-up, returning last August.
It did not take ORPHEUS long to regain his form, overhauling speedy MONEY MAGNET in an overnight allowance at 1200 metres on September 23, his third start after more than a year off.
ORPHEUS next faced Triple Crown winner SHE’S A MANEATER in the Fontainbleu Trophy, followed by back-to-back races in grade one – the Gold Cup and Caribbean Sprint.
His next two races were sprints, a 1000-metre straight third-place run behind stablemate SIEMPRE BUENO and MONEY MAGNET, who subsequently beat him in a driving finish at 1200 metres three weeks later.
When he finally got a middle-distance race, the 1400-metre Gladiator Trophy, on December 30, ORPHEUS had to give away in excess of 14lb to each of MARVELLOUS MARVA, United States-bred BLUE DIXIE and his stablemate, SOY EL SENOR.
Having lost in a driving finish with topweight 57.0 kilos in the higher class, open allowance, ORPHEUS gets a drop in class for having not won at the level in four months.
His main rival is Wayne DaCosta’s LOTTERY TICKET. However, the five-year-old mare lacks early speed and is too close in the handicaps, 55.0 kilos, to deny out-of-class ORPHEUS.