BIG MAN, who has shot well clear at the top of the three-year-olds points standings after his comfortable success in the Royal Colours Classic on February 2 at Santa Rosa Park in Arima, is now seen as the big threat to trainer John O'Brien's unbeaten colt, Prince Zeshan.
The Jamaica-bred Prince Zeshan is unraced this season, but was among the 33 West Indian bred three-year-olds who were nominated last week Wednesday at the second stage for the 1,800-metre Easter Guineas, the first leg of the local Triple Crown series, which will be run off on April 1 at Santa Rosa Park.
The Rohit Dube-trained colt could put jockey Nobel Abrego in a spot of bother, as he has partnered both colts, and his pick for their clash in the Easter Guineas could lead punters in the right direction. They will also come up against unbeaten filly, She's A Cutie, who was recently crowned champion two-year-old filly at the Jetsam Awards ceremony.
The first nomination for the 1,800-metre Champagne Stakes, which will also be run off on April 1, attracted 21 older horses (Imported and Creoles), with last year's winner, Rock Movistar, who has a leg injury, not holding a nomination.
However, champion imported turf horse, Just Call Me Roger, who is being prepared for a shot at the Sandy Lane Gold Cup on March 2 at the Garrison Savannah in Barbados, is among the nominees, along with December's Gold Cup winner Mobthewarrior, 1,100-metre track record holder Fly Junior, and 1,100-metre Sian's Gold Sprint winner Sacred Trust.
Also nominated are last year's Easter Guineas winner Unquestionable, and recent Caribbean Turf Championship winner Galveston.
Nominees for the Easter Guineas and the Champagne Stakes which will be run off on April 1:
EASTER GUINEAS (GR 1R) —1,800 Metres — April 1
Afterthebooks, Againstheodds (Jam), Always A Princess, Always Ready (Jam), Arch Angel, Big Man, Black Pepper, Central Square, Convoy (Jam), Dream Marshall (Jam), Gold Coin, Gold Rush, Heidi's Tzippi, Honour Roll, Jussi Borg, Iconic, Pot Of Gold, Prince Zeshan (Jam), Pure Happiness, Purple Touch, Release D Beast, Right To Rule, Run Ron, Golden Harvest (Jam), She's A Cutie (Jam), Tennesee Hustler (Jam), Uncle Max, Urban Knight (Jam), War Of Words (Jam), Zun Zum, Ex-Speak The Truth, Ex-Study Lanu, Ex-Sweet Tempo.
CHAMPAGNE STAKES (GR 1)— 1,600 Metres (TURF) — April 1.
Blackstone Street (USA), Caro's Legacy (USA), Curfew Breaker (USA), El Bandido De Oro (USA), Fly Junior (USA), Galveston, Golden Flight (Jam), Joezel (USA), Just Call Me Roger (USA), Lang Amour (USA), Mobthewarrior (Can), No Just Cause (USA), Nominee (USA), Onefortheroad (Jam), Readbetweendlines (USA), Sacred Trust (USA), Silverleo (USA), Slippery Sam, Toro Rosso (USA), Unquestionable, Youaresobad (USA).