Sunday, January 21, 2018

Unquestionable in the Guineas


GUINEAS WINNER: Ronald "Tiger" Ali guides 10/1 shot Unquestionable to victory in yesterday's feature attraction, the NLCB Easter Guineas, over 1,800 metres at Santa Rosa Park, Arima. The Shaffique Khan trainee, who landed the first leg in the 2012 Triple Crown by 1 1/4 lengths over Big Thing and favoured Onetokeep, covered the distance in 1:56 4/5. See Page 77. —Photo: ISHMAEL SALANDY

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UNQUESTIONABLE, bred and owned by Arima Race Club (ARC) president Hugh Lee King, beat the favourite yesterday to become the first maiden to win the Easter Guineas in more than a decade at Santa Rosa Park, Arima.

The son of A Great Team picked up the running in the NLCB (National Lotteries Control Board)-sponsored $315,000 contest and never looked like tiring as he held off a cavalry charge of horses to prevail by 1 1/4 lengths.

The next six finishers in the Grade One 1,800-metre affair, which kicked off the 2012 Triple Crown, were separated by approximately just two lengths.

Onetokeep, who had just denied Unquestionable by a head to win the Flamingo Stakes last time out a month ago, entered the homestretch in second, but the 8/5 favourite never looked like going past the 10/1 shot and was eventually caught for second place by another 10/1 outsider, the late-charging Big Thing.

One Fortheroad, racing for just the third time, was travelling like a winner at the far turn, but the Jamaica-bred colt went about five wide turning for home and had to settle for fourth.

Ibis Stakes runner-up It Got To Be Me, who had placed no lower than second in her four previous career starts, came from off the pace to finish a game fifth and first of the five fillies in the field of 13 nominated West Indian-bred three-year-olds.

Nettoyer was a neck behind and a head in front of Pistons And Rings, who had won over 1,750 metres in his previous start and was one of just two horses with experience around two turns.

Raise Your Glass was the other, but the Jamaican raider could only finish ninth in his first outing in Trinidad after looking threatening half-way through.

Lady Angelica, in the thick of things until the home turn, finished just ahead, while after leading at the half-way stage, Ibis Stakes heroine Legally Ready ended up just behind Raise Your Glass.

Unquestionable, a fourth-placed finisher on his January 14 debut who then occupied the same position in the Royal Colours Classic before barely going down in the "Flamingo", was piloted by Ronald Ali for trainer Shaffique Khan.

The chestnut gelding, the first maiden to win the Guineas since Matador in 1998, earned a whopping $189,000 for Lee King, who only became president of the ARC a few months ago.

Racing continues at Santa Rosa Park next week Saturday with the 15th round of the ARC's 2012 Season.