Some of the biggest names amongst the three year old sprinters were notable by their absence in the most recent round of Nunthorpe Sprint Qualifiers, the most likely reason for this being that on this occasion the race took place over the specialist sprint distance of 1000m.
With this applying to both the colts’ and fillies events, this left us with wide open, competitive contests and the opportunity for some of the lesser known sprint stars to shine. The colts were up first, only two of which had participated in this grade previously this season. Of the two, shotgun_mike’s chestnut, Ruin Of Nova Roma, had shown much the stronger form, having managed a second and fourth place finish so far. Clear choice for the punters for this race though was five furlong specialist, Hit The Puk, owned by Liveoak Stables. This lightly raced colt managed to win three of his six races as a juvenile, including two sprint qualifier wins. He also managed a second place in a sprint qualifier and finished third in a Consolation Sprinters Challenge, his lowest place finish in his two year old season. This term he had been a slightly disappointing fifth in his only start and was looking to prove that he had trained on here.
Terra Sky, representing owner Sky Castle Stables was the one who ultimately landed the spoils. He had finished out of the frame in all four previous starts this term but readily bounced back to the form that saw him finish fourth in a Consolation Sprinters Challenge as a juvenile. Second place went to another five furlong specialist, Redneck Cowgirl for shotgun_mike. Third place went to slowstables’ progressive gray filly, Antequera.
This race had little impact on the current standings for November’s Nunthorpe Sprint Final with Terra Sky coming into the reckoning on seventeen points, twenty-one points adrift of the leader, Toxic Armada. Darley Arabian and Gentleman Earl sit second and third.
Kung Fu Kimmie will have been a banker in many books having an enviable record in sprint qualifiers this season. Before today, she had won once and been placed in each of the other four she had taken part in. Among her rivals today was Norse Valkyrie, winner of a Consolation Classic Challenge as a juvenile and twice placed in sprint qualifiers this term. In a tight finish it was Colonel Sterling‘s Sudden Strike though who got her nose in front under Fabio Valentino. Sudden Strike has largely been campaigned in a lower grade than this, finishing out of the frame only twice in twenty-two career starts. She took the step up to the top level in her stride to score her tenth victory and given the depth in quality entered here, there appears to be no fluke about it. Castle Crooks Farm’s Norse Valkyrie acquitted herself well to finish second and Only Fools N Horses’ Young Forever snatched third.
The standings now show Kung Fu Kimmie who finished fourth here on forty-four, ten points clear of the chasing pack headed by Victor Consortio’s Sakhmet. Sudden Strike scores six points for this win.