Go Deh Girl looking to spoil Duke party

July 14, 2022
Duke with Robert Halledeen aboard.
Duke with Robert Halledeen aboard.

GARY Subratie's DUKE reports nine pounds heavier after his June 25 win at five and a half furlongs over imported DOUBLE DIVA, hunting back-to-back grade one victories against similar foes. However, DUKE's chances in Saturday's six-furlong Thoroughbred Racing Hall-of-Fame Stakes, especially toting near topweight, will depend on the quality of speed GO DEH GIRL will face on the lead.

Sitting level at 115lb with GO DEH GIRL on last, DUKE was able to close from off the pace as a team with DOUBLE DIVA, collaring GO DEH GIRL and GOD OF LOVE close home to run out a half-length winner at five and a half furlongs.

The fractions and final time of the event, GO DEH GIRL and GOD OF LOVE gunning 23.1, 34.2, 45.3 and 58.3, which DUKE capitalised on to close off in 1:05.2 on a wet-but-fast-track, tells the tale of two sprinters running themselves into the ground.

This time around, there's no GOD OF LOVE to pester GO DEH GIRL on the lead nor is JORDON REIGN's reliable enough, though pretty fast, to get a clean break, considering how he had waltzed out of the gate before scoring a surprising run-on victory against LURE OF LUCY at six and a half furlongs.

However, DUKE could still get help from an unlikely source, LURE OF LUCY, who will be catering for slower stablemates, EAGLE ONE and KING ARTHUR.

LURE OF LUCY rebounded from her loss against JORDON REIGN's with a gate-to-wire victory at six furlongs, posting 1:12.2 two weeks later. Running at 111lb with Anthony Thomas, LURE OF LUCY will have to tackle GO DEH GIRL at some point, which will be to the closers' delight at six furlongs.

DUKE is the most effective run-on sprinter likely to benefit from a collapsing pace. However, Dane Dawkins will have to watch out for the half-mile pocket from his inside draw, especially with LURE OF LUCY's stablemates EAGLE ONE and KING ARTHUR, on his outside.

What impressed about DUKE's victory on last was him moving as a team with flashy DOUBLE DIVA from way out and quickening away from the foreigner when set down a furlong out. Dawkins appeared more concerned with DOUBLE DIVA on his outside as opposed to GO DEH GIRL and GOD OF LOVE, who were still ahead of him a quarter-furlong out.

JORDON REIGN's 1:13.3 for six furlongs on the resanded surface this past Sunday makes him a dangerous contender. The speedy four-year-old gelding bled on his return from a three-month break when finishing third behind NUCLEAR NOON at five furlongs straight in April. Back two months later, he recovered from a horrible start to chase down LURE OF LUCY at six and a half.

It's a tricky event which will depend on tactics, certainly not one in which to brave a banker on any exotic bet.

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