SIX-furlong specialist SHINING LIGHT has only speedy POLLY B to fear in this afternoon's third race, a $1 million claiming event with a spread down to $850,000, which has attracted no-hopers such as Oneil Markland's VIJEETA and YOLOVE, horses who haven't raced since May and can be written off without batting an eyelid.
Rounding out the six rivals SHINING LIGHT will face are two other pairs of stablemates from the barns of Richard Azan and Rowan Mathie, whose POLLY B is the quickest in the line-up and is expected to try making all as the lone speed with hopes of getting six furlongs, a distance at which he weakened the last two times he attempted the trip.
POLLY B has been really consistent, second in his last two races and no worse than fourth in his last six - all behind good horses, and won on an $850,000 claiming tag on July 21 at five furlongs straight.
However, SHINING LIGHT is somewhat of a specialist at six furlongs, the distance at which he closed fast in January to overhaul POLLY B and LOOSE CANNON, winning in a time of 1:12.0. He returned in February to again post 1:12.0 but was narrowly beaten by top three-year-old MONEY MAGNET, who won in 1:11.4, franking her rival's form.
Having shown signs of regaining fitness in his last two races, the first too short, five and a half furlongs behind LOOSE CANNON, and six and a half, a shade too long when outfinished by PHINEAS, SHINING LIGHT now gets his pet trip.
He was cut down by out-of-class PHINEAS' finishing speed a month ago in the Emancipation Day Trophy, finishing almost heads-on with second-place WINTER IS COMING at six and a half furlongs.
However, jockey tactics will be crucial in what could amount to a match race with POLLY B. Apprentice Oneil Beckford's game plan is simple, try using POLLY B's speed to steal the race from the start whereas Devon A Thomas will have to keep SHINING LIGHT in touch down the backstretch without using up his mount too much.