From Sheer to Ben for Louis Hitchins
FROM SHEER TO BEN, tackling a line-up now resembling his peers, the Here Comes Ben-Sheer Madness colt installed as a 7-5 favourite last out, but humbled by United States-bred GEOLITHIC, should register his second win for Alford Brown in Sunday's Louis Hitchins Memorial at nine furlongs.
Since getting off the mark on debut at six furlongs in late April, FROM SHEER TO BEN has run smack into either classic-bound three-year-olds or impressive foreigners climbing the conditions ladder on their way to higher classes.
FROM SHEER TO BEN's backers dived head-first into almost even-money odds on August 20 after watching the colt shuffled back to last a half-mile out before storming into fourth place at seven furlongs approximately two weeks earlier.
Settled along the rail by Shamaree Muir, FROM SHEER TO BEN, was startled by MANOUSHE on his outside and had to be calmed, losing ground, which he rapidly made up by going past approximately seven runners in a bid from the three pole.
However, Muir's move took FROM SHEER TO BEN six wide into the turn, chasing JOY IS GOLDEN, UNCAPTURED EMPRESS, GEOLITHIC and NORBLAR. UNCAPTURED EMPRESS got first run on JOY IS GOLDEN, sprinting clear under Omar Walker to hold late-charging NORBLAR at bay, while GEOLITHIC won third in a photo ahead of brave FROM SHEER TO BEN.
Returning on August 20 with the pool in his favour, FROM SHEER TO BEN had to settle for third. GEOLITHIC proved a rejuvenated runner, slamming NORBLAR and FROM SHEER TO BEN by more than a dozen lengths, which she followed up with an even more impressive victory last Saturday against non-winners of three races.
NORBLAR returned to frank the form on September 10, beating late-charging WOW HOW at seven furlongs in 1:27.4, another marker race, suggesting FROM SHEER TO BEN should similarly step up to the plate in the Louis Hitchins.
Anthony Nunes' Oaks runner-up, POWER FROM ABOVE, has impressed at exercise, clocking 1:15.0 in a six-furlong gallop out the mile chute. However, her Oaks effort appears to have been a case of a flash in the pan after flopping badly a month later at nine and a half furlongs, similar to SECRET ADMIRAL, who placed third in the Jamaica Derby but was destroyed by NORBLAR on his return at seven furlongs.