Keen battle for Kingston
HUNTSMAN, flashy on a well-timed debut as a three-year-old, blowing away maiden rivals by 14 lengths, clocking an amazing 1:33.4 for seven and a half furlongs, the last half-furlong in 7.2 seconds, takes aim at last year's champion two-year-old, MOJITO, in Sunday's Kingston.
Returning to post 1:28.4 for seven furlongs at exercise last Monday morning, HUNTSMAN appears to be the real deal and, possibly, the main threat to tried, tested and proven MOJITO, who showed his hand in the Prince Consort, stopping the clock in 1:26.2 for seven furlongs.
MOJITO's class was already exposed against the speedy fillies, whom he dismissed from a half-mile out in December's Jamaica Two-Year-Old Stakes in splits of 46.4, 58.3, 1:11.2, passing the furlong pole five lengths clear in 1:25.4.
Having clocked 1:41.1 in landing the Jamaica Two-Year-Old Stakes, MOJITO's splits from that event are superior to HUNTSMAN's 47.1, 1:00.3, 1:12.4 and 1:26.2, running as a three-year-old in April.
Though giving weight all around, battle-hardened MOJITO has class and experience on his side, which will only be upstaged at seven and a half furlongs if HUNTSMAN proves to be a titan in disguise, especially with a nine-pound advantage among his arsenal.
Also aiming to test MOJITO's invincibility is ABILITY, foaled by 2018 Thornbird Stakes and 1000 Guineas winner Disability Charm. ABILITY has twice floated away from rivals at six furlongs, improving his time from 1:14.2 to 1:12.4 in eight weeks. The Lion Tamer-sired colt has a BLUE VINYL look about him and could be as dangerous as his stablemate, who landed last season's Kingston, 2000 Guineas and St Leger.
Despite looking better on his second outing, stepping up from six furlongs to almost a mile against MOJITO could be the undoing of sneaky ABILITY.