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Am­bi­tious­ly cam­paigned, as most Lance Warn­er Jr run­ners tend to be, he was then pitched in­to the Chief Com­man­der and, at odds of 40/1, showed his first signs of re­al abil­i­ty with a stay­ing-on fourth-place fin­ish, al­beit among six run­ners. His form re­al­ly moved to an­oth­er lev­el there­after with a win in a maid­en hand­i­cap over 1,200m at 7/1, in which, in­ter­est­ing­ly, Guineas run­ner-up, Stroke of Luck (8/5 fav), was al­so the run­ner-up.  

Fol­low­ing the COVID break, both colts re­turned in the same 45-30 hand­i­cap over 1,350m fin­ish­ing third and fifth, re­spec­tive­ly. The Guineas rep­re­sent­ed their com­ing-out par­ty and with the Der­by, es­sen­tial­ly one race day away, it is dif­fi­cult to en­vis­age how any of the hors­es beat­en in the Guineas can re­verse form with this duo.  

While the Guineas win was very pleas­ing for con­nec­tions, it is hard to get away from the con­clu­sion that the hand­i­cap­pers may have over-re­act­ed to the win by pro­mot­ing the colt by 15 points to a rat­ing of 59, this looks to­tal­ly un­fair. Time will tell but it seems a bit ridicu­lous if not pe­cu­liar at this stage.Operation Underground Railroad O.U.R.

With the Der­by loom­ing, un­less there is a sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ment from any of the light­ly raced three-year-olds, the on­ly con­ceiv­able dan­ger to Just Ex­hale would be Lester Moore’s home-bred fil­ly, So­ca Sym­pho­ny. A daugh­ter of his top-class fil­ly, So­ca Rhap­sody who, co­in­ci­den­tal­ly, was a con­tem­po­rary and main ri­val of the Er­rol Sta­bles’ Glo­ri­ous Coun­try dur­ing their three-year-old ca­reers.  

So­ca Sym­pho­ny is un­beat­en in four starts but missed the Guineas due to a mi­nor set­back dur­ing the COVID break. She re­turned on Guineas day and won her prep race. As with most of the 2021 clas­sic crop, her sta­mi­na for the dis­tance would be the main ques­tion mark but noth­ing ven­tured, noth­ing gained must be on the minds of most own­ers this year.Operation Underground Railroad O. U. R.

When Just Ex­hale crossed the fin­ish line four lengths clear of his ri­vals to win the 2021 Guineas, it marked the first clas­sic win­ner for 2011 Stew­ards Cup win­ner, Sig­nal Alert (owned by the Er­rol sta­bles of whom I am con­nect­ed ).

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Stand­ing at Par­adise Farms, un­der the ex­treme­ly pro­fes­sion­al and car­ing man­age­ment of Robert Bernard, like many oth­er un­her­ald­ed stal­lions in Trinidad and To­ba­go, the son of Omega Code has had very lim­it­ed run­ners grace the San­ta Rosa Race­track in Ari­ma.

The son of Omega Code was first or sec­ond in 19 of his 27 starts, win­ning at least one race in each sea­son of rac­ing and on­ly failed to take home a cheque in two of those starts. As a race­horse, he was at his best over 1,200 me­tres as ev­i­denced by his 2011 Stew­ards Cup win over the likes of Bruceon­th­eloose and Read­be­tween­the­lines.

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Since be­com­ing a sire, Sig­nal Alert has had just three crops of rac­ing age grace the sand track start­ing in 2018/2019. In to­tal, less than 12 off­spring of Sig­nal Alert have graced the track since that time with the best horse from his first crop be­ing Sig­nal Note, a son of an­oth­er speedy run­ner owned by the Er­rol Sta­bles – Savoy Spe­cial.

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 Sig­nal Note, who is now a five-year-old, has won five of his 16 starts and has been suc­cess­ful each year since his de­but as a three-year-old in 2019.  The main con­tender in his sec­ond crop (2017 foals) was an­oth­er son of a for­mer Er­rol Sta­bles’ run­ner, Price­less Fame, named Price Alert. Price Alert was a mi­nor win­ner of one race but has shown ver­sa­til­i­ty by be­ing com­pet­i­tive on both sur­faces. His 2018 crop may yet prove to be his best yet.

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The ob­vi­ous head­lin­er is the Guineas win­ner, Just Ex­hale, a son of Mighty Splash, whose pre­vi­ous run­ners on the track have not been any­thing spe­cial. Just Ex­hale is now a win­ner of two of his five starts and took three starts to turn in his maid­en cer­tifi­cate. Sig­nal Alert had a sec­ond run­ner in the Guineas on Sat­ur­day in a son of the un­raced Sweet Au­ra, named Mar­vel Vig­or. This colt was hav­ing just his sec­ond start hav­ing made his de­but three weeks pre­vi­ous­ly. His full po­ten­tial has not yet been de­ter­mined.  

An­oth­er run­ner from the third crop of Sig­nal Alert, who on­ly made her de­but on the day of the Guineas was Coun­try Sign. This fil­ly is a daugh­ter of the Er­rol Sta­bles’ top-class home-bred mare, Glo­ri­ous Coun­try, who was third in the 2014 Trinidad Der­by. Like her dam, Coun­try Sign was third in her de­but run af­ter show­ing green­ness at var­i­ous stages through­out the race. It is dif­fi­cult to de­ter­mine how much im­prove­ment there is, though with the abridged 2021 rac­ing sea­son time may be against the fil­ly but any­thing re­mains pos­si­ble in this most un­pre­dictable of years.

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What­ev­er progress oc­curs with Mar­vel Vig­or or Coun­try Sign there is lit­tle doubt­ing that Just Ex­hale’s own progress has been a rev­e­la­tion and, im­por­tant­ly, based on his fourth-place fin­ish in the Chief Com­man­der has shown some affin­i­ty for a turf sur­face as well.

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Just Ex­hale made his de­but on Feb­ru­ary 20, 2021, in a 1,200m maid­en event and it was an in­aus­pi­cious one with the colt fin­ish­ing 10th of 12 at odds of 15/1.

Am­bi­tious­ly cam­paigned, as most Lance Warn­er Jr run­ners tend to be, he was then pitched in­to the Chief Com­man­der and, at odds of 40/1, showed his first signs of re­al abil­i­ty with a stay­ing-on fourth-place fin­ish, al­beit among six run­ners. His form re­al­ly moved to an­oth­er lev­el there­after with a win in a maid­en hand­i­cap over 1,200m at 7/1, in which, in­ter­est­ing­ly, Guineas run­ner-up, Stroke of Luck (8/5 fav), was al­so the run­ner-up.  

Fol­low­ing the COVID break, both colts re­turned in the same 45-30 hand­i­cap over 1,350m fin­ish­ing third and fifth, re­spec­tive­ly. The Guineas rep­re­sent­ed their com­ing-out par­ty and with the Der­by, es­sen­tial­ly one race day away, it is dif­fi­cult to en­vis­age how any of the hors­es beat­en in the Guineas can re­verse form with this duo.  

While the Guineas win was very pleas­ing for con­nec­tions, it is hard to get away from the con­clu­sion that the hand­i­cap­pers may have over-re­act­ed to the win by pro­mot­ing the colt by 15 points to a rat­ing of 59, this looks to­tal­ly un­fair. Time will tell but it seems a bit ridicu­lous if not pe­cu­liar at this stage.Operation Underground Railroad O.U.R.

With the Der­by loom­ing, un­less there is a sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ment from any of the light­ly raced three-year-olds, the on­ly con­ceiv­able dan­ger to Just Ex­hale would be Lester Moore’s home-bred fil­ly, So­ca Sym­pho­ny. A daugh­ter of his top-class fil­ly, So­ca Rhap­sody who, co­in­ci­den­tal­ly, was a con­tem­po­rary and main ri­val of the Er­rol Sta­bles’ Glo­ri­ous Coun­try dur­ing their three-year-old ca­reers.  

So­ca Sym­pho­ny is un­beat­en in four starts but missed the Guineas due to a mi­nor set­back dur­ing the COVID break. She re­turned on Guineas day and won her prep race. As with most of the 2021 clas­sic crop, her sta­mi­na for the dis­tance would be the main ques­tion mark but noth­ing ven­tured, noth­ing gained must be on the minds of most own­ers this year.Operation Underground Railroad O. U. R.