|Race Day Preview Day 21 Saturday 9th June 2012|
ARIMA RACE CLUB
RACE DAY PREVIEW
DAY 21 Saturday 9th
‘Durant’ in the spotlight
ROCK MOVISTAR will be trying to prove that his stunning victory two months ago was no fluke when horse racing continues Saturday at Santa Rosa Park, Arima. The American-bred four-year-old will be attempting to take the Eric “Colt” Durant Memorial after making almost the running to capture the Champagne Stakes at odds of almost 20/1 last time out on Easter Monday (April 9). The ‘Durant Memorial’, named in honour of late legendary trainer Eric “Colt” Durant, is the penultimate and feature event of a nine-race card and is billed to be contested at 4.50 p.m. Ten top class horses have been declared to race over 1,700 metres, but Wild Shuffle and Strikes Not Spares will only compete if there is a switch from the turf to the main course. And if that is the case because of a waterlogged grass track, then King Whistler will remain indoors as he is a “turf only” entrant. Rock Movistar has improved considerably this season and he showed just how much when he held off several of the top grass horses in the country to win the ‘Champagne’ in only his second outing on the surface. The Dachin Racing Stables-owned roan colt also displayed his versatility as he is known for coming off the pace, but was ridden from the front in the first of only two Grade I turf races for the season. The ‘Durant Memorial’ is 100 metres longer than the ‘Champagne’, but Rock Movistar is a stayer who has won twice over even further on the main course.
However both his turf efforts have been on a firm track and since we are in the middle of the rainy season there is a good chance that the track will have a “cut” come Saturday. We known for certain that Raging Halo, First To Fly and Just Call Me Roger can handle either firm or soft turf and they are certainly far more experienced on the lawn than Rock Movistar. Raging Halo was the Champion Turf Performer of 2009 and ’10 and is still considered the leading horse in the country on the surface. The two-time “Champagne’ winner finished fifth in this year’s edition of the $150,000 contest, but he was beaten by approximately only two lengths and could bounce back and notch his sixth triumph on the surface here. However the weights will be slightly against Raging Halo as he will have to give Rock Movistar, First To Fly, Just Call Me Roger and Mobthewarrior 1.5 kilos each after racing at level weights against them on Easter Monday. First To Fly finished just a head behind Raging Halo in the ‘Champagne’ and will certainly appreciate the extra distance as he attempts to score for the first time since his stunning victory at odds of more than 20/1 in the Grade I Independence Cup on soft turf on August 31. The longer trip is not expected to be ideal for Just Call Me Roger, but this American-bred five-year-old, was finished less than six lengths back in the ‘Champagne’, was barely beaten in this event last year when Treasure Each Day denied him by a head.
Mobthewarrior, who finished behind Just Call Me Roger in both his efforts on the grass, is now starting to look like the horse which came down from Canada with a lofty reputation late last year. However we will have to wait and see how much his hard-fought victory over the 100-80 rated horses in a 1,750-metre contest on the main course just ten days before would have taken out of the Stephen Jardim-trained five-year-old. Sacred Trust is in the same boat as she was also involved in a very tough race on the Indian Arrival Day (May 30) card when she broke slowly and finished third over 1,200 metres in the Grade II Santa Rosa Dash. However the fourth-placed finisher in last year’s Stewards Cup did dead-heat for third place in the ‘Champagne’ in her one and only run on the lawn. If rain forces Saturday’s $150,000 contest off the turf, Strikes Not Spares, who was barely beaten into second in the Grade II Arima Race Club (ARC) Cup in February, will come into contention. But connections of Mobthewarrior, Just Call Me Roger and Rock Movistar will still like their chances of claiming the $90,000 winners’ cheque. The Pick 6 puzzle has not been solved in the last three race days and as a result over $30,000 will be carried over into this week’s pool. The wager begins at 2.14 p.m. in the fourth race, a 1,750-metre handicap which has attracted 11 West Indian-bred three-year-old maidens.
On the topic of mouth-watering carry-overs, almost $50,000 has been carried over into the HI-5 pool of the following race after punters were unable to select the first five finishers in the final event on Indian Arrival Day. A mammoth total of 21 horses, rated 45-25, has been declared to do battle over 1,600 metres on the turf at 2.54 p.m. in the first of three HI-5 betting events. The Eric “Colt” Durant Memorial is sandwiched between the other two. The middle HI-5 will involved 14 horses, rated 30 & lower, over 1,100 metres on the lawn at 4.12 p.m. And the curtain will fall on the 21st round of the ARC’s 2012 Season with another HI-5 betting contest. The 5.30 p.m. is for 70-50 rated horses and 13 have been declared to do battle over 1,300 metres. Saturday is also the Belmont Stakes and local fans will be able to see Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner I’ll Have Another attempt to win the 2,400-metre contest at Belmont Park, New York, via simulcast at around 6.30 p.m., and become the winner of the American triple crown in 34 years.
Post time at Santa Rosa Park is 12.25 p.m.
|Last Updated ( Thursday, 14 June 2012 19:02 )|