|Race Day Preview Day 22 Tuesday 19th June 2012|
ARIMA RACE CLUB
RACE DAY PREVIEW
DAY 22 TUESDAY 19th
Two Feature Horse races and Two Goats Races on Tobago Day at Santa Rosa Park
TOBAGO will come to Trinidad on Tuesday.
For the second straight year the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) will be teaming up with the Arima Race Club (ARC) to host a day of racing at Santa Rosa Park and they have produced a nine-race card for the Labour Day holiday Tuesday June 19. For the first time during a horse racing programme in Trinidad the thoroughbreds and jockeys may have to take a back seat as fans are expected to come out in droves to watch the goats run. Goat racing is a very popular pastime in the sister isle and the THA will be giving Trinidad race fans the experience for the first time during a horse racing card on “Tobago Day at the Races.” There will be two events for the goats over a distance of around 100 metres on the turf track during the afternoon. The first goat race will be at 12.50 p.m. and the second goat race at 4.15 p.m. The three grass races for the horses on the card may be switched to the main course because rain has been falling with a vengeance leading up to the day. But the goats will reportedly compete on the lawn no matter what.
Getting back to the horses, there will be nine events and, as is usually the case on holiday cards these days, we will get the opportunity to witness two spotlight events. Both features are similar when you consider the fact that the fields are exactly the same size and two horses stand out in each event. The major difference, other than distance, is one of them is open only to T & T bred horses and the other is exclusively for all three-year-olds, but has attracted only American-breds. The latter will be the main bout because the total purse of the Pigeon Point Heritage Park Sprint Stakes is $50,000 more than the money allocated for the S.F.A. (Stud Farm Association) & Main Ridge “Rain Forest” National Stakes. Five of the seven horses in the $150,000 Sprint Stakes seem to be running for third place as Ignition Coil and Gabby’s Gold have proven to be much superior thus far. But although the day’s penultimate event is a “two-horse race”, what a battle it is expected to be over 1,350 metres for the $90,000 winners’ cheque.
Gabby’s Gold finished well clear in their only meeting, but experts might throw this Boxing Day (December 26) clash over 1,200 metres out the window as Ignition Coil was making his Santa Rosa debut, while his conqueror was facing the starter for the second time. After that third-placed effort, Ignition Coil went on to cruise home in his next three starts, before losing the streak last time out. But even in defeat, the horse, owned by the sons of late top owner Naz Ahamad, showed his class by finishing a strong second to the country’s top-rated horse Bruceontheloose over 1,200 metres in the Grade II Santa Rosa Dash on May 30. A few races earlier on the Indian Arrival Day (May 30) holiday day card, Gabby’s Gold had also been the runner-up when he surrendered by just half-length to Mobthewarrior in a 1,750-metre contest for 100-80 rated horses. Five weeks earlier, the Shivam Maharaj-owned chestnut had turned in his most impressive performance when he attempted two turns for the first time and was a runaway winner.
Of the three victories in his six-race career, the narrowest margin was five lengths when Gabby’s Gold first came here from Canada and slammed his fellow juveniles during the inaugural Caribbean Nations Challenge Day. It was his only attempt over Tuesday’s trip, but Ignition Coil has also been very impressive over 1,350 metres. The John O’Brien-trained chestnut has in fact raced twice over the distance and he was successful both times. It looks a very difficult proposition to separate them and it could come down to the fact that that the Derick Mosca-trained Gabby’s Gold will be racing with two kilos less.
Get It All showed his potential by scoring in a very fast time over 1,100 metres on debut last September. But it was probably not a good decision to run the then juvenile in the Stewards Cup (GRI) in early November and the Harold Chadee-owned and trained colt might need a little more time to get back on track after finishing out of the money both times since his victory. Fiveahwe, the only other besides the top two with a victory in an extended sprint in the field, could be third best, but Nominee might also have a shot at this position despite the fact that he is the only maiden in the 4.50 p.m. race. This Antonio Navarro-owned son of Awesome Again has only raced twice, but he did finish second last time out and is expected to relish the trip. The opposite seems true of the very speedy Fly Junior, while Khalil’s Dream has gone backwards since his upset win in March.
In the Stud Farm Association’s Main Ridge “Rain Forrest National Stakes to be run over 1800m, B’s Passion and Galveston are head and shoulders better than the other five runners. These include Mister Kingston is now a shadow of the horse which finished fourth in the 2010 Stewards Cup, and is frankly just making up numbers like Chief’s Nephew, Mambo Cat, Super Sonic and the 11-year-old Juanistheman. After a three-race drought, B’s Passion returned to winners’ enclosure on Indian Arrival Day. The O’Brien-trained filly was scoring for the sixth time and is on the verge of reaching $850,000 in career earnings. But Galveston is arguably the most improved horse in training and it will be a very difficult proposition for Bs Passion, last year’s Easter Guineas runner-up to take him down, even though for some reason he races without a visor, a piece of equipment he has worn for his last nine races, which included all but one of his seven victories.
Since crossing the finish line behind B’s Passion (in sixth) in the Guineas almost 14 months ago, Galveston has not finished worse than second from nine starts. Two of his three runner-up finishes were in the Midsummer Classic and Trinidad Derby and the son of A Great Team has won six times during in the period, including his last three starts. The National Stakes will be third race on the card and post time for the 1,800-metre contest for locally-bred four-year-old and over horses is just before 1.30 p.m. Champion owner Maharaj and his trainer Mosca will be attempting to sweep both features with Galveston and Gabby’s Gold. In addition to the goats and the features, punters will also be focusing on the
Pick 6 as the carry-over has grown to $43,519.50 after they have been unsuccessful in selecting the winners of the six designated races for the last four race days. The Pick 6 starts at 2.05 p.m. in the fourth race, the Blue Food Stakes, which has attracted ten 70-50 rated horses to do battle over 1,750 metres. The following race, the Tobago Underwater Carnival Stakes, will be the first race for the day offering H1-5 wagering, and 13 have been declared to compete in this 1,300-metre contest for 40 & lower rated horses at 2.44 p.m. There will be massive field in the other two HI-5 events. A total of 19, rated 45-25, were declared to face the starter over 1,100 metres on the turf at 4 p.m. in the seventh, the Fort George Stakes.
And the Tobago Heritage Festival Stakes will bring down the curtain on the programme at 5.30 p.m. The 1,300-metre contest has attracted a full house of 16 horses, rated 55-35.
Post time for the 22nd round of the ARC’S 2012 Season is noon.
|Last Updated ( Wednesday, 20 June 2012 19:12 )|