|Race Day Preview Day 24 Saturday 7th July 2012|
ARIMA RACE CLUB
St Ann’s heroine looking to ‘Squeeze’ fillies
A REJUVINATED The Big Squeeze is expected to be the overwhelming favourite in the $150,000 Gleneagle Stakes at Santa Rosa Park, Arima, on Saturday.
The Grade II 1,750-metre contest is the feature of the eight races during the 24th round of the Arima Race Club’s 2012 Season.
Thirteen West Indian-bred three-year-old fillies have been declared to go to post at 5.30 p.m. with The Big Squeeze looking head and shoulders above the opposition.
After winning the leading race for West Indian-bred juvenile fillies, the St Ann’s Stakes, on Boxing Day (December 26), this daughter of Big Country turned in lacklustre performances in her first three starts this year.
But The Big Squeeze got back on track last time out in the Midsummer Classic and if she produces a performance resembling her third-place effort in the second leg of the triple crown, she would be very away from the others at the end.
The Michael Carew Jr-trained chestnut finished very strongly at massive odds and was beaten only a length by winner Onetokeep and Big Thing in the “Midsummer”, but in this field she would probably be able to get home in front if she is only about 75 per cent as good as she was on Indian Arrival Day (May 30).
The task of The Big Squeeze was made all the much easier when owner/trainer Harold Chadee did not enter his very consistent It Got To Be Me, who has finished runner-up in the Royal Colours Classic, Ibis Stakes and Santa Rosa Classic this season.
It Got To Be Me actually beat The Big Squeeze in their first three meetings of the year, but the streak was broken when the daughter of A Great Team trailed the field in the “Midsummer.”
Legally Ready, also owner and trained by Chadee, who won three of her five starts last year and the Grade II ‘Ibis’ in March, but the Jamaican-bred will also be indoors on Saturday.
As a result the only runners who have experience at the top level are Lady Angelica, My Ari and The Big Squeeze.
Despite the fact that Lady Angelica would prefer a shorter trip, she may be able to produce an upset if she turns in a very strong performance and The Big Squeeze is off her game.
In fact some astute checkers would not even consider it an upset since Lady Angelica has finished ahead of The Big Squeeze in their two meetings this season.
After being second to The Big Squeeze in the “St Ann’s” to end off last season, Lady Angelica turned the tables when they were third and fourth in the ‘Ibis’ and, although she is not suited to two turns, the John O’Brien-trained chestnut also crossed the line ahead when they were eighth and 11th in the Easter Guineas a month later on Easter Monday (April 9).
The ‘Gleneagle’ is 50 metres shorter than the opening leg of the triple crown and this would definitely benefit Lady Angelica, who did not face the starter in the 1,900-metre Midsummer Classic.
But backers of the expected favourite would be quick to suggest that The Big Squeeze was not her old self until the ‘Midsummer’ and that performance was no fluke.
If it wasn’t, she should easily secure the $90,000 for owner D Boyz Syndicate.
After two very promising outings last year, My Ari was being touted as a danger in this year’s classic races. But Juan Navarro’s chestnut was out of action for more than six months and, although she showed speed and finished fourth on her Labour Day (June 19) return, she might need more time to be a contender at this level.
However the Jamaican should relish two turns and could finish in the money, as she has done in the previous three starts of her career.
Navarro will also be represented by Satya Treasure, who actually beat My Ari on her way to finishing second over three weeks ago. But her only career start was over 1,100 metres on the turf and this is a very ambitious move by connections.
Charming Lass has proven that she has the talent, but she lacks the experience with just two starts under her belt and has not been further than 1,200 metres.
It should also be noted that Cecil Camacho’s chestnut finished more than four lengths behind Lady Angelica in receipt of five kilos last time and will have to face her stable companion at level weights this time.
After showing some promise as a juvenile, Luna Divina came off a five-month layoff to run an encouraging third over 1,350 metres at the end of May, and this Sharon Ferreira-trained daughter of Western Envoy could also be in the money at the end.
A Great Moment returned in triumph from a four-month break, but that was only a week ago, which makes this very tough assignment all the more difficult. At least Chadee will have one representative.
The “Gleneagle” is the curtain event on the programme and just before, Big Thing will be in action over the same trip at 4.12 p.m.
The runner-up in the first two legs of the triple crown will come up against eight 70-50 rated challengers, including Frankenstein, Believe It Or Not, Inforthefun and “Midsummer” sixth Pistons And Rings.
There will be HI-5 betting just before at 4.12 p.m. in the sixth race – a 1,200-metre contest for 55-35 horses which has attracted a field of 13 – and after in the day’s feature.
But punters would probably be most interested in the first of the three HI-5 betting races as close to $37,000 has been carried over into the pool for the fourth race after no one was able to select the first five finishers in the final event last week Saturday.
A grand total of 17 horses, rated 30 & lower, have been declared to face the starter over 1,100 metres on the turf at 2.54 p.m. in this race.
The Pick 6 wager starts at 1.37 p.m. in the second race, a contest for 90-70 rated horses over the same course and distance.
Punters have been unsuccessful in this wager for the last five race days and as a result the carry-over pool has soared past $80,000.
Post time is 1 p.m.
|Last Updated ( Saturday, 07 July 2012 17:40 )|