|Race Day Preview Day 26 Saturday 21st July 2012|
ARIMA RACE CLUB
Very classy field for President’s Cup
THE field for Saturday’s President’s Cup could very well be the best assembled at Santa Rosa Park, Arima, in a very long time. The Grade II affair will headline a nine-race card during the 26th round of the Arima Race Club’s 2012 Season. And eight of the leading horses in the country have been declared to do battle over 1,900 metres in the $150,000 contest. After being nosed out by Cactus Amour in the 2010 edition, Bruceontheloose won this race last year and has showed no signs of slowing down this season as a six-year-old. The two-time Horse of the Year has won both starts and still looks like the one to beat. However, Boogie Blues and Montejo, who both finished ahead of ‘Bruce’ at the end of last year in the Gold Cup, are back and the impressive list of challengers also includes Strikes Not Spares and future stars Ignition Coil and Gabby’s Gold.
Last year’s runner-up Boogie Blues is the only one of the main contenders who has not found winners’ row this season and he may be the least threatening of the ‘big six’ as he has not raced in over three months. And it has been almost five months since the Dachin Racing Stables-owned gelding last competed on the dirt – in the Arima Race Club (ARC) Cup. But Boogie Blues finished just 1 ¼ lengths adrift of winner Montejo in third in that Grade II contest after winning the Grade I Gold Cup, and it could prove very costly to leave him out of the equation. After just failing to catch Boogie Blues by a rapidly-diminishing head on Boxing Day (December 26), Montejo turned the tables in the ARC Cup and returned from a four-month triumph three weeks ago to beat a bunch of 90 & over rated horses. Like Bruceontheloose, Montejo is unbeaten from two outings this season, but the significant difference between them is that both of Montejo’s starts have been over two turns, while “Bruce” has not been further than 1,350 metres.
And it should also be noted that the three will be competing at level weights after both Boogie Blues and Montejo gave Bruceontheloose three kilos and beat him into third when the three last squared off in the Gold Cup. Ignition Coil was on the undercard making his debut that day, but less than seven months later he is the biggest star on the horizon and a major threat to top three. The American-bred three-year-old finished second to Bruceontheloose in receipt of five kilos over 1,200-metre in the Grade II Santa Rosa Dash on Indian Arrival Day (May 30) and has never been further than 1,350 metres. But Ignition Coil is improving all the time and his ten-length victory in the 3 Y.O. Sprint Stakes last time out on Labour Day (June 19) in less than a second outside the 1,350-metre track record is arguably the best performance of the season.
It was his fourth triumph from six career starts and if Bruceontheloose’s John O’Brien-trained stable companion stays the trip he could secure his second straight $90,000 winners’ cheque for the sons of late champion owner Naz Ahamad. Gabby’s Gold was comprehensively beaten into second by Ignition Coil in the Sprint Stakes, but the advantage he does have over his fellow American-bred three-year-old is the fact that he has raced and looked very good over two turns. Shivam Maharaj’s chestnut was a runaway winner in his first staying contest in late April and was then barely beaten into second by Mobthewarrior over the same 1,750-metre trip a month later. However although he has three wins and two seconds from six starts down here, Gabby’s Gold may not be ready to take down these as yet, but the Derick Mosca-trained son of Johannesburg could finish in the money.
The same could be said about Mobthewarrior, but connections of Strikes Not Spares may feel that he may be capable of producing the upset. The fourth-placed finisher in last year’s Gold Cup went down by a whisker in the ARC Cup, but blew his chance of gaining revenge over Montejo three weeks ago when he lost about five lengths at the start and went down by about three. Golden Dixieland is an improving three-year-old who has already scored over two turns and will relish the trip. But Wendell Kangaloo’s chestnut may not be ready for this level of competition and the fact that he will most likely have to take overweight will make the task even tougher. The President’s Cup is the penultimate event of the card and is billed to be contested at 4.52 p.m. The other spotlight event will be the same 1,800-metre trip and will feature the 90-70 rated horses.
Eight have been declared to compete in the day’s third event at 1.40 p.m., including talented American-bred horses Youaresobad, Lang Amour and Secret American, along with last year’s Oaks Stakes and Santa Rosa Classic winner B’s Passion. Oasis is also in the field as well as fellow Jamaican-bred Sam’s Hero, who finished in the money in all three legs of the 2010 triple crown, in his first outing in five months. The Pick 6 will start in the next race and there are 11 horses, rated 70-50, declared to run over 1,100 metres on the turf in the 2.17 p.m. contest. The first of the three HI-5 betting events will follow and 14 horses, rated 40 & lower, are set to square off over 1,350 metres at 2.57 p.m. Punters will also get the opportunity to select the first five finisher two races later over the same distance in the 55-25 contest with a full house of 16 declared to face the starter at 4.15 p.m.
And the curtain will fall on the day’s activities with another HI-5 betting race over a distance of 1,350 metres. Thirteen have been declared for this 85-65 rated contest at 5.32 p.m.
Post time is about five hours earlier.
|Last Updated ( Tuesday, 24 July 2012 15:18 )|