Fit White Star ready for big run
Orville Clarke, Gleaner Writer
The Pick-9 proved elusive once again at Caymanas Park on Wednesday, ensuring a carryover of $1.7 million to tomorrow's Jockeys' Guild raceday.
All nine races on the card will encompass the Pick-9, while the first Super-6 will embrace races one to six, the overlapping Super-6 from race four to race nine.
We look at the second Super-6, which commences with a 1200-metre race for native and imported three-year-olds to be contested by eight starters, including ASHES TO ASHES, DON GEORGE and BABY MEKAYLA, to be ridden by champion jockey Omar Walker for trainer Tony Kirlew.
It should be close among the above-mentioned trio, but preference is for the lightly raced American colt ASHES TO ASHES, who has finished second to classic aspirant ERASMO and CLEVER CHEROKEE, respectively, in his last two races. Judging from the split times returned by all three, the Gary Crawford-trained ASHES TO ASHES has been contesting faster races and, as such, is given the edge.
The fifth race over the straight for the Al Gopie Memorial Cup for maiden three-year-olds should come down to a four-cornered tussle among SPLITTING IMAGE, BLAME THE TRAINER, SHE'S SO SHY and WHITE STAR, who recently changed stables.
On the strength of his close second to SAN ANTONIO over the course on February 26, SPLITTING IMAGE should start favourite to finally release the maiden tag. But WHITE STAR (working well) has improved under the guidance of new trainer Paul 'Sleeper' Charlton, that this bay filly is given the edge over SPLITTING IMAGE in a maximum field of 16.
Next on the programme, the sixth race over the straight for the George HoSang Trophy (overnight allowance) has attracted 11 starters, including top contenders SIR VON, stable-companion FLUFFY, the American filly DANCE SO SWEET and the fleet-footed SUPER DAVE, who is coming to run from his favourable draw on the outside.
Dacosta in good stead
Champion trainer Wayne DaCosta holds a particularly strong hand with the American horses SIR VON and FLUFFY, both of whom have impressed at exercise and will enjoy galloping over the straight. The fact that champion and stable jockey Omar Walker has elected to ride the lightly raced SIR VON is telling me he will chalk up his fourth win from only five career starts.
Briefly, recent winner STEEL DE CAT, now dropped down to $180,000 claiming, gets the nod over old rival PEDRO BLUFF and EVER BLESSED in the seventh race over the straight, while DIVINITY (knocking at the door) is tipped to go one better in the eighth race over 1400 metres, following her near miss to FLYING MARGARET over 1500 metres on March 12.
Then, take the free-running MOJITO JAM, a runaway winner some weeks ago, to rebound at the expense of old rival SHARRUKIN, LUX and recent winner HEY TRAIN in the closing Alex's Imports 'Dig Out' Handicap over 1500 metres, to be contested by the maximum 16 starters.
SECOND SUPER-6 FANCIES
(4)ASHES TO ASHES(5)WHITE STAR/SPLITTING
(6)SIR VON/FLUFFY(7)STEEL DE CAT/PEDRO