Go Go Yvonne for St Cecelia Cup
Orville Clarke, Gleaner Writer
The inaugural running of the Saint Cecelia Cup, in honour of the two-time Horse of the Year who retired last year, is today's feature at Caymanas Park.
The open allowance race over 1300 metres will see nine starters vying for the major share of the $780,500 purse, including the in-form stable-companions BUBBLING ANGELINE and EL PODEROSO, from the stables of 14-time champion trainer Philip Feanny, as well as the very fit America six-year-old mare GO GO YVONNE.
The speedy three-year-old filly, BUBBLING ANGELINE, is expected to lead rivals to the last furlong in a bid for a hat-trick, with former champion Percy Williams again in the saddle.
BUBBLING ANGELINE held on by a length from the fast-finishing topweight EL PODEROSO in the fast run (1:05.4) BGLC Trophy on June 7, and with the American horse EL PODEROSO now 3.0kg better off at the scales, could well turn the tables, given the additional furlong, and champion jockey Dane Nelson retaining the ride.
Despite the strong claims of the Feanny-trained horses, my choice is the Spencer Chung-trained GO GO YVONNE, whose victory would be a fitting tribute to her former stable-companion, SAINT CECELIA, who won 24 races from 37 starts up to grade one level and $21.3 million in stakes before retiring last year.
What's more, GO GO YVONNE will be ridden by Shane Ellis, who struck up a successful partnership with SAINT CECELIA over the years.
GO GO YVONNE ran on strongly to win over a mile when last raced on July 5, but prior to that, on June 7, failed by a short head to catch EL PODEROSO in the Hall of Fame Stakes Trophy over 1200 metres, a race she won in 2013.
Having worked well in preparation for this trophy and the distance just perfect, GO GO YVONNE, who packs a strong finish, should get there in the nick of time to deny EL PODEROSO and BUBBLING ANGELINE from the convenient mark of 53.5kg.
Also on the 10-race programme is the second running of the O&S Tack Room Trophy race for three-year-olds and up, also over 1300 metres. This is one of nine races being sponsored by the O&S Tack Room, a company which provides horse equipment and accessories for sale to racing personnel at Caymanas Park.
Of the 15 horses declared, the one best equipped to win is the Richard Azan-trained FRANFIELD, who scored easily over 1400 metres on July 26 ahead of then favourite BARS OF GOLD, who renews rivalry today.
Other firm fancies on the card are newcomer CHALICE PIPE in the opening 2-y-o race; THIS IS IT in the fourth; DOUBLE DE CAT, fifth; and PREMATUREE in the eighth over 1400 metres.