Battle Song to rebound
Orville Clarke, Gleaner Writer
Having made a promising debut behind disqualified winner CLASSICAL TRAIN over 1,100 metres on August 30, BATTLE SONG should rebound with victory in the 3-y-o maiden special for the Donald Tankoy Memorial Cup over 1,300 metres at Caymanas Park today.
Trained by the veteran Percival 'Burt' Tomlinson for popular owner Andrew Azar, the bay colt by Outrigger out of Sailing ran green on his recent debut, proving a handful for the lightly weighted 4.0kg claiming apprentice Marc Griffiths.
BATTLE SONG not only suffered interference from CLASSICAL TRAIN leaving the half-mile and lost ground while prominently placed, but bolted 600 metres out and turned for home 10 lengths fourth as a result.
However, having regained his composure, he stayed on well from below the distance, losing second to the late-closing GLORIOUS CAUSE, who was eventually awarded the race on the disqualification of CLASSICAL TRAIN.
Now a lot better for the experience and an accomplished rider in Hall of Famer Winston Griffiths now slated, BATTLE SONG should recoup losses. He has been kept on the move at exercise, will report in even better shape, and having shown speed on his debut, should prove too strong for SHELLIANGREY and the much-raced filly DR DEAREST in a field of 13.
SHEELIANGREY, a lightly raced grey filly by He'stherealthing out of Princess Lue, ran a vastly improved race over this trip on August 31, closing strongly to finish a length second to VERY CRAFTY with 4.0kg claiming apprentice Sadiki Blake aboard. Blake has retained the ride aboard SHELLIANGREY, who looks the principal danger to the free-running BATTLE SONG with 51.0kg.
Also on the card is the 3-Y-O and Up Stakes over 1,300 metres to be contested by six horses, three of whom have won in grade-one company this season.
They are POTCHEEN, PETE'SWILDONE and the bold front-runner UPPA TUNE, all three previously trained by Ian Parsard, but now taking orders from trainer Robert Pearson.
When contacted, Parsard, who had done remarkably well with the abovementioned trio this season by winning grade-one races with each, said he decided to back away from the sport for a while due to "personal reasons".
Additionally, the second-generation trainer, who is also a vice-president of the Jamaica Broilers Group, said he has been travelling abroad quite frequently in his capacity as a corporate executive and claims he needed a respite from the demands of training.
Of the three Pearson-trained horses, victory should go to the American 4-y-o colt PETE'SWILDONE (O'Brien White up), who ran on strongly to win the Lotto Sprint Trophy over 1100 metres in a fast 1:05.3 on May 24, when having UPPA TUNE behind in sixth.
Other firm fancies on the card are TITANTIC to romp the first race with champion jockey Dane Nelson aboard; the promising 2-y-o colt ALI BABA with Cardenas up in the third; as well as THE REAL DRAFT in the fourth; Nelson's mount FRANFIELD to repeat in the seventh over 1400 metres for overnight allowance horses; and DAGGA DAGGA LINKS to go one better in the closing race over the straight.