Take Stop A Gap in race 2
Orville Clarke, Gleaner Writer
With the fancied horses having held their own at Caymanas Park last Saturday, both the Pick-9 and Super-6s start anew with guaranteed minimums of $1 million and $750,000, respectively.
The Pick-9 will be conducted from race two to 10, the first Super-6 from race one to six, the late Super-6 from race five to 10.
We look at the first Super-6 which gets under way with a 3-y-o and up race over 1500 metres to be contested by seven starters (non winners of two), including top contenders RAJA SARANGI and ISRAELITE to be ridden by champions jockey Omar Walker and Dane Nelson, respectively. Nelson, who failed to honour six of his seven rides due to chik-V related illness last Saturday, has recovered sufficiently to ride tomorrow.
Both RAJA SARANGI and ISRAELITE are expected to have the finish to themselves. But with the Howard Jaghai-trained RAJA SARANGI representing the speed horse and having had ISRAELITE behind when finishing third to LOCKED AND LOADED over 1400 metres on September 27, the 3-y-o son of Adore The Gold - Ecstatic is tipped to go all the way.
Next on the programme is a $450,000-$400,000 claiming race over 1400 metres in which seven have been declared. Included in the line-up is super fit MARINE DRIVE, who last Saturday completed a hat-trick of wins over 1820 metres on a $350,000 claiming tag.
With the competition enhan-ced, MARINE DRIVE will have to work a lot harder if she intends to make it four in a row. She is pitted against two strong contenders in the bold front runner CLASSIC BEAU and the ultra-consistent STOP A GAP with Walker in the saddle. Also worthy of consideration in a race of this nature is TECHNOCAT, a proven campaigner over the distance who now has the services of leading jockey Dick Cardenas.
CLASSIC BEAU showed last time out on September 27 that he is on the rebound, having finished a close third to COLD GROUND and hot favourite CLASSY PROSPECT over 1820 metres after a prolonged duel with the latter to the last furlong. The eight-year-old gelding from the stables of Victor Williams is almost sure to set off in front, but I fear he will be caught by the Delroy Wisdom-trained STOP A GAP, now dropped in class after chasing home DEO VOLENTE over this trip on a $550,000 claiming tag on September 10.
Nine native bred two-year-olds will contest the third race for maiden and untried over 1100 metres and with trainer Wayne DaCosta dominating the action with his string of two-year-olds so far this season, the 13-time champion should saddle yet another winner in SILVER CLOUD, a well-forward grey colt by He'stherealthing out of the Royal Minister mare Preach Preacher.
SILVER CLOUD has impressed in recent exercise spins, beating stable-companions ROYAL VIBES and ALL CORRECT in separate workouts. He looked real sharp when galloping 51/2 furlongs in 1:07.3 by 1:01.2 last Saturday morning, beating ALL CORRECT, and should lead home fellow debutant HOMECOMING with Shane Ellis riding for trainer Anthony 'Baba' Nunes.
WONDER BOY (Walker up), who beat stable-companion and top sprinter POTCHEEN at exercise recently, should not be opposed in the fourth race over 1100 metres for three-year-olds, having stepped with much better horses before he was sidelined by injury in February. The 3-y-o son of Traditional - Jamaican Dream was then trained by Ian Parsard but now takes orders from Robert Pearson and with Lasix now administered, he should lead home DAGGA DAGGA LINKS and BUTLER CABIN in a 12-strong field.
The last two races in the first Super-6 should be won by NOBODY BUT ME (Cardenas up) and UNBREAKABLE (Shane Ellis). Their respective dangers are PRINCESS SHEMIKA and recent runaway winner ABOVE THE RADAR.
FIRST SUPER-6 FANCIES
(1) RAJA SARANGI/ ISRAELITE
(2) STOP A GAP/CLASSIC BEAU
(3) SILVER CLOUD
(4) BOY WONDER
(5) NOBODY BUT ME/ PRINCESS SHEMIKA
(6) UNBREAKABLE/ABOVE THE RADAR