'Wassy' field for Gold Cup
Orville Clarke, Gleaner Writer
The 43rd running of the popular Gold Cup over 1400 metres for top-class horses will have a new sponsor when the race is run at Caymanas Park on Saturday, December 6. It will now be sponsored by Alex's Import Limited through its Wassy Bike brand.
Plans for the Wassy Bike Gold Cup were outlined by representatives of Alex's Import and Caymanas Track Limited (CTL) at yesterday's launch in the Trainers' Room at Caymanas Park.
According to CTL's racing secretary, Denzil Miller Jr, this year's race will boast a purse of $1.5 million - inclusive of $400,000 from the sponsor - in addition to the coveted Gold Cup.
"The race promises to bring the recent Superstakes hero TYPEWRITER, Caribbean Sprint Champion POTCHEEN, Caymanas Invitational Mile winner PETE'SWILONE, as well as the versatile UPPA TUNE, recent winner of the None Such Sprint Trophy, the October 11 Governor General's Stakes winner PERFECT NEIGHBOUR, last year's winner COMMANDING CHIEF who was a beaten favourite in the November 8 Superstakes, not to mention the Superstakes runner-up UNCLE TAF and the three-year-olds FRANFIELD and TALENTED TONY K," Miller said.
He added that the remaining races on the card will not only offer trophies, but carry the name of assorted Wassy Bike models and other products from Alex's Imports. The races include the Wassy CG150 Trophy (claiming $450,000-$400,000) over 1200 metres for three-year-olds and up, the Wassy TW250 Titan Trophy (restricted stakes) over 1000 metres, the Exotic Stone Creations overnight allowance race over 1000 metres and the Alex's Import Limited Dig-out Handicap.
"With so many stars expected to face the starters, featuring the best sprinters and stayers, it could turn out to be the race of the year. I expect an exciting and nail-biting finish," predicted Miller, who was quick to add that participating grooms in all races will have an opportunity to win a Wassy CG150 bike valued at $140,000.
Their names will be placed in a drum and the lucky groom from the draw will receive the bike.
Also speaking were Cedric Stewart, CEO of CTL, along with Keson Ferguson, purchasing manager of Alex's Import, who outlined his company's history since it was started by noted racehorse owner and CEO, Alexander Haber, in 1990 as a wholesale/retail used parts dealership from the rural town of Highgate, St Mary, to its present location at 284 Spanish Town Road.
"The 43rd staging of the Gold Cup writes another chapter to the golden heritage that started over four decades ago. Kilowatt won the event in 1967 when it was known as the Benson & Hedges Gold Cup, successfully defended it the following year and was again victorious in 1970," said Stewart
"Some of the others who have graced the winners' enclosure include the legendary sprinter Eros, Monte's Stitch, Harlequin, Smasher, I'm Satisfied who won it on two occasions and in 2013 the Everal Francis-trained Commanding Chief," he added.
"Over the years, these Gold Cup events have provided tremendous entertainment, and we at Caymanas Park are particularly pleased that Alex's Import Limited has agreed to associate their brand, the Wassy bike, with this event.
"I would like to use this opportunity to dispel the myth that advertising and sponsorship at Caymanas Park require millions," he also stated. "Let me debunk that misguided notion and say that is simply not true.
"We have tailored our sponsorship and advertising packages to meet the most modest economic conditions and especially welcome the low budget advertiser to come in and meet with our dynamic marketing team who are ready to work out something that will fit every budget," he concluded.