Willie Goldsmith looks unbeatable
Open allowance horses take the spotlight at Caymanas Park today in the Gladiator Trophy, 1400 metres, seven down to face the starter.
Co-feature on the 10-race programme is the War Zone Sprint Trophy, 1100 metres, to be contested by seven native-bred three-year-olds, including top contenders, BUTLER CABIN, under champion and leading jockey Dane Nelson, and hat-trick seeker CRUCIAL with Rayan Wilson again riding for Gordon Lewis.
Anthony Nunes' BUTLER CABIN chased home impressive BOY WONDER, behind fast times, in his last two races and is poised to go one better. Expecting him to catch speedy CRUCIAL in deep stretch.
The Gladiator Trophy brings together recent winners CAMPESINO, PHINEAS and WILLIE GOLDSMITH, who, by virtue of his fast-time (1:17.2) runaway victory, 1300 metres, on August 30, should not only start favourite, but justify the support with Shane Ellis aboard.
Trained by Patrick Chang, the four-year-old gelding, 2000 Guineas winner in 2013, put in a good effort in defeat, November 8, when finishing a close sixth in a blanket finish to POTCHEEN in the Caribbean Sprint Championship (grade one) at 1200 metres.
The son of Traditional-Gracious Gift closed fast to finish one and a half lengths fifth, a performance that should put him in good stead for the additional furlong of this race.
HARD TO BEAT
WILLIE GOLDSMITH has come down in the weights, 54.5kg, and should prove hard to beat. His twin dangers are Philip Feanny-trained CAMPESINO, up in class after his post-to-post win over this trip last Saturday, and the consistent mare EXOTIC GIRL (working well), back among her peers with Dick Cardenas aboard, after finishing a well-beaten seventh in the Superstakes.
WILLIE GOLDSMITH should chase expected leaders CAMPESINO and TRADITIONAL PRINCE into the straight, before disposing of them for a decisive victory.
Elsewhere on the 10-race programme, Nelson, who has a number of live rides on the card and should move further away from Cardenas in the championship race, should win the opening three-year-old maiden condition race, 1820 metres, aboard JUNIOR DON. The four-year-old colt has little to beat after chasing home NO MONEY FRIEND, 1400 metres, recently and should lead in his only serious rival, TRACKING DANIEL, in a field of seven.
Other firm fancies are LONG RUNNING TRAIN (Lasix administered) to win the second race over the straight for two-year-olds, SIR VON to turn the tables on recent conqueror, SUNLIGHT EXPRESS 4.0kg better terms, in the fifth for high-claiming horses, 1200 metres, and speedy LADY SHANKARI to outlast recent course winner WHITE MARL, seventh race, over the straight.