Puddy Pooh to shine
Orville Clarke, Gleaner Writer
As many as 12 races are slated for today's pre-Xmas race meet at Caymanas Park.
The card will feature the Sunnyside Stakes, a maiden special event for two-year-olds over 1100 metres, to be run in two sections.
Supporting features are the annual renewal of the $450,000 - $400,000 claiming race for the Paul Newman Memorial Trophy over a mile and the restricted allowance two for the Titania Trophy over 1100 metres.
The Sunnyside stakes is confined to native-bred fillies with 10 declared for division one and 11 in division two.
Indications are that the debutante, PUDDY POOH, to be ridden by four-time champion Omar Walker, will make a winning debut in division one of the Sunnyside Stakes as she has looked well forward at exercise in preparation for the race.
Owned and trained by Richard Azan, PUDDY POOH, a bay filly by Adore The Gold out of the Law Of the Sea mare Shahar, caught the eye when galloping six furlongs in 1:14.3 on Friday, December 5. And a week later, she looked even sharper when galloping four furlongs in a brisk 47.0.
Having shown good speed in her preparation, PUDDY POOH should lead home her only serious opponent, the Howard Jaghai-trained KIMBERLY GOLD (Shane Ellis up), who has also worked well following a promising third to REGGAE GOLD over 800 metres straight on her August 2 debut.
Division two should come down to a three-cornered tussle among the trio of ANGEL STAR, with Aaron Chatrie riding for trainer Gary Subratie; FEARLESS FURY (working well), with Jevanne Erwin riding for trainer Fitzroy Glispie; and the Edward Walker-trained MERLIN, with Arthur Budhu aboard. Both fillies have shown worthwhile ability, and despite failing to justify favouritism on her third outing behind BALLON D'OR in the mud last time out, ANGEL STAR showed good ability in her race prior to that and preferred to FEARLESS FURY.
EASTWOOD, now dropped three classes, with Walker riding for trainer Lawrence Freemantle and champion owner Carlton Watson, gets the nod over the front-running mare JADA'SFABULOUSTOUR in the seventh race for the Paull Newman Memorial Trophy, to be contested by eight starters over a mile. And the Peter McMaster trained 3-y-o filly EXPLOSIVE PRINCESS (Paul Francis up), who has looked improved at exercise (working well) since elevated to first place by the stewards on her October 4 debut as the 3-5 favourite over 1000 metres, is preferred to AUNT HILDA, the disqualified winner on October 4, and SOUND OF MIRACLE in a field of nine mares and fillies.
Other firm fancies on the card are AQUILO, now dropped two classes, to win the third race over 1300 metres, with Erwin aboard; the stretch-running HAIL DE KING, under Shane Ellis to catch the front runners CLASSIC VOGUE and RAJ KAPOOR in the eighth; INSANE BOLT to repeat in the ninth; and consistent SIR FREDERICK over LADY BELRIDGE in the closing race over 1500 metres.