Boy Wonder to win feature race at Caymanas Park
Grade-one horses will hold centre stage for the first time this season in the annual renewal of the Eileen Cliggott Memorial Trophy over 1300 metres, the field including the ultra-talented four-year-old colt BOY WONDER, who bids for his sixth consecutive win and his eighth from nine career starts.
One of four horses conditioned by trainer Harry Parsard in a seven-strong field, BOY WONDER left us on a winning note on January 10, having won in post-to-post fashion over this trip in open-allowance company in the smart time of 1:17.1. Prior to that, he clocked a fast 1:24.4 over 1400 metres on December 27 on his first outing in open allowance, and all in all, has been winning his races in fast times.
BOY WONDER has finally graduated to grade-one company, but this is an exceptional colt and the likes of stable-companion POTCHEEN, UPPA TUNE and PETE'SWILDONE will not intimidate him from the convenient mark of 53.0kg and in-form Omar Walker again in the saddle.
POTCHEEN, the reigning champion sprinter, will no doubt have his supporters, despite topweight of 57.0kg, as he is definitely a class act. The six-year-old gelding seeks a hat-trick, following back-to-back wins in the Caribbean Sprint and Gold Cup at the backend of last season and, having trained well, should ensure that BOY WONDER works up a sweat.
Trainer Parsard has called up 2.0kg champion claiming apprentice, O'Brien White, to ride the son of Traditional-Bubble Gum Hottie with 55.0kg. But it won't be easy for him to successfully allow 2.0kg to BOY WONDER.
Walker obviously had a choice of rides, and the fact that he has stuck with the younger horse, BOY WONDER, is saying something. The fleet-footed son of Traditional-Jamaican Dream is definitely one to follow and gets the nod over POTCHEEN.
Significantly, the Eileen Cliggott Memorial Trophy is run annually in honour of Jamaica's first lady of racing, who died on October 15, 2007 at age 90.
Cliggott, whose career as a trainer spanned 40 years, was at one time the leading all-time trainer at Caymanas Park in the '80s, until she was overtaken by the legendary Billy Williams.
Despite her brilliance, she never won the trainers' championship, but saddled 976 winners up to her retirement in 2003. A pioneer for women in the sport, Cliggott was inducted into the Hall of Fame of Thoroughbred Racing in 1986.
Elsewhere on the 10-race programme, which boasts a whopping Pick-9 carryover of $8.4 million, the consistent TRADITIONAL PRINCE, with champion jockey Dane Nelson, is poised to win the overnight allowance race over the round-five course, at the expense of the speedy FORCE DE JOUR in a field of 15.
I also like first-time runner BUZZ NIGHTMARE (working very well) to win the opening three-year-old maiden race on debut; MAKE MY DAY to repeat in the second; speedy TOOTING KAT to stave off JACK DE CHARMER in the fourth race over the straight; SEEKING MY DREAM in the fifth over a mile for maiden three-year-olds; and NICOLE in division two of the maiden three-year-old sprint.