Bank on Sirmandi, Rock Union
The 95th running of the Cal's Jamaica Derby over 2400 metres will highlight tomorrow's 12-race programme at Caymanas Park, with the $7 million race attracting 15 native-bred three-year-olds.
The field includes Triple Crown aspirants ALI BABA (Robert Halledeen up) and PUDDY POOH (Jevanne Erwin), as well as the recent Lotto Classic (Governor's Cup) winner KRONUS with Richard Mairs again in the saddle and the consistent SEEKING MY DREAM under four-time champion jockey Omar Walker. Champion trainer Wayne DaCosta will saddle 2000 Guineas winner ALI BABA, the ante-post favourite, and the Guineas and Lotto Classic runner-up SEEKING MY DREAM.
Meanwhile, the Pick-9 will be conducted from race four to 12, the first Super-6 from race one to six, the late Super-6 from race seven to 12. We look at the first Super-6 which gets under way with a one-mile race for the Cal's Mackerel in Tomato Sauce Trophy (claiming $180,000) to be contested by nine starters, including the recent winner SIRMANDI.
SIRMANDI beat subsequent winner COLD GROUND in a driving finish over the distance on May 6, on a $250,000 tag, and was claimed out of that race by champion trainer Wayne DaCosta. Now dropping down to $180,000 claiming, the six-year-old son of Ghost Ransom should repeat at the expense of DOC HOLIDAY.
Another down-in-class winner, ROCK UNION, holds the key to the second race (claiming $250,000-$210,000) over the straight, having won over the distance in the good time of 59.0 seconds on May 23, on a $350,000 claiming tag.
The five-year-old gelding from the stables of Anthony 'Baba' Nunes is much better than this level of racing and with title-chasing jockey Shane Ellis retaining the ride, represents a five-star banker in a field of eight.
The DaCosta-trained two-year-old filly CRUISING MOTION showed promise on her recent debut when chasing home BUBBLING KITTEN over 600 metres straight and with stable-jockey Robert Halledeen replacing Georgina Sergeon in the third race over the same distance, the hint should be taken. CRUISING MOTION stumbled at the start on her debut and did well to recover. She has worked well and looks the right choice in a field of seven.
CHIEF SECRETARIAT, who chased home the out-of-class SPARKLING MICHAELA over 1820 metres recently, should rebound in the fourth race over 1500 metres, the same distance over which she won at the expense of subsequent winner SHE'S PLUMMY in April.
CHIEF SECRETARIAT, with 2.0kg claiming apprentice Kuri Powell aboard, gets the nod over recent winners JUNIOR DON in the fourth race over 1500 metres for the Cal's Vinegar Trophy. The last two races in the first Super-6 should be won by JACK DE CHARMER (Paul Francis up) and the very fit SHINE, the mount of Richard Mairs.
FIRST SUPER-6 FANCIES
(2) ROCK UNION
(3) CRUISING MOTION/ POPPY'S PRIDE
(4) CHIEF SECRETARIAT/ JUNIOR DON
(5) JACK DE CHARMER/ MERU
(6) SHINE/PARTY CUP