Racehorse trainers’ strike aversion clears way for Jamaica St Leger
With racehorse trainers having abandoned plans to withhold nominations for Saturday's meet - following dialogue with the management and board of Caymanas Track Limited at a meeting on Tuesday - the way is now clear for the 89th running of the ISP Financial Services Limited Jamaica St Leger over 2000 metres at Caymanas Park on Saturday.
At yesterday's launch and draw for post positions in the Trainers' Room at Caymanas Park, 11 native-bred three-year-olds were declared at the overnight stage, including the top three in the recent Cal's Jamaica Derby - SEEKING MY DREAM, to again be ridden by four-time champion Omar Walker for 14-time champion Wayne DaCosta; stable-companion ALI BABA, with Robert Halledeen aboard; and KRONUS, from the Richard Azan stables.
KRONUS, who won the Lotto Classic (Governor Cup) over 2000 metres at the expense of SEEKING MY DREAM on May 23 when ridden by Richard Mairs, will now have the services of big-race jockey Shane Ellis, who won this race with RELAMPAGO a year ago.
The 11 horses declared, their riders and post positions in order are as follows: 1. ALI BABA (Richard Halledeen), 2 SHINING LIGHT (Shamaree Muir), 3. COMPUTERIZE (AndrÈ Martin), 4. BALLON D'OR (Orlando Foster), 5. SUNSET CRUISE (Richard Mairs), 6. ORIGINAL TRAIN (Winston Griffiths), 7. KRONUS (Shane Ellis), 8. SHINE (Richard Mitchell), 9. SEEKING MY DREAM (Omar Walker), 10, SUPERLUMINAL (Paul Francis) and 11. MERLIN (Rayan Wilson).
Meanwhile, CTL, in response to the United Racehorse Trainers' Association (URTA) threat of strike action, convened a meeting with the trainers' executive on Tuesday at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel and proposed a five per cent purse increase.
This was flatly rejected by members of the URTA at a meeting in the Trainers' Room yesterday morning.
However, president of the URTA, Dale Murphy, said they would hold strain for another four weeks to give URTA time to come up with a better offer.
Murphy said the association is proposing a 10 per cent increase this year and 10 per cent next year for the stakeholders.