Campesino for Gladiator Trophy feature race at Caymanas
Six starters have been declared for today's open-allowance feature over 1400 metres for the Gladiator Trophy, including super fit CAMPESINO, who faces two tough opponents in PHINEAS and LONG RUNNING TRAIN.
Significantly, all three were prepared for the December 5 Diamond Mile, but none managed to get into the race, having failed to secure the necessary earnings to make the top 16. They were placed on the reserve list instead, and with the first 16 entries standing their ground, CAMPESINO, in particular, at number one on the reserve list, failed to squeeze into the race, much to the displeasure of his owner Howard Hamilton.
Today, CAMPESINO has a glorious opportunity to resume winning ways with outgoing champion jockey Dane Nelson riding for 14-time champion trainer Philip Feanny.
CAMPESINO is still in fine fettle following his good second to the progressive POKER STAR in the fast-run Glen Mills Caribbean Sprint on November 14.
In this small field, the five-year-old son of Campadre-Yaella should get first run on the recent Coca Cola Invitational Mile winner PHINEAS from the Andrew McDonald stables and Harry Parsard's 3-y-o filly LONG RUNNING TRAIN, now bidding for a hat-trick, into the straight. And this should prove a decisive factor in CAMPESINO'S winning bid.
PHINEAS beat him by 13/4 lengths when they last met over this trip back in June and went on to beat none other than subsequent Diamond Mile winner SEEKING MY DREAM by a head in the Invitational Mile. But CAMPESINO enjoys a 4.5 kg swing in the scales today, and, if anything, is a better horse now. He thus gets my vote.
The day's supporting feature for the War Zone Sprint Trophy has attracted 12 starters, including top contenders ROYAL ASSAULT, with Shane Ellis riding for trainer Anthony Nunes and recent winner FEARLESS FURY, who is unbeaten in two starts. The latter will be ridden by promising 4.0 kg claiming apprentice Dane Dawkins for trainer Fitzroy Glispie, and the fact that he is set to receive 7.0 kg from the speedy ROYAL ASSAULT, tilts the balance in his favour.
I also like ELVIRA in the second race; JAMAI RAJA in the third for maiden two-year-olds; as well as down-in-class RAGING PROSPECT IN The fifth; YOGA in the sixth; and the recently disqualified winner, PRINCE O'SHAUN, in the 12th and final.