Classy Poker Star to capture St Catherine Cup
The open allowance race for the St Catherine Cup takes the spotlight at Caymanas Park today with six to face the starter over 1100 metres.
Two of the top emerging sprinters of the past year POKER STAR and CAMPESINO first and second, respectively in the Glen Mills Caribbean Sprint Championship over 1200 metres on November 14 will clash again.
The Wayne DaCosta-trained POKER STAR turned in a superlative performance to beat CAMPESINO by three lengths that day, covering the distance in the smart time of 1:11.0 behind splits of 22.3 and 45.1 for the half mile.
POKER STAR, with Robert Halledeen again in the saddle, shoulders topweight of 57.0kg and renews rivalry on 3.0kg worse terms with the Philip Feanny-trained CAMPESINO under newly crowned champion jockey Shane Ellis, but this will not deter him.
Both have looked razor sharp at exercise coming into this race although CAMPESINO will prove a lot tougher, following his close second to PHINEAS over 1400 metres in the fast-run Gladiator Trophy on December 19. POKER STAR, however, ought to be followed as he's a class act.
With greater scope for improvement, the 4-y-o son of Liquidity - Buyabook - gets the nod over the Feanny pair of CAMPESINO and the speedy BUZZ NIGHTMARE, who was also beaten in the Caribbean Sprint.
Other firm fancies on the card are PROUD PRESIDENT (Ellis up) to go one better in the second race for native-bred three-year-olds, BIG GEORGE to rebound under four-time champion jockey Omar Walker in the third over 1200 metres, as well as DI COBRE to repeat ahead of ROCKETEER in the seventh, SMOKIN PRINCESS in the eighth over 1300 metres and improving EAZY STEPPING to win the closing race over 1300 metres for five-year-olds and up.