Thu | Sep 21, 2017

Bet on Poker Star in Caymanas Park horse racing feature race

Published:Saturday | April 2, 2016 | 4:00 AMOrville Clarke
LAZZA, (right) with Hakeem Pottinger aboard, sprints to a one- and three-quarters lengths win over GOLD SCREW, with Melissa Ward, in the Jockeys’ Guild of Jamaica Trophy race at Caymanas Park last Saturday.

Champion sprinter POKER STAR goes for his fifth consecutive victory at Caymanas Park today, this against five opponents in the 3-y-o and up grade one feature for the Lady Geeta Trophy over 1200 metres.

From the stables of 15-time champion trainer Wayne DaCosta, the classy 4-y-o gelding reports to the wicket after winning both races this season, beginning on January 2 with the St Catherine Cup over 1100 metres ahead of CAMPESINO and the Eileen Cliggott Memorial Trophy grade one feature over 1300 metres on February 20 at the expense of PHINEAS.

Having been crowned Caribbean Sprint champion on Superstakes day last November, the son of Liquidity-Buyabook has not looked back and it will take a superlative performance from one of his opponents to lower his colours.

PERFECT DRAW

Despite having to carry topweight of 57.0 kg with Robert Halledeen aboard, POKER STAR will report just as sharp. And coming from a perfect draw on the outside, he looks hard to oppose in this sprint, despite the presence of the consistent UPPA TUNE and the 2014 sprint champion POTCHEEN, both conditioned by in-form trainer Harry Parsard.

UPPA TUNE, the mount of promising claiming apprentice Bebeto Harvey from the convenient mark of 52.0 kg, will more than likely set off in front from the number one post position. But I doubt this American 7-y-o horse will be able to escape the chasing POKER STAR in the straight, leaving the back-to -form POTCHEEN, with Jevanne Erwin again in the saddle, to carry the fight late in the race.

For obvious reasons, the choice has to be the Alexander Haber-owned POKER STAR.

Other firm fancies on the card are BALLON D'OR in the opening race over 1700 metres; the well-forward debutante LOTTERY TICKET in the fourth for maiden three-year-olds; recent winner FORCE DE JOUR to repeat In the eighth; and ROUGH PATRICK for returning trainer Adin 'Dreddie' Williams in the closing race.