Wed | Aug 23, 2017

Future King for Mark My Word Trophy

Published:Monday | May 23, 2016 | 5:00 AMOrville Clarke
Jockey Dane Dawkins signals for silence as he wins the 3-y-0 & Up claiming race over the 1000m straight course aboard ElVIRA (left) at Caymanas Park on Saturday. MAMETA (O. Foster) was a close-up second, only half a length behind, while ZEEVA (O. Edwards) was third a neck adrift.

IT'S holiday racing at Caymanas Park today, the 11-race programme featuring the 3-y-o and up open allowance race for the Mark My Word Trophy over 1820 metres and the traditional Labour Day Trophy for high claimers over 1200 metres.

The focus of attention is definitely the Mark My Word Trophy race to be contested by six starters, which includes the April 9 Post to Post 2000 Guineas winner, FUTURE KING, and the Caribbean Choice Oaks heroine, A THOUSAND STARS, both trained by 15-time champion Wayne DaCosta, who saddles four of the six runners.

Both FUTURE KING and A THOUSAND STARS have bypassed next Saturday's Lotto Classic (Governor's Cup) for today's race, but while the filly, A THOUSAND STARS, is seemingly over her head at this level, this is not the case for FUTURE KING, who is already an early favourite for the June 25 Cal's Jamaica Derby.

Having worked brilliantly in preparation for this race, FUTURE KING, with only 53.0kg and Robert Halledeen again in the saddle, can only beat himself, despite the presence of the super fit MIRACLE STAR, who ran well behind SEEKING MY DREAM in the Bonnie Blue Flag Trophy over this trip on April 23.

If FUTURE KING hopes to win the Derby, he should be able to take care of older horses like MIRACLE STAR and the 2015 Superstakes runner-up, HOVER CRAFT, at this stage.

A LOT SHARPER

There is little or no pace in the race and FUTURE KING, now a lot sharper than he was for the Guineas - when recovering from a hoof injury - should set off in front from early and win convincingly from MIRACLE STAR.

The dark bay colt by Natural Selection out of Millenium Princess will love the distance and should establish himself as the Derby front-runner with this victory.

I also like the down-in-class RUNJOHNNY RUN in the second race for $180,000 claimers; CROWN PRINCESS in the fourth; HONEY DARLIN in the sixth; SPEEDY PROCESS in the ninth; and POCKET MONEY in the 11th and final.