Bad Boy Justin for Sports Journalists Trophy
Only eight races are scheduled to be run at Caymanas Park today, including the 12th running of the $350,000-$300,000 claiming race over 1200 metres for the Sports Journalists of Jamaica Trophy, in which seven will run.
Trainer Ryan Darby holds a strong hand with the pair of BAD BOY JUSTIN and ZACKONTHEATTACK, who are fancied to fight out the finish.
Both horses finished fifth and seventh, respectively, behind AUNT HILDA and SHADE OF BEAUTY over the round-five course on May 21, but neither had a trouble-free run and were claimed by Darby out of that race.
ZACKONTHEATTACK, who was then trained by Gary Subratie, went off a 3-2 favourite. He not only missed the break under Aaron Chatrie, but he also came wide into the straight, eventually finishing eight lengths seventh.
BAD BOY JUSTIN, on the other hand, stayed on to finish five lengths fifth at odds of 5-2 after being bumped into at the start and outpaced in 10th position at the half mile as a result.
Both horses will relish the additional furlong of this race, and although facing two horses who were ahead of them on May 21 - the runner-up SHADE OF BEAUTY and third horse EL NUMERO UNO - victory should go to one of the Darby-trained horses. But which one?
Although ZACKONTHEATTACK had been actively campaigning without success in overnight allowance company up to January of this year and really looks tempting at the weights with only 51.0kg, preference is for the stretch-running BAD JOY JUSTIN, who was previously trained by Dwight Chen.
The five-year-old gelding by Tracking out of Fire Red beat a good field over 1100 metres on April 24, before chasing home the out-of-class SIR SOUTH on a $425,000 tag over this trip on May 11.
With Darby calling up the promising 3.0kg claiming apprentice Bebeto Harvey to reduce the weight to 53.0kg, BAD BOY JUSTIN should prove too strong for ZACKONTHEATTACK and SHADE OF BEAUTY in deep stretch.
Other firm fancies on the card, which commences at 1:30 p.m., are ROYAL ASSAULT to make all in the overnight sprint; AMBASSADOR in the fifth; BIRD CATCHER in the seventh; and the speedy EXPLOSIVE PRINCESS to stave off hat-trick seeker WINESHA in the closing round-five race.