Free Range to rebound
Things return to normal tomorrow at Caymanas Park following the tremendous success of the second annual Diamond Mile raceday last Saturday when 14 races were run.
Tomorrow's 11-race programme marking the annual Jamaica Racehorse Trainers' Association meet has attracted large and competitive fields, and with Christmas in the air, there should be one or two surprises in store.
The Pick-9, which starts anew with the guaranteed minimum of $1 million, will be conducted from race three to 11, the first Super-6 from race one to six, the late Super-6 from race six to 11. We look at the first Super-6, which gets under way with the Dye Job Sprint over 1200 metres, to be contested by six two-year-olds.
On past performances, it should come down to a straight fight between MR UNIVERSE, to be ridden by leading jockey Omar Walker for champion trainer Wayne DaCosta; and MONEY MAGNET with title-chasing apprentice Bebeto Harvey riding for trainer Richard Azan.
Both have won twice, and having looked sharp at exercise, they should have their share of supporters. However, judging from his fast-time runaway win over 1300 metres in the 2-Y-O Junior Whopper Juvenile Stakes on November 12, winning by eight lengths in 1:18.2, MR UNIVERSE is preferred to old rival, MONEY MAGNET, who beat him over 800 metres (straight) back in September and should make it close.
Walker should complete a quick double when he rides likely favourite, JAGRETEE, in the second race over 1500 metres for maiden four-year-olds and up.
Trained by Johnny Wilmot, the five-year-old daughter of Legal Process, caught the eye when narrowly beaten by GOFORHOME over 1300 metres on November 30 when having CONNOR (third), WAITING FOR ONE and GOODOL'UNCLELINK behind and with Walker now taking the ride, should make no mistake in a field of seven moderate campaigners.
FREE RANGE, who has been knocking at the door lately, has a glorious chance of winning the third race over 1200 metres. She went down fighting when a close second to QUICK CHIC over 1300 metres recently, and after placing third to BURLIN over 1820 metres last Saturday, will appreciate this sprint with Ruja Lahoe aboard. DEMOLITION BOY (Harvey up) and recent winner WALTZING MATILDA with female apprentice Mellisa Ward are twin dangers in a seven-horse field.
The fourth race for $180,000 claimers has an open look about it with the likes of RUNJOHNNY RUN, MERU, BULLET RAJ, WILLINSTON and AQUILO present. One of the above named horses should win and my leaning is towards the speedy RUNJOHNNY RUN (loves the straight), with former champion Dane Nelson now taking the ride.
The last two races in the first Super-6 should be won by down in class LADY BELRIDGE with Walker aboard and the recent course winner REIGN OVER ALL with Jevanne Erwin in the saddle.
(1) MR UNIVERSE/
(3) FREE RANGE
(4) RUNJOHNNY RUN/
(5) LADY BELRIDGE/
(6) REIGN OVER ALL