Pinelope can pocket Alex Hamilton Trophy
Open allowance horses take the spotlight at Caymanas Park today, in the inaugural running of the Alexander Hamilton Trophy over a mile, to be contested by six starters.
Also on the 11-race programme, is the annual renewal of the Mercury Sprint, for native-bred-maiden three-year-old colts and geldings, in which 13 will face the starter. Among them are five first-time runners, including, LOOSE CANNON, MUSKEETOON and UNCLE FREDDIE, who along with MILAGRO, SILENCE and DON CHASSIS should ensure a close contest.
The 'Alex' Hamilton Trophy, run in honour of the former Jockey Club president who has the distinction of being the oldest active owner in racing, spanning over 50 years, brings together the recent winners PINELOPE, AWESOME DESTINY and ROYAL VIBES in addition to the consistent BLUE DIXIE in an intriguing contest.
Although finishing a length third to BLUE DIXIE over this trip, in fast time (1:37.0) last October,, PINELOPE is so highly regarded, that this talented four-year-old filly, should not only start favourite, but notch her second consecutive win with Paul 'Country' Francis riding for trainer Patrick Fong.
She beat another classy filly CHOO CHOO BLUE by a head over 1400 metres on December 10, closing rapidly from off the pace to land the Betting and Gaming Stakes Trophy.
She has worked well in preparation for this race and judging from the progress shown last year, I take her to turn the tables on the Gary Subratie-trained BLUE DIXIE.
MILAGRO, who failed narrowly some weeks ago, can definitely go one better at the expense of DON CHASSIS and newcomer MUSKETOON (working well) in the Mercury Sprint. The improving colt who comes from the in-form stables of Anthony "Baba" Nunes, will be ridden by former champion apprentice Linton Steadman and he gets the vote ahead of DON CHASSIS.
I also like the talented 3-y-o filly SHE'S A MANEATER to rebound on her seasonal debut in the opening race over 1400 metres, SURE MAN in the third, SILVER SURF in the fourth along with SOY EL SENOR in the fifth and JON MARSHALL , sixth.