Sun | Sep 24, 2017

Kalamata can make winning local debut

Published:Saturday | July 8, 2017 | 7:00 AMAinsley Walters
KACI (right), with Andree Powell aboard, holding off TAASHIE BABY (Jemar Jackson) to win last Satuday's sixth race at Caymanas Park.

GREAT Britain-bred KALAMATA, a winner of two races in England, debuts in this afternoon's ninth race, among overnight allowance runners, meticulously prepared by trainer Fitznahum Williams with the sole intention of immediately getting off the mark.

KALAMATA faces nine rivals, including HOUDINI'S MAGIC and JAMAI RAJA, both recently down in class, but not with the best of form.

A daughter of 2006 Epsom Derby winner, Sir Percy, four-year-old KALAMATA has a race record of two wins, a second and third-place finishes from eight starts. She won back-to-back races last year, handicap events, running on all-weather surfaces at Wolverhampton and Kempton, respectively, both in excess of nine furlongs.

Described by Track and Pools' resident clocker, Donovan 'The Clockman' Cunningham, as medium-built with good conformation, KALAMATA galloped a mile in 1:45.0 from the gate, out the mile chute on May 15 before putting down one bullet work after the other last month.

 

Easy race

 

On June 2, the bay filly posted 1:14.0 for six furlongs, followed by 1:12.4 on June 20 before rounding off at 1:13.0 a week later. Williams, who conditioned 2008 Triple Crown winning-filly, ALSAFRA, closed KALAMATA's preparation with 1:00.4, easy, five furlongs straight, from the gate on Tuesday.

KALAMATA's main rivals HOUDINI'S MAGIC and JAMAI RAJA have both been groping for form since finishing third and fourth, respectively, in December's Diamond Mile.

HOUDINI'S MAGIC ran a cracker for third behind stablemate BIGDADDYKOOL in April's Legal Light Trophy but has been outpaced in two subsequent races and has not been doing much at exercise in the interim.

JAMAI RAJA has only raced twice this year, returning off a five-month lay-up in May after his exertions in December's Grade 1 Diamond Mile, which he led to about a furlong-and-a-half out. His second run was Derby Day, June 24, and placed third at six furlongs behind CHOO CHOO BLUE and DWAYNE STAR.

Though he appeared sharp on Sunday, clocking 1:13.3 for six furlongs, JAMAI RAJA looks outgunned by the foreigner, who, from all indications, will love every inch, and more, of nine furlongs and 25 yards.

Running 9.47 furlongs on Wolverhampton's left-hand track, KALAMATA covered the distance, almost nine- and-a-half furlongs, in 2:00.0. Considering PERFECT NEIGHBOUR recently won nine furlongs in 1:52.3, KALAMATA's time at 9.47 furlongs is right up there with the average local Grade 1 runner.