New Kingston to collar Mr Skill
Orville Clarke, Gleaner Writer
Following his fine victory with the unbeaten CASSANOVA BOY on Wednesday, champion trainer Wayne DaCosta should also win today's overnight allowance feature at Caymanas Park for the George HoSang Trophy, with either NEW KINGSTON or MR SKILL.
The 10-horse field is pretty formidable, with others such as THE CHIEF, FIRST TIME LUCKY, HIGH ROLLER and TRIFLE ACCOUNT all expected to ensure keen competition over the straight- five course.
GAMBOA also relishes the straight, but this sparingly raced grey gelding will be having his first outing in over 16 months and, although active at exercise in recent weeks, should need the run.
Trainer Richard Azan, who conditions GAMBOA, has a second runner in THE CHIEF and it is this one who is expected to carry the fight.
The four-year-old son of Deputy's Report led for over 1200 metres when finishing 41/2 lengths third to VONALIMIGHTY in the Ash Wednesday Trophy at 1300 metres on February 17 and, given the shorter distance, is sure to make a brave bid with only 51.0kg.
The speedy FIRST TIME LUCKY should also figure prominently over this, his pet trip, but with the super-fast MR SKILL coming to nullify his speed, a minor share looks his best hope.
Indeed, MR SKILL will definitely have to be caught, with former champion jockey Wesley Henry now taking the ride.
The five-year-old son of Alisios is down to carry top weight of 56.0kg and will be giving weight all around. But he's down in class to vie for this trophy and, having notched his last win over the course in June of last year, could well emulate that performance with a jockey of Henry's calibre aboard.
While having every respect for MR SKILL, I think he will be caught by stable companion NEW KINGSTON, to be ridden by stable jockey Omar Walker, the reigning champion.
An improving American four-year-old gelding, NEW KINGSTON really caught the eye on March 6 when a fast-finishing second to the lightly weighted FOREVER MINE in a fast-run round-five race.
NEW KINGSTON raced prominently under the second-string rider Kirk Johnson to turn for home five lengths fifth, and in the end was only beaten by two lengths.
A good winner over the course on January 16, NEW KINGSTON has secured a favourable draw on the outside of the field and his final rattle should prove hard to withstand from the convenient mark of 54.0kg. He should relegate MR SKILL to second in the last 100 metres.
Other firm fancies on the card are BOLDLY FORMAL in the third race; BURNING CIELO over FABULOUSCONNECTION and GUAN YU in the knotty-looking fifth; down-in-class QUATRO MORI in the CTL Claiming Series No. 3, race number six; ROYAL IMPACT in the seventh; and FLYING FIRETAIL in the nightpan.