Orville Clarke, Gleaner Writer
Having finished a close second to stable-companion CLASSY PROSPECT recently, the American filly LITTLE WASP should go one better when she contests the 3-y-o and up overnight allowance race over 1100 metres at Caymanas Park today.
With no trophy being offered on the 10-race programme, this race takes the spotlight as the most valuable on the card, with a purse of $715,000.
It has attracted nine starters, the field including LITTLE WASP, the improving three-year-old colt, REAL MINISTER, along with last Saturday's course winner TOP COMMANDER, QUICK & GRAY and NEW KINGSTON, the group from which the winner should emerge.
Champion trainer Wayne DaCosta holds a fairly strong hand with LITTLE WASP, under champion jockey Omar Walker, and the American bred four-year-old gelding NEW KINGSTON, a noted run-on sprinter.
Although LITTLE WASP is expected to start favourite with Walker now taking the ride, it is not beyond NEW KINGSTON, the mount of competent jockey, Kerry-Gayl Robinson, to upset calculations.
Whether NEW KINGSTON is fit enough following a four-month absence is left to be seen, as the son of Delaware Township has been lightly trained for the race.
LITTLE WASP, on the other hand, reports in good nick after finishing a length second to the useful 3-y-o colt, CLASSY PROSPECT, in a fast-run 1200-mere race on September 25. She showed good speed, and although giving way to CLASSY PROSPECT from early in the straight, kept on gamely on the inside to ensure that her more fancied stable-companion was extended to the wire.
That was only her third outing of the season, and now that much fitter, LITTLE WASP will prove hard to deny from the convenient mark of 51.5kg.
She has good speed, and despite the sound claims of the Anthony 'Baba' Nunes-trained REAL MINISTER, who has won two of his last four races and obviously loves to sprint, LITTLE WASP has too much in her favour to be beaten today.
Other firm fancies on the 10-race programme, which should be dominated by champion trainer Wayne DaCosta and his stable jockey Omar Walker, are as follows: GENERAL CURLIN with Walker up in the opening race over 1700 metres; the well-forward two-year-old debutante, PENTHOUSE WEST (working impressively), with Walker riding for DaCosta; Walker again aboard the DaCosta-trained 3-y-o filly, NASTEL'S ANNETTE; the speedy SUPER TROOPER in the eighth race over the round-five course; and last Saturday's Jockey Club Stakes winner, MEDICAL REPORT, to repeat in the closing Alex's Imports 'Dig Out' Handicap over 1500 metres (high claiming), in which the down-in-class RUM TALK looks his principal danger.