Crack field for Rum Fire Invitational
Orville Clarke, Gleaner Writer
The racing calendar will facilitate another major sponsored race with the inaugural running of the Rum Fire Invitational Trophy over 1500 metres for grade one horses at Caymanas Park on Saturday, September 24.
Plans for the Rum Fire Raceday, sponsored by the Everglades Farms Limited, which is owned by the Hussey family, were outlined by representatives of the sponsors and Caymanas Track Limited (CTL) at Monday's launch at the Terra Nova All Suite Hotel, Waterloo Road.
The race, which offers a whopping purse of $2 million, inclusive of $900,000 from Everglades, will see the best horses in the country vying for top honours, and anticipation is high among racing fans that it's worth going miles to see.
According to CTL's racing secretary, Denzil Miller Jr, the probable starters include top-rated RONRON, DANCE SO SWEET and NIPHAL from the stables of Gary Subratie, reigning 'Horse of the Year' MARK MY WORD, the brilliant unbeaten three-year-old gelding COMMANDING CHIEF, champion sprinter SAINT CECELIA, the super fit Canadian mare PRICELESS BEAUTY, not to mention the Wayne DaCosta-trained trio of CASSANOVA BOY, SIR VON, LITTLE WASP and RAISE A RUCKUS.
In addition to the Rum Fire Invitational race, the supporting feature will be the Rum Fire Dash for native-bred two-year-olds over 1100 metres for a purse of $1.2 million, inclusive of $400,000 from Everglades; the Rum Fire Trailblazer for native-bred maiden two-year-olds over 1100 metres for a purse of $815,000; the Hampden Legacy over $1200 metres for overnight allowance horses with a purse of $865,000; as well as the Rum Fire Zinger, Rum Fire Chiller, Rum Fire Bomber, Rum Fire Claimer and Rum Fire Mixer races over varied distances, all in receipt of contributions from Everglades.
Riders from the us
To add to the day's excitement, five overseas-based riders from Mountaineer Park in the United States will match skills against their local counterparts. They are former three-time champion, Jamaican Andrew Ramgeet, Deshawn Parker, Sophie Richgels, Luis Revira and José Davila.
Meanwhile, Everglades, in association with CTL, will stage a Gimmick Race for polo ponies over 300 metres, named the O.T.B. race. Proceeds will go to the Christelle Harris Foundation and Basic School in Trelawny.
The ponies will be ridden by owners, trainers and breeders, as well as noted equestrians such Susan Wates, Mitta Rousseau and Paul Lalor, joined by Gary Subratie, Anthony Nunes, Roger Newman, Fitzroy Glispie, Tensang Chung, Gordon Lewis and Dr Jason Wright.
Among those speaking were Christelle Harris, director of marketing at Everglades, and CTL's CEO Camille Buchanan, who hailed the Hussey family for their long and distinguished association with local racing.