Orville Clarke, Gleaner Writer
Open allowance horses take the spotlight at Caymanas Park today in the annual renewal of the Owen Silvera Memorial Cup to be contested by 11 starters over 1600 metres.
The 3-y-o and up race brings together the first two past the post in the $1.1 million Seek Exercise Book Back to School Trophy race over 1300 metres a fortnight ago - REASONABLE PRESS and GO GO YVONNE - who were separated by only a head.
Also present is JET SETTER, who finished a close fourth and the then favourite COMMANDING CHIEF, who disappointed in finishing 73/4 lengths sixth.
Significantly, champion jockey Dick Cardenas, who rode the Philip Feanny-trained American colt REASONABLE PRESS to victory in the Seek Trophy, gives way to rookie apprentice Orlando Foster, who claims 4.0kg.
Foster was one of the 19 trainees who graduated from the Jockeys' Training School on August 16 after an intensive six-month course. They debut against senior jockeys today.
Cardenas, who was aboard REASONABLE PRESS last time out, switches to the 2011 St Leger winner, COMMANDING CHIEF, who again shoulders topweight of 57.0kg, while Paul 'Country' Francis, who rode COMMANDING CHIEF, has been jocked off and will now ride the super fit American filly GO GO YVONNE for trainer Spencer Chung.
At the weights, I am expecting GO GO YVONNE to turn the tables on REASONABLE PRESS and his inexperienced rider. But the longer distance will definitely suit COMMANDING CHIEF and I am expecting him to atone.
Although soundly beaten in the Seek Trophy, COMMANDING CHIEF had some valid excuses. First, he missed the break from the dreaded number-one post position, had to be ridden on the inside to keep in touch, and experienced traffic problems on the inside from early in the straight.
Given this milder pace, COMMANDING CHIEF, who has good pace, should be able to relax and find his footing for the first half-mile and take this field apart from early in the straight.
By War Marshall out of She Knows Beau, the four-year-old gelding from the stables of Everal Peart has already won twice from four starts this season, represents the class horse of the field and although not the best drawn on the inside once again, should go well for Cardenas, and I take him to win from GO GO YVONNE and REASONABLE PRESS.
The bottom rung of the superfecta should be decided among JET SETTER, RAISE A RUCKUS, and last year's 2000 Guineas winner, UNCLE DONNY, who is expected to run an improved race, even in this strong field.
Other firm fancies on the card are SI PUEDO to catch SARAGOSSA in the third race; BRILLIANT LAD in the fifth; SPECIAL REPORT in the sixth; BROTHER TO BROTHER in the seventh; and TOURING WITH RHEA over JARREAU and EDISON in the closing Track Price Dig Out Handicap, in which 15 have been declared.