Orville Clarke, Gleaner Writer
Down-in-class THE GUV looks the one to beat when he takes on 10 rivals in the 3-y-o and up overnight allowance race over 1200 metres at Caymanas Park today. Post time is 12 noon and 12 races are scheduled.
The race brings together THE GUV, as well as the progressive native-bred 4-y-o filly SWEET TRAIL, consistent PALACE GUARD, the much-improved SIR SOUTH, and the American filly SARAH BARRACUDA, all expected to form the superfecta.
The winner is almost sure to come from this group, but THE GUV, who steps down from grade one company to the overnight allowance level for this race, has the best credentials.
To be ridden by former champion Shane Ellis for trainer Spencer Chung, the 6-y-o grey gelding by Royal Minister out of Havasac needs no introduction, having won nine races from 31 starts and $6.1 million in stakes.
When last raced on August 18 in the She's On Wheels Trophy over 1100 metres, THE GUV had to play second fiddle to his illustrious stable-companion and Horse of the Year, SAINT CECELIA, behind a fast time (1:043). He finished 61/2 lengths fourth for a brisk final time of 1:05.4, and given his proven class, should not be beaten today.
THE GUV has worked well in preparation for this encounter, galloping five furlongs in a brisk 1:00.4. He not only has pace, but a good turn of foot and from the handy mark of 56.0kg, should prove too strong for Winston Griffiths' mount SWEET TRAIL.
The filly, who has progressed under the care of trainer Patrick Chang, has won twice from five starts this season and lost no marks in defeat last time out on June 2 when finishing a strong second to COMMANDING CHIEF over the distance.
The Donald Tankoy Memorial Cup, to be contested by maiden three-year-olds over 1300 metres, has attracted large and competitive fields in both divisions.
CONFLICTOFINTEREST, THE LINCOLN LAWYER, STEPPING RAZOR, and the front-running GOLD RUSH are the leading lights in Division I, and J.T. EXPRESS, SLAM EAGLE, IT'S A GIFT, GOLD TOP, and PRETTY TING the top contenders in Division II.
CONFLICTOFINTEREST and J.T. EXPRESS, both fit animals, get the vote in the respective sections.
I also like MERIT'S JET to stave off HEBIOUS CORPUS in the first race over 1100 metres; FORTUNEONEHUNDRED (working well) to go one better in the third for two-year-olds; EARLY DREAMS to beat TOMMY TSUNAMI in the fifth; MINISTEROFJUSTICE to repeat over course and distance in the seventh; and the lightly-raced 3-y-o filly MY FRIEND LUCY to beat AWESOME SENSATION in the knotty Track Price Plus 'Dig Out Handicap' over 1500 metres.