Orville Clarke, Gleaner Writer
Both the Pick-9 and Super-6s start anew at Caymanas Park tomorrow after the popular exotic bets were cornered by punters on Boxing Day.
The holiday programme produced no stunning upset in the 11 races, but despite this, not many persons won the Pick-9, which starts anew with the guaranteed minimum of $1 million.
The Pick-9 will embrace races two to 10, the first Super-6 from one to six and the overlapping Super-6 from race five to 10.
We look at the first Super-6 which commences with the million-dollar renewal of the Sweet Ruckus Trophy over 1400 metres to be contested by seven two-year-olds, including the classy CITY FLIGHT.
Trained by Gary Subratie, the American filly has won twice from as many starts in fast times. Her most recent win came in the Dye Job Sprint Trophy over 1200 metres on December 5 when scoring by 53/4 lengths in the smart time of 1:12.1. With her opponents even weaker, CITY FLIGHT represents a five-star banker under four-time champion Omar Walker.
Hard to deny
MINISTEROFJUSTICE, having won easily over 1100 metres on a $450,000 claiming tag November 24, should prove hard to deny over the distance on a $500,000 tag in the second race to be contested by seven starters.
MINISTEROFJUSTICE came back to finish second to out-of-class RAISE A RUCKUS over 1500 metres on December 8, and now back among his peers and the trip more to his liking, should lead home the recent winner PAPPA D, with new champion Dane Nelson aboard.
Next on the programme is a $180,000 claiming race in which seven starters have been declared. The field includes the American 3-y-o grey filly ALPHALETTA, who is yet to win from 10 starts locally, but has shown worthwhile ability.
ALPHALETTA will race in the blue and white silks of top owner Michros, who starts this the final raceday just under $800,000 behind two-time defending champions Elite Bloodstock in the owners' championship, and in order to be crowned the new champion has sent out a number of his horses, including the Gordon Lewis-trained ALPHALETTA and CITY LIGHTS. Elite Bloodstock, owners of Wednesday's Harry Jackson Memorial Cup winner MARK MY WORD, have no runners on the card.
A lot will be riding on ALPHALETTA, who on the strength of her five lengths fourth (running on) to JADAFABULOUSTOUR over 1100 metres on December 1 should win from the front-running REDS THOMAS and down-in-class FLY FOR PLEASURE at this lowly level.
Michros also has the down-in-class BLACKIE DAVIS in the fourth race over the straight, but with his form rather dismal coming into the race, preference is for another down-in-class campaigner SHINING GOLD, who proved competitive on a $450,000 claming tag as recent as November 24 behind MINISTEROFJUSTICE.
Others capable of figuring are NOTUS with Dane Nelson aboard, along with AUSTIN LUKE, FOREVER MINE and the speedy hat-trick seeker LIVE WATER. But ALPHALETTA could just be a cut above them.
The fifth over 1820 metres (non-winners of two) should be won by JJ'S GIRL ahead of the free-running BREATH OF LIFE and ZACK, while close those bets on SILVER CAT (Nelson up), who represents the best of a moderate bunch in the sixth race over the straight for maiden three-year-olds. FULL FORCE looks his only real danger in the 13-horse field.
FIRST SUPER-6 FANCIES
(1) CITY FLIGHT
(2) MINISTEROFJUSTICE/PAPPA D
(3) ALPHALETTA/FLY FOR PLEASURE
(4) SHINING GOLD/LIVE WATER
(5) JJ'S GIRL/BREATH OF LIFE
(6) SILVER CAT/FULL FORCE