Orville Clarke, Gleaner Writer
With the New Year's Day Pick-9 eluding punters at Caymanas Park, the popular exotic bet offers big bucks on tomorrow's 10-race programme.
The Pick-9 will be conducted from race two to 10, the first Super-6 from race one to six, the overlapping Super-6 from five to 10.
Seven native-bred three year olds have been declared for the opening race over 1200 metres, the field includes former record-priced yearling BIGMAN IN TOWN, who makes his belated debut with Omar Walker riding for trainer Gary Subratie and Trinidadian owner Baskaran Basswah.
A chestnut colt by Cowtown Cat out of My Morning Prayer, BIG MAN IN TOWN fetched the then record price of $3.2 million in the 2011 TOBA yearling sale at Caymanas Park and having impressed in his preparation, galloping 59.3 by 46.4 out of the straight on December 22, should get off the mark immediately. He should win from the Wayne DaCosta-trained RUM PUNCH and GOODWILL BOY, both of whom have shown promise.
LIVE WATER, who completed a hat-trick of wins in impressive fashion over the straight last Saturday, should make it four-in-a-row at the expense of old rival DOLLA WIN and TERRA MARIQUE in the second race over 1100 metres. True, the five-year-old mare is up in class with champion apprentice Shamaree Muir again in the saddle, but this will not deter her. She's one of the fittest horses in racing at present, and, with only 49.0kg, should make it a post-to-post affair.
hat-trick of wins
RAISE A RUCKUS, who goes for a hat-trick of wins, ought to be followed as well in the third race over 1600 metres for the City of Kingston Centenary Cup confined to high claimers.
The American six-year-old horse from the stables of 14-time champion trainer Philip Feanny recently romped the Paul Newman Memorial Trophy over this trip on a $400,000 tag, and although stepping up a level, is simply better than his six opponents, having won in grade-one company (GG Stakes) in 2011. Five-time champion Trevor 'Slicer' Simpson again has the ride.
Race four, confined to conditional $180,000 claimers over the straight-five course, poses a much stiffer challenge among the 14 horses declared. Top contenders are OAKRUN, SPECTACULAR CAT, SIR VALIANT (regaining form), THE SMOKER, MARSHALL JIM, MISS CRYSTAL and LONG PROCESS.
With horses at this level often difficult to train (faulty legs), I would implore punters to approach this race
A fit OAKRUN could be a cut above these and having notched his last win over this trip in April of last year and with newly crowned champion jockey Dane Nelson taking the ride, the hint should be taken. SPECTACULAR CAT and SIR VALIANT are twin dangers.
Peter McMaster's American filly ALL IS MINE (working well), with young Muir aboard, gets the nod over consistent DOUBLE BUTTON and the unbeaten three-year-old colt DIPLOMATICIMMUNITY in the fifth to be contested by seven starters over the straight.
Closing off the first Super-6 is a 4-y-o maiden condition race over 1600 metres in which leading lights HOGANS HERO and SOCIAL BUTTERFLY should fight it out in a field of 12. The Steven Todd-trained HOGANS HERO caught the eye when finishing a close second to AUDRE'S BLESSING in a highly-competitive 1500-metre race on Boxing Day and thus gets the nod.
FIRST SUPER-6 FANCIES
|(1)||BIGMAN IN TOWN/|
|(2)||LIVE WATER/DOLLA WIN|
|(3)||RAISE A RUCKUS|
|(5) ALL IS MINE/DOUBLE||BUTTON|