Orville Clarke, Gleaner Writer
The Pick-9, which had no takers at Caymanas Park last Saturday, should move significantly from its $1 million level tomorrow, ensuring a payout in excess of $1.5 million.
Meanwhile, both Super-6s were caught at the last meet and resume with guaranteed minimums of $750,000. The first will be conducted from race two to seven, the second from race four to nine.
We look at the first Super-6 which gets under way with a maiden 3-y-o race over 1600 metres to be contested by 12 starters.
Right off the bat, the race should come down to a straight fight between AGAKHAN and RUM PUNCH to be ridden by four-time champion jockey Omar Walker and reigning champion Dane Nelson, respectively.
The Richard Azan-trained AGAKHAN just failed to catch GO GO TRAIN over 1400 metres in a two-year-old race for maidens on December 19 and has trained well since. Preference, however, is for RUM PUNCH from the stables of champion trainer Wayne DaCosta. The lightly raced bay gelding by Deputy's Report out of Exchange Only caught the eye on his second outing on January 5 when chasing home highly thought of BIGMAN IN TOWN by 21/4 lengths in a fast-run 1200-metre race. With the third horse GOODWILL BOY coming back to win easily, this speaks volumes for the chances of RUM PUNCH, who has not only worked well (galloping seven furlongs in 1:28.3 on Sunday last), but has been administered Lasix for the first time, which will definitely help his cause.
SECOND SUPER SIX
The second Super-6 race (race three) is confined to high-claiming horses over a distance of 1400 metres.
Included in the line-up is the recent course winner MY FRIEND LUCY, who clocked a fast 1:25.4 in staving off EASTWOOD by three-quarter length on January 5. She will be strongly opposed by THE GUMMER, RAISE A RUCKUS and JAYLEN, all winners in recent weeks.
The DaCosta-trained 4-y-o filly MY FRIEND LUCY, with Dick Cardenas up, will more than likely start favourite on the strength of that run. But I like the American 6-y-o horse RAISE A RUCKUS, who has won two of his last three races and should step up to the plate with Walker aboard.
Race number four over 1300 metres (claiming $350,000-$300,000 should provide keen competition among the likes of LESTERAE, MAYBE I SAY SO, MUCHO GUSTO, MADIBA and the recent winner GREEN BERET, who is still at home over the longer distance.
But I doubt whether GREEN BERET can outfinish either MUCHO GUSTO or the sparingly raced 5-y-o horse MADIBA, who is out for the first time since winning decisively over 1400 metres in July of last year. Despite the lengthy absence, he has been taken to task at exercise by trainer Norman Palmer and should return on a winning note.
RAGING PROSPECT, now back among non-winners of three, should resume winning ways in the fifth race over 1820 metres for four-year-olds and up. Trained by Fitzroy Glispie, the 4-y-o colt, who finished a close fourth in last year's Governor's Cup (Lotto Classic), looks a cinch with only 51.0kg by virtue of top apprentice Shamaree Muir's 3.0kg claim and should lead home recent inner MIRACLE STAR and bold front-runner TIGRENIAN.
The last two races (sixth and seventh) should be won by down-in-class PRINCE OF ARABIA (Orlando Foster up) and HOGANS HERO (Muir aboard) in the apprentice race. Their respective dangers are recent winner FUNNY SIDE (Cardenas up) and the DaCosta-trained GOLD RUSH under the tiny apprentice Prince Holder.
FIRST SUPER-6 FANCIES
(2) RUM PUNCH/AGAKHAN
(3) RAISE A RUCKUS/MY FRIEND LUCY
(4) MADIBA/MAYBE I SAY SO
(5) RAGING PROSPECT
(6) PRINCE OF ARABIA/FUNNY SIDE
(7) HOGANS HERO/GOLD RUSH