Orville Clarke, Gleaner Writer
The Pick-9 proved elusive for the fourth consecutive raceday at Caymanas Park on Wednesday and the carryover to tomorrow's meet stands at a cool $2.5 million.
This should whet the appetite of racing fans and betting should be heavier than usual. Hence, a payout in excess of $3.5 million looks a real possibility.
The Pick-9 will embrace races two to 10, the first Super-6 from race one to six, the overlapping Super-6 from race five to 10.
We look at the second Super-6 which gets under way with a knotty-looking straight-five race (claiming $550,000-$510,000) in which several of the 10 starters have good claims. They include the course specialist PRESCRIPTION, SUNLIGHT EXPRESS, SAFE PASSAGE and the one I like best, COBRA, who steps down from overnight allowance company to high claiming for this race.
Trained by Norman Palmer, COBRA carries a mere 51.0kg with smart apprentice Prince 'Daggerman' Holder in the saddle and reports fit and well for this race. When last venturing over the straight in October of last year, COBRA finished 51/4 lengths third to SMOKING MAN and PALACE GUARD in overnight company, and only needs to reproduce that performance to lead home PRESCRIPTION and SUNLIGHT EXPRESS.
Next on the programme is a maiden condition race for four-year-olds and up over the straight in which LIGHT BRIGADE represents the day's five-star banker.
The lightly raced gelding from the stables of Noel Ennevor beat all barring DONATA over 1200 metres on February 27, this after missing the break. With less to do in present company, he should win from old rival ALDEBARAN, who was 41/4 lengths third in the race won by DONATA.
The seventh race over 1600 metres for overnight allowance horses brings together a good field of 12, from which last year's 2000 Guineas winner UNCLE DONNY (working well) with Shane Ellis aboard, the imported filly KAL KAL under champion jockey Dane Nelson, and hat-trick seeker TIMEFORARMS with champion apprentice Shamaree Muir are leading lights.
The Anthony Nunes-trained UNCLE DONNY returns well prepared since finishing seventh to MARK MY WORD in the CTL Superstakes last November, but will appreciate the drop in class and will only go down fighting. Preference is for the Fitzroy Glispie-trained TIMEFORARMS, who is coming off convincing back-to-back wins, and with only 50.0kg looks the pick of the weights.
Briefly, SKIPAWAY PRINCE (regaining form) gets the nod over RIVERS OF BABYLON and SWEETHEART in the eighth race over the round-five course for $180,000 horses.
Then, take the highly thought of OLYMPIC PROSPECT, who made a smashing debut in the recent Hot Line Stakes, to follow up for leading jockey Omar Walker and in-form trainer Gary Subratie in the ninth race, the $1.3 million Thornbird Stakes (Guineas Trial) over 1400 metres to be contested by 11 three-year-old fillies. And close all bets with RHEA'S A SUPERSTAR (working fairly well) in the Track Price Plus Dig Out Handicap over 1400 metres.
SECOND SUPER-6 FANCIES
(6) LIGHT BRIGADE
(7) TIMEFORARMS/UNCLE DONNY
(8) SKIPAWAY PRINCE/RIVERS OF BABYLON
(9) OLYMPICPROSPECT/PERFECT DAY
(10) RHEA'S A SUPERSTAR/WESTERN ROSE