Orville Clarke, Gleaner Writer
Tomorrow's first leg of the Seek Back-to-School two-day carnival which continues on Sunday, features 10 races which will be accompanied by a Pick-9 carryover of $3.6 million.
With heavy betting anticipated, a payout of $4.5 million looks a real possibility.
The Pick-9 will be conducted from races two to 10, the first Super-6 from races one to six, the overlapping Super-6 from race five to race 10.
The card features the seventh running of the $1 million Seek Exercise Book Back to School Trophy open allowance race over 1300 metres, to be contested by 10 starters. The field includes last year's winner REASONABLE PRESS, one of three starters from the stables of 'Hall of Fame' trainer Philip Feanny.
We look at the first Super-6 which gets under way with a $180,000 claiming race over 1000 metres for the seek Plaque. Eleven starters have been declared, including the likely favourite ANNIE OAKLEY with in-form jockey Dick Cardenas riding her from the convenient mark of 50.0kg.
Although sparingly raced in the pasty year, ANNIE OAKLEY is much better than this level of racing and with the stables of Patrick Lynch in good form, ANNIE OAKLEY should make all at the expense of APPELLANT and SPLITTING IMAGE.
CLASSIC BEAU, having won his last two races in high claiming company, should complete the hat-trick in the second race over 1400 metres for $550,000-$500,000 claimers.
The seven-year-old horse from the stables of Ryan Darby faces 10 opponents and will carry topweight of 57.0kg with Clive Lynch again in the saddle.
That's only 1.0kg more than he carried to victory over 1300 metres in the Emancipation Day Trophy on August 1 and despite the sound claims of TANTALOO and EASTWOOD, a fit CLASSIC BEAU ought to be followed.
JUDGE JUDY, who was a disqualified winner in similar company over a mile on May 23, should rebound in the third race, the Seek Employees Trophy over 1500 metres in which 11 will run.
The race, however, has an open look about it, with others such as STERLING GOLD, MARINE DRIVE (working well), STOP A GAP and I AM THANKFUL having decent chances.
Following his strong second to CAPTAIN DJ over 1300 metres on July 27, THE LINCOLN LAWYER (Jevanne Erwin) should finally get it right in the fourth race over 1200 metres for maiden four-year-olds and up.
The full field of 16 also includes MEDICAL CAT, SHE'S MY HONEY, LADY SIDONNA and SILENT STORM, all expected to figure prominently. However, THE LINCOLN LAWYER can give trainer Patrick Lynch a second winner from a clean break.The fifth race over 1600 metres should be won by I'VE BEEN CHOSEN, now dropped in class (again) after finishing six lengths fifth to PRINCE THEO over 1200 metres last Saturday in the Ossie Steele Memorial Cup.
The American bred colt steps down from $450,000 to $350,000 for this race and goes with a mere 52.0kg for the services of 3.0kg claiming apprentice Kuri Powell. D'NUGGET, who has won two of her last three races, looks the principal danger. Then, take THUNDER HEART (Paul Francis) to beat BATIDOR DE MUNDO (working well) and HUMBLE LION in the sixth race for maiden three-year-olds over 1500 metres.
(1) ANNIE OAKLEY/SPLITTING IMAGE
(2) CLASSIC BEAU/TANTALOO
(3) JUDGE JUDY/MARINE DRIVE
(4) THE LINCOLN LAWYER/MEDICAL CAT
(5) I'VE BEEN CHOSEN/D'NUGGET
(6) THUNDER HEART/HUMBLE LION