Orville Clarke, Gleaner Writer
A lucky punter walked away just over $6 million richer at Caymanas Park last Saturday, having emerged the only winner of the Pick-9.
According to unconfirmed reports, the big winner is a well-known punter who staked a huge sum (over $100,000). The Pick-9 starts anew with the guaranteed minimum of $1 million.
It will embrace races three to 11 on the Supreme Ventures Cash Pot Raceday programme, while the first Super-6 will be conducted from race one to six, the overlapping Super-6 from race six to 11.
We look at the first Super-6 which gets under way with a 1820-metre race (restricted allowance two) for the Cash Pot 'Rake' Trophy to be contested by seven starters.
This should come down to a straight fight between the American 3-y-o colt COUGAR COMMANDER under leading jockey Omar Walker and LAPTOP, the mount of champion jockey Dane Nelson.
When both horses last met over 1500 metres on October 5, the Gary Subratie-trained COMMANDING CHIEF failed by a length to catch TITANIC with LAPTOP finishing another 11/4 length away third, running on strongly.
Both renew rivalry on almost similar terms, but LAPTOP strikes me as the more adept over the longer trip, having won over 2000 metres back in May, and thus gets the vote.
Next on the programme is the Cash Pot 'Canter' Trophy over 1200 metres (for maiden four-year-olds and up) which should come down to a three-corner tussle involving ARMY OFFICER, SIR WILLIE and SIR KING YELLOW, all of whom proved competitive last time out.
ARMY OFFICER was installed a howling 1-5 favourite to win over 1100 metres on October 2, but after leading for over 800 metres, the 4-y-o son of Storm Craft was relegated to fourth by EMPRESS TRUCK. That was in fact his first outing in 10 months and now a lot fitter, ARMY OFFICER, who has stepped with better in the not too distant past, gets the nod over the consistent SIR WILLIE (fit).
Race number three for the None Such Sprint Trophy over 1200 metres provides an ongoing clash between two-time 'Horse of the Year' SAINT CECELIA (Shane Ellis up) and the American 4-y-o colt BLAST THEM AWAY with Cardenas again in the saddle.
BLAST THEM AWAY finally lowered the colours of SAINT CECELIA when they last met over 1300 metres on September 21, beating her by three lengths.
Both have moved impressively at exercise in preparation for this grade-one sprint and despite the fact that SAINT CECELIA enjoys a 2.5kg swing, BLAST THEM AWAY is preferred.
One of the more open races on the card is the fourth over 1400 metres for conditional $180,000 claimers. Leading lights are the recent disqualified winner APOINTFORKERRY, CHAMPION LINKS, MONEY HONEY, SANDBATH, ENDURING, CHRISTMAS GIFT and ELOPING EMMA.
Any of the abovementioned can win a race of this nature, but the two with the best chances in my book are APOINTFORKERRY (Richard Mairs up) and MONEY HONEY (Prince Holder), who has run some decent races in open $180,000 claiming.
The last two races in the first Super-6 should be won by EL PATRON (knocking at the door) and recent winner RUNAWAY QUEEN, who now has little to beat in the sixth race over 1820 metres. Their respective dangers are recent winner D'NUGGET and DELICIOSA.
FIRST SUPER-6 FANCIES
(1) LAPTOP/COUGAR COMMANDER
(2) ARMY OFFICER/SIR WILLIE
(3) BLAST THEM AWAY/SAINTCECELIA
(4) APOINTFORKERRY/MONEY HONEY
(5) EL PATRON/D'NUGGET
(6) RUNAWAY QUEEN