Orville Clarke, Gleaner Writer
Native-bred two-year-olds take the spotlight once again at Caymanas Park today, the holiday programme featuring the valuable Hi-Pro Equi-Pro Trophy over 1300 metres to be contested by 11 starters.
This race, which offers a total purse of $1.1 million, was formerly known as the Hi-Pro Stables Choice Feeds Trophy.
Also on the Hi-Pro Raceday programme are the three-y-o and up overnight allowance race for the Ace Supercentre Trophy over 1820 metres, which offers a purse of $1 million, along with the annual round five race for the Norman Manley Memorial Cup (claiming $250,000-$210,000) with a purse of $462,000.
Eleven youngsters have been declared for the Hi-Pro Equi-Trophy, three of whom will be racing for the first time.
The trio includes the well-forward debutant TALENTED TONY K from the stables of Lorne Kirlew. This bay colt by champion sire Traditional out of Ocean Liner, who was purchased for $1.6 million at last year's TOBA yearling sale, is sure to come in for a lot of support, having been extensively prepared to meet this engagement.
He caught the eye at exercise on October 5 when galloping 5 1/2 furlongs in a brisk 1:07.3 by 1:01.1. And as recent as last Sunday, he breezed six furlongs in 1:14.3.
In brother's honour
With his preparation complete and lots of stable confidence behind him, TALENTED TONY K, named in honour of the trainer's brother, the late trainer Tony Kirlew, who died tragically at Caymanas Park on August 24 last year, looks well poised to make a winning debut under champion jockey Dane Nelson.
He not only has good speed but is well drawn on the outside of post position 10 and despite the claims of the Wayne DaCosta-trained ALSO CORRECT, who showed promise on her debut a month ago, the choice has to be TALENTED TONY K.
Meanwhile, nine starters have been declared for the Ace Supercentre Trophy, among them UNCLE DONNY, who failed by a head to stave off KAL KAL in the recent Kenneth Mattis OD Trophy race over 2000 metres on September 21.
By virtue of that performance in which he looked all over the winner a furlong out, UNCLE DONNY, who won the 2000 Guineas last year, should go one better from the convenient mark of 53.0kg.
I also like the recent winner PRINCESS NIYAH in the Norman Manley Memorial, as well as SUNLIGHT EXPRESS in the first race, SCOOP JORDYNE in the second and MAYBE I SAY SO in the eighth.