Orville Clarke, Gleaner Writer
D'NUGGET, now dropped in class, should show her appreciation by winning the Alty McKenzie Memorial Cup feature (claiming $350,000 - $300,000) over 1600 metres at Caymanas Park today.
With bang-in-form champion jockey Dane Nelson aboard, the five-year-old mare by Congrats out of Top Of The Noggin is one of eight starters declared, but she has done so well in winning four races this season that she only needs to leave the gates promptly from the number one post position to outfinish old rivals JARREAU, DELICIOSA, and SAINT MARY.
D'NUGGET, who is conditioned by the young trainer, Robert Alveranga, beat a good field on September 21 when running on strongly at odds of 7-1 to catch EL PATRON and JOVOUN THE MASTER over 1820 metres on a $420,000 tag. And prior to that, on September 11, she failed by a neck to catch DELICIOSA over 1820 metres. However, she had beaten DELICIOSA in decisive fashion over 1400 metres on a $350,000 tag and had also has met and beaten JARREAU in the not-too-distant past.
Both JARREAU and DELICIOSA are worthy opponents, especially the Andrew McDonald-trained JARREAU, who was not disgraced when finishing three lengths fifth (staying on) to out-of-class DIOR over 1100 metres last Sunday.
JARREAU, to be ridden by the useful 2.0kg claiming apprentice Ruja Lahoe from the convenient mark of 53.0kg. has the pace to set off in front, but I fear he will be caught by D'NUGGET.
Elsewhere on the 11-race programme, CLASSIC BEAU, who was a beaten favourite in the Cecil C. Charlton Memorial Cup over 1300 metres under topweight last Saturday, should rebound in the opening race over a mile to be contested by seven starters.
Trained by Ryan Darby, the seven-year-old gelding was not disgraced in finishing 4 1/2 lengths fifth to SCOOP JORDYNE, and given this milder pace and weaker company, should notch his fifth win from his last seven starts, with favourite rider Clive Lynch again in the saddle.
Champion jockey Dane Nelson, who has secured some live rides on the programme in a bid to overhaul Omar Walker, who is only three ahead in the championship race, is poised to win at least four races on the card.
Best of his rides are D'NUGGET, VIBES MASTER in the second over 1200 metres, along with ABOVE THE RADAR in the seventh, MOREBULLETSTOFIRE in the eighth, and recent winner BORDER LINE to repeat in the 10th race over the straight.