Orville Clarke, Gleaner Writer
Bang-in-form BLAST THEM AWAY should defy topweight of 57.0kg and win the 42nd running of the Catherine's Peak Gold Cup feature over 1400 metres at Caymanas Park today.
Trained by 12-time champion Wayne DaCosta for owner Robert K. Thomas, the American-bred four-year-old colt represents the class horse in a field of eight (grade one), and although giving away weight all around, the fact that he beat the now retired two-time 'Horse of the Year' SAINT CECELIA in his last two races - snapping her record 14-race winning streak - looks the right choice with Dick Cardenas again in the saddle.
Since winning the None Such Sprint Trophy over 1200 metres on October 19, BLAST THEM AWAY has been burning up the track exercise in preparation for this race. He galloped 51/2 furlongs in a brisk 1:06.4 by 1:00.2 on November 24, followed up by a six-furlong bullet work in 1:13.2 last Saturday morning.
Having paid his dues in defeat against SAINT CECELIA last year and early this year, BLAST THEM AWAY learnt from those experiences and was finally able to turn the tables on her in recent months. And it should be recalled that SAINT CECELIA has won the Gold Cup for the past three years.
Having taken over the mantle as the best sprinter/middle distance horse in the country, BLAST THEM AWAY should enter the reckoning for 'Horse of the Year' honours by putting away this field.
Four of his rivals - stable-companion CLASSY PROSPECT, COMMANDING CHIEF, and the American horses UPPA TUNE and KIPLING WEEKEND - should ensure keen competition.
UPPA TUNE and KIPLING WEEKEND have shown vast improvement in the second half of the season, especially the Ian Parsard-trained UPPA TUNE, who made all impressively to win the Talawah Imported Mile in fast time on November 9. And the form of that race has been working out beautifully in that the runner-up, ARGUMENT DONE, and fourth horse, KIPLING WEEKEND, have since won.
But the class of BLAST THEM AWAY should make the difference, even though UPPA TUNE from in front should ensure he works for the money.
Other firm fancies on the 10-race programme are the unbeaten FORCE DE JOUR in the third race for the Pickney Peak Dye Job Sprint for two-year-olds; PISCEAN ROCKET in the fourth; KOBALT in the sixth; CRAMERS RULE in the seventh for the Andrew H.B. Aguilar Memorial Cup for two-year-olds over a mile; and DOUBLE DE CAT in the eighth.