Dane Nelson on a double
Orville Clarke, Gleaner Writer
With the fancied horses holding their own, for the most part, on Wednesday, both the Pick-9 and Super-6s were caught by several punters.
The Pick-9, which embraced all nine races on the mid-week programme, was caught by four punters, each receiving $250,000. It starts anew with the guaranteed minimum of $1 million, while both Super-6s were also caught and start anew with the guaranteed minimum of $750,000.
The Pick-9 will be conducted from race two to 10, the first Super-6 from race one to six, the late Super-6 from race five to 10.
We look at the first Super-6, which gets underway with the round five Winnie Anglin Memorial Cup confined to native-bred two-year-olds. Right off the bat, punters will be provided with a banker in the form of the debutante ELVIRA, to be ridden by leading jockey Dick Cardenas, for champion trainer Wayne DaCosta.
One of three newcomers in the six-strong field, ELVIRA, a bay filly by Porto Santo out of Diamondintheruff has looked well advanced in her preparation, galloping five furlongs in a brisk 1:00.2 on August 31, among other eye-catching workouts. She looks hard to oppose and should win from PLAY BACK.
LIGHT BRIGADE, who chased home MERU over 1300 metres recently, looks the pick of the weights in the second race over 1100 metres to be contested by 10 horses from the $50,00 - $400,000 claiming spread.
LIGHT BRIGADE, with customary rider Jevanne Erwin aboard, has beaten several of his opponents earlier this season, including subsequent winner ROLEX, who will again have champion jockey Dane Nelson in the saddle.
The speedy mare SHE'S SO SPECIAL will more than likely set off in front and will have to be caught, while DI COBRE, who is enjoying good form and now pretty light, should ensure keen competition. But the Rudolph Hardial-trained LIGHT BRIGADE, now eased in the weights, looks the one to beat.
The lightly raced American-bred four-year-old colt BIGBROWNGREYHOPE ran a vastly improved race (third) to PRO SECO in a fast-run 1500-metre race on August 30, and with the cheek pieces now fitted, should lead home another improving horse NATASHADON'TPLAY (Cardenas up) in the third race over 1820 metres.
With Nelson retaining the ride, BIGBROWNGREYHOPE should prove too strong for recent winners NATASHADONTPLAY and ALL THAT MATTERS in the seven-strong field.
BECKHAM, a lightly raced three-year-old colt who has shown worthwhile ability, has been thrown in for a tag in the fourth race over a mile for $250,000 - $210,000 claiming horses. Despite the good claims of SUPEM AGO HAPPEN, GO TO HELL and PREMATUREE, BECKHAM looks the right choice with Nelson riding for trainer Richard Azan in a 12-strong field.
The last two races in the first Super-6 should be won by the Gary Subratie-trained DESTINY'S CHOICE (Aaron Chatrie up) ahead of stable-companion WOMAN IS BOSS (a recent winner), while it should be OH MY GRANDPA (knocking at the door) under four-time champion Omar Walker in the sixth, where PAID OUR DUES looks the principal danger.
FIRST SUPER-6 FANCIES
(2) LIGHT BRIGADE/ROLEX
(3) BIGBROWNGREYHOPE/ NATASHADONTPLAY
(4) BECKHAM/SUPEM AGO HAPPEN
(5) DESTINY'S CHOICE/WOMAN IS BOSS
(6) OH MY GRANDPA/PAID OUR DUES