Don't oppose Aquilo in Race 3
Orville Clarke, Gleaner Writer
Tomorrow's pre-Christ-mas race meet at Caymanas Park will feature 12 races and large fields, a situation not uncommon to this time of the year.
With the big jackpots in the Pick-9 and second Super-6 having been caught by many punters at last weekend's back-to-back meets, the exotic bets start anew with guaranteed minimums of $1m and $750,000 in the Pick-6 and Super-6s respectively.
We look at the first super-6, which begins with a mile race for $180,000 claimers to be contested by eight starters, including top contenders ALDEBARAN and HE'STHEREAL LINKS, both winners in recent months.
When both horses last met over this trip on November 29, the Andrew McDonald-trained ALDEBARAN finished 2-1/2 lengths fourth to NATURALFANTASY, a length ahead of HE'STHEREAL LINKS in fifth. It promises to be close between them, but the Johnny Wilmot-trained HE'STHEREAL LINKS, who was apprentice-ridden last time out, should benefit from the stronger handling of Shane Ellis and is given the edge following his easy victory over 1,400 metres on October 11.
Sunnyside Stakes over 1,100
Next on the programme is division one of the Sunnyside Stakes over 1,100 metres for maiden two-year-old fillies. Judging from her glowing exercise reports in preparation for the race, PUDDU POOH to be ridden by former champion Omar Walker for trainer Richard Azan, is tipped to make a winning debut,
having galloped six furlongs in 1:14.3 at exercise recently and a brisk 47.0 flat for four furlongs a week ago.
The bay filly by Adore The Gold out of Shahar should lead home KIMBERLY GOLD, who ran creditably (third) as the favourite behind REGGAE GOLD over 800 metres straight on her August 2 debut. And she has worked fairly well for this race.
AQUILO, now dropped two classes after that good fourth to LIGHT BRIGADE over 1200 metres on a $450,000 tag recently, looks hard to oppose in the third race over 1300 metres confined to $250,000 - $210,000 claiming horses. The Lawrence Freemantle-trained 6-y-o horse is so much better than this level that he should have little difficulty putting away POCKET MONEY and EUSEBIA in an eight-horse field.
The Gary Subratie-trained ANGEL STAR is preferred to the well forward debutante FEARLESS STAR in the fourth, division two of the Sunnyside Stakes for which 11 fillies have been declared.
The last two races should be won by Peter McMaster's lightly raced filly EXPLOSIVE PRINCESS, who has looked improved at exercise (working well) since she was awarded her initial race in the Stewards' Room on October 4, and TIZ A CAT despite the presence of the sparingly-used claiming apprentice Zac Meikle in the sixth race for maiden five-year-olds and up over 1,200 metres.
FIRST SUPER-6 FANCIES
(1) HE'STHEREAL LINKS/
(2) PUDDY POOH
(4) ANGEL STAR/
(5) EXPLOSIVE PRINCESS
(6) TIZ A CAT