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Apprentices on show today at Caymanas

Published:Friday | September 25, 2015 | 12:27 PMOrville Clarke
PERFECT NEIGHBOUR (Robert Halledeen) to take Governor General Stakes.

They include Odean Edwards, who has secured as many as five rides on the 10-race programme.

Edwards, who is apprenticed to trainer Richard Azan, joins Linton Steadman, Hakeem Pottinger, Dane Dawkins, Amoy Gray, Oneil Beckford, Jerome Innis, Anthony Thomas, and two of the three female apprentices - Natalie Berger and Mellissa Ward - as the ones down to ride today.

Edwards, who is popularly called 'Dino', will ride BABY P for Azan in the third race, the Keeling Memorial Cup over 1100 meres for two-year-olds; highly fancied FIFTYONESTORM for trainer Edward Walker in the fifth race over the straight five course; LUCKYBEGOOD for trainer Bernard Vincent in the sixth over 1300 metres; as well as recent winner TARANIS for Azan in the seventh over a mile; and KING NEBARUE for trainer Linton Calder in the eighth race, again over a mile.

Edwards, who rode a winner as exercise rider in 2014, has a glorious chance of opening his official account aboard FIFTYONESTORM, who not only has good speed, but looked in good condition at exercise recently and will relish the straight.


Steadman, on the other hand, is apprenticed to 14-time champion trainer Wayne DaCosta, and the buzz on the backstretch is that he will make an early impact, having ridden two of the three winners in the JRC Training School races aboard GRAND TRAIN and SEAL THE DEAL, not to mention two winners in MADEBA and GRANDE MARQUE as an exercise rider as well.

He is down to ride the two-year-old VISION for Wayne DaCosta in the third race and the highly-fancied SIR D for trainer Ryan Darby in the closing race over the straight for conditional $180,000 claimers. Steadman could well win with SIR D, who is favourably drawn on the stands' side in a 15-horse field.

Meanwhile, the 2013 derby and St Leger winner PERFECT NEIGHBOUR looks the pick of the weights in today's grade one feature, the $1.2 million Governor General' Stakes over 2000 metres at Caymanas Park, a major prep for the November 14 Superstakes.

Significantly, the race has been brought forward by three weeks due to the activity leading up to the inaugural running of the Diamond Mile on December 5, with a record purse of JA $13.5 million.

The DaCosta-trained PERFECT NEIGHBOUR, with in-form Robert Halledeen again in the saddle, is one of six horses declared for the GG Stakes, and with the scales decisively in his favour (112.0kg), should lead home two-time Superstakes winner TYPEWRITER and COMMANDING CHIEF.

Other firm fancies on the card are DIAMOND in the opening race for maidens over a mile ST BERNARD in the second; the unbeaten DREAMLINER for DaCosta in the Keeling Memorial Cup; stable-companion DRIPPING IN GOLD in the seventh; and COLD GROUND to go one better in the eighth race over a mile.