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Gold Cup hits Peak - Bottling company first-time sponsor for top-class event

Published:Wednesday | November 27, 2013 | 12:00 AM
David Wong (second left), managing director of Peak Bottling Company Limited, hands over the Gold Cup to Cedric Stewart, chief executive officer of Caymanas Track Limited (CTL), at yesterday's launch of Gold Cup Day on December 7 in the Trainers' Room at Caymanas Park. Looking on from left are Michael Bernard, chairman of Peak Bottling Company Limited, and Christopher Brown, chairman of CTL. - Colin Hamilton/Freelance Photographer

Orville Clarke, Gleaner Writer

The 42nd running of the very popular Gold Cup race for top-class horses, to be sponsored by Peak Bottling Company Limited for the first time, will be run over 1400 metres on Saturday, December 7.

Plans for the big raceday were outlined by representatives of Peak Bottling and Caymanas Track Limited (CTL) at yesterday's launch in the Trainers' Room at Caymanas Park.

The grade-one handicap offers a total purse of $1.5 million, inclusive of $500,000 from the sponsor.

Denzil Miller Jr, CTL's racing secretary, said that despite the absence of two-time Horse of the Year SAINT CECELIA, who recently retired to stud after winning the race for the past three years, and also this year's derby winner PERFECT NEIGHBOUR, the race is still worth going miles to see.

"It promises to bring together the recent Superstakes hero Typewriter, Imported Mile winner Uppa Tune and None Such Sprint Trophy winner Blast Them Away in a race filled with speed, intrigue and excitement.

"Others expected to start are Commanding Chief, Classy Prospect, Raging Prospect, Palace Gold, Exotic Gold, Go Go Yvonne, Sweet Trail, 2000 Guineas winner Willie Goldsmith, and the American filly Kipling Weekend, who won the Gladiator Trophy over the Gold Cup distance last Saturday," disclosed Miller.

He then recalled some of the outstanding horses which have won the Gold Cup over the years, including KILOWATT, who won the inaugural running in 1967 and repeated the feat in 1968 and 1970; the gigantic one-eyed American horse MONTE'S STITCH (1972), who won under the crushing impost of 140lb; back-to-back winner EROS, who won in track record time of 1:22.4 in 1994; and, of course, SAINT CECELIA.

Michael Bernard, chairman of Peak Bottling Company Limited and a leading racehorse owner, said the company will use the day as the official launch date of their new product, Purewater.

In the presence of 'a Purewater wi drink' brand ambassadors, Ricardo 'Bibi' Gardener and Oral Tracey, Bernard said Purewater's launch will coincide with the company's entry into the Junior Stock Exchange.

He further disclosed that there will be giveways at the track, including Ripple Slash brand fruit juices and Pickney Peak, sponsors of the Dye Job Sprint Trophy for imported two-year-olds.

Also speaking was CTL's chief executive officer, Cedric Stewart, who lauded Bernard for his commitment to horse racing in Jamaica.

Entertainment will be provided by Keznamdi and Friends.