ZOOM looks the one to beat in The Coo Bird Handicap when it runs off at the Garrison Savannah this Saturday, the third day of the Barbados Turf Club’s third and final racing season for 2012.
The Gay Smith-owned, Edward Walcott-trained seven-year-old gelding has been a consistent sort, winning two of his last five races and placing in the other three.
His last win came on January 21, when he got home by a neck from Show Me The Money and Apostle. Prior to that, he defeated Kendal Moon and Leave It To Me in the Barbados Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association Classic over 1800 metres on November 5 last year.
His three other places came on December 26 last year when he finished second behind Show Me The Money over 1570 metres; on March 3 this year when he finished third behind Sir David Seale’s Dancin’ David in the Gold Cup; and on September 1 when he placed second again, on that occasion behind Vitality going 1100 metres.
Although being the one to beat, Zoom’s task is not going to be an easy one as he will be giving away lots of weight to most of his eight other†opponents.†He has been saddled with the top weight of 133 pounds, and he will be giving away from as little as seven pounds to as many as 23 pounds.
The second top weight of 126 pounds goes to the Boston John-trained Shared Adventure, another consistent sort who has won two of his last†three races with his last success coming over 1100 metres on September 8.
The Andy Ward-trained Purr Class will carry the third top weight of 121 pounds, and despite winning over the distance on July 21 this five-year-old will need to be at her very best to land this event.
In addition to Purr Class, former jockey turned trainer Ward will also be represented by the imported Peaceful Envoy, and the locally bred Run Alke Run and Vitality. And of his four entries, Vitality seems to have the best chance of stopping Zoom, having defeated him by over five lengths when they last met on September 1.
Another horse capable of giving Zoom some trouble at the weights is A.P. Vincero, trained by Victor Cheeseman. This American-bred three-year-old colt has been reasonably consistent, winning once and placing second twice in his last six starts. That win came on April 14, when he defeated Forest Fire and Wild Fire over 1100 metres.
The other two entries in the race are the Johnathan Simpson-trained Giovedi and Rock Forever. The form of both is of such that it is difficult to recommend any of them, although Giovedi, who will no doubt start at attractive odds, could spring a surprise if he decides to produce his best form.††