All eyes will be on three-year-old Noble Intent when the Massy United Insurance Derby runs off at the Garrison Savannah on Saturday.
This is because in addition to owner/trainer John D. Chandler receiving the first prize money of $74,000 if Noble Intent were to win the race, he will also pocket an additional sum of $100,000 provided by the Barbados Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association (BTBA) for having won the country’s fabulous Triple Crown. The other two races of the Triple Crown are the Barbados Guineas, which he won on May 24, and the Barbados Midsummer Creole Classic, which he won on July 5.
If Noble Intent were to win tomorrow’s Derby, the $174,000 Chandler would receive will be the highest pay-out ever in Barbados to an owner for winning an individual race.
However, the only thing that could be against him winning tomorrow’s race is the distance of 2,000 metres (ten furlongs), since he has never been that far in a race to date. Most of his victories were over 1,570 metres, so that prior to the Midsummer Creole Classic some doubts were also expressed as to whether he would stay the trip of 1,800 metres in that race. He answered his critics in an emphatic way by going on to win that event relatively easy.
Saturday’s distance of 2,000 metres will be another challenge for Noble Intent, but so far he has answered all of his challenges and there is nothing to suggest that he will not answer tomorrow’s challenge in similar fashion – beating his opponents hands down.
Nevertheless, it will not be an easy task because he will get some stiff competition from Voldemort, In The Pink, Joshua, and to a lesser extent Jasmine. Of these, Aquatic Star appear to be Noble Intent’s biggest threat, with the former looking a very dangerous contender.
As far as the jockeys are concerned, former jockey now turned trainer Chally Jones has by far been the most successful one in the history of the Derby. He won nine Derbies including two hat-tricks; 1969-71 (Volare, Vintage, Benares) and 1977-79 (Odds Against, Royal Opera, Red Wine).
More than 120 dancers and marching music troops will be part of the colourful and exciting grand parade which will be a major highlight of Barbados Derby Day.
This massive parade, which will circle the race-track before special performances in front of the grand-stand, will feature dancers, marchers and musicians in a choreographed display.
Among the participants in the grand parade will be a mounted contingent from the Royal Barbados Police Force, the Cadet Corps Band, The Boy Scouts, The Zouave Band of the Defence Force and the Royal Barbados Police Band.
The parade is set to begin at 3:45 p.m. and will precede the feature Massy United Derby Classic which is Race No.7 and scheduled for 4:25 p.m.