Thousands of Barbadians and visitors to the island are expected to turn up at the Garrison Savannah today to watch the Sandy Lane Barbados Gold Cup, the region’s most prestigious horse race.
Started back in 1982 by the manufacturers of Cockspur Rum – it was first known as the Cockspur Gold Cup – Sandy Lane Hotel took up its sponsorship 19 years ago and it has continued to grow from strength to strength.
Ten races are listed on the day’s card with the first race scheduled to start at 12 noon.
The feature event, the Gold Cup, is set to run off at 4.40 p.m.with ten horses listed to face starter Mark Batson.
Only two overseas horses are down to face the starter, and these are Sayler’s Creek and Gentleman’s Kitten, both owned by Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey, also the owners of last year’s winner Major Marvel.
Of the two, Gentleman’s Kitten seems to be the better horse and based on his performances in the United States it appears he is the horse to beat.
His chances are made even better by virtue of having top Barbadian jockey Patrick Husbands aboard. He also rode last year’s winner.
The other overseas entrant is Sayler’s Creek, and he will be partnered by Rico Walcott.
Although his form has not been as good as stablemate Gentleman’s Kitten, he cannot be totally dismissed.
Of the local horses, Just A FashionMarcus Antonius and Aristodemus appear to be the main dangers to the two overseas horses.
Aristodemus actually won this race in 2013, and with top English jockey Tom Queally aboard, he has more than an outside chance of registering his second Gold Cup win.
However, what he has going against him is that his form has not been that good recently, so it is possible he might be found wanting in the latter stage of the race.
The same cannot be said about Just A Fashion though. This Richard Deane-trained four-year-old recorded a hat-trick of wins in his last three starts, and with inform jockey Jalon Samuel in the irons, he should go very close.
Marcus Antonius, a stablemate of Aristodemus, could turn out to be the best of the Barbadian entrants. He will be partnered by top Garrison jockey Anderson Trotman and this horse and jockey combination could be a danger to all.
Another horse to watch is Daunting David, who will be ridden by English jockey W. Twiston Davies.
This Sir David Seale-owned four-year-old has shown improved form recently, and with a win in his last start and reportedly good exercise form, he could be a big danger to the United States-based pair of Gentleman’s Kitten and Sayler’s Creek.
The Victor Cheeseman-trained Sirius Black looks the best of the others. He runs consistently well and placed second in his last three starts.
He will be ridden by Rickey Walcott, who won his first and only Gold Cup race to date aboard Whiskey For Me in 2007.
For those punters who like to go for a horse that has an outside chance of placing at very good odds, the one to go for is Giovedi, who will be ridden by Reshawn Latchman. This Jonathan Simpson-trained seven-year-old has not been in good form recently, but he has the potential and looks the best of the outsiders. An each-way bet on him could prove profitable.