2015 horse of the year Sirius Black has drawn the Number 1 starting gate for the Sales Graduates Champion Stakes, the feature race tomorrow on the ninth and final day of the second racing season for the year.
The chestnut son of Janak won the Harmony General Sprint last race day for the second year running when he also drew the same starting gate, but will stretch out to the mile trip of 7.8 tomorrow.
The Victor Cheeseman-trained gelding placed second in the Sales Graduates Champion Stakes last year to Joshua and is looking to make a turnaround tomorrow and put this race in his big list of top stakes races which include the Tanglewood Stakes which he won this year on Gold Cup day.
Jockey Shane Collymore who had ridden the top creole in his second place in the T A Tommy Peirce Memorial Trophy on Derby Day to upcoming star Lucky Adventure, takes over from Jalon Samuel who rode the talented runner in the Harmony General last race day August 20. Sirius Black will take joint top weight of 128 pounds.
Consistent mare Lavani who had placed second to Sirius Black in the Harmony General sprint and also did so in 2015 is also entered. The daughter of 2001 Derby winner Pan Woman has been picking up cheques recently by placing, but has not won since December 11, 2015. She will take 123 pounds.
Janaks Gold, which had placed third to Joshua and Sirius Black last year in the Barbados Thoroughbred Breeders Association race, is entered once again. He had placed fifth in his last start the T A Tommy Peirce on Derby Day to Lucky Adventure who he defeated earlier in the year. Reshawn Latchman, fresh from riding in China on August 21, could be the jockey on Janaks Gold once again. The Sale Graduates Champion race which carries a purse of $13 000, and in addition $25 000 for horses which have passed through the Barbados Breeders thoroughbred sale and are graduates in which Janaks Gold is eligible .
Nekitta, which ran a corker last race day finishing second to top imported three-year-old Infrared, is in the running again. She seems back to her old self and could be a danger to all and must not be ignored out of the betting. Nekitta will take 123 pounds Stolen, which ran a smart third in this year’s Massy United Derby, is entered in this potentially exciting race. The Jean Marc Cozier-trained three-year-old filly which had won twice this year, including the Joe Tudor MemorialAnd Grandstand Posse Fillies Trial, is stepping out with the older horses for the first time and this will be her big test. Stolen, the only three-year-old animal in the race, will carry the lightest weight at 117 pounds and this could make the world of difference. Arrow Head and Princess Tiana from the Springhead stable round off the seven-horse field.
The Sale Graduates Champion Stakes is Race 4 on the card and will run off at 3.15pm.
The Final Handicap for the top class horses rated 140 to 120 is the last race on tomorrow’s exciting eight-race card and could produce fireworks.
Lucky Adventure, which has won the most races in Barbados this year, towers above the small field of six. The stable mate of retired champion Shared Adventure, has won six races this year from nine starts. His biggest win for the year was on Derby Day in the T A Tommy Peirce Memorial defeating top creole gelding Sirius Black into second and a field which included this year’s Sandy Lane Gold Cup winner Dorsett. The talented runner has been given 130 pounds by the Barbados Turf Cub’s handicappers as he is the highest rated horse in the race at 112.
Thousands of races fans will be looking forward to seeing if connections of this very quick colt who ran 133.3, near track record time on Derby Day, will give an apprentice rider the job to claim off some weight or sign up leading rider Rasheed Hughes who has been riding like a man on a mission, to pilot the son of Looking At Lucky once again.
Lavani, who has been double entered tomorrow, has also been placed in the Final handicap and has been handicapped at 118 pounds compared to her handicap of 123 pounds in the Champion Stakes. She could be rolling in the end.
Giovedi who had beaten this year’s Spa Sprint winner I’m So Groovy on January 16 in the Palm Beach Condominium Handicap has taken entry. This being his only win for the year, Giovedi is a moody sort and can spring a surprise having pulled off giant-killing acts in the past. The eight-year-old son of Sharp Humour has drawn gate 6 in the six-horse field.
Hopefield stables entry ForsakenOne which won on August 6 in the Massy United Insurance West Mall Trophy in a very quick time of 105 flat, will be given his tester here among the big guns. Wheyshewent, which had placed fourth to Forsaken One in that same race, is the only three-year-old entered. Wild Cat Tea is the only horse in the race that had ran near the track record for 1100 meters of 103 in the past rounds off the field. If Wild Cat Tea can produce his early form fans will be in for a exciting finish.
Race one kicks off with the two-year old juveniles in the Sales Graduates Futurity Stakes. Burbon Street, the only winner in the 11-horse field, will be the overwhelming favourite after wining his second start with ease last time out running near track record time in the 1000 meters event. It is very rare one hears of a two-year-old running near track record time. This time he will be stepping up to 7.8 furlongs but that should be no problem as he is beautifully bred being out of Verkauf who comes from the family of Hennessy that won the Hopeful Stakes going 7 furlongs at Saratoga in the USA.
Celebrity Star, a full sister to 2016 Massy United Derby winner Northern Star, takes entry once again after placing second to Burbon Street on Derby Day. This bloodline is proven pedigree and she could be the one to turn the stables on the quick Burbon Street.
My selections for the feature race are Sirius Black, Nekitta, Janaks Gold and Stolen. Post time for the first race is 1.45 p.m.