Victor Cheeseman-trained Just A Fashion looks like the one to beat on Boxing Day in the Diamonds International/Crown Of Light Boxing Day Stakes & Trophy.
Two of his three wins this year from Grade 1 stakes, the Coolmore Stakes in January and the ANSA McAl Stakes in November, he will be the early favourite come Boxing Day. The five-year-old has been drawn out of gate 8 and will be ridden by top jockey Jalon Samuel.
This $30,000 stake event has attracted a field of eight including, 2016 Sandy Lane Gold Cup champion Dorsett. The six-year-old finished second behind Just A Fashion in the ANSA McAl Stakes and will be looking to go one better come Monday.
Since coming to Barbados, Dorsett has managed to place in three of his four starts and will surely be looking to reproduce his Gold Cup form. The son of Artie Schiller has been drawn out of gate 2.
Daunting David, the defending champion, has already won twice this year. His first win of the year coming after the disqualification of Inwon, in the 11 furlong Saleh Kahtija Mohamed Memorial Trophy, and the other in the Barbados Turf Club Directors Handicap. The Sir David Seale-owned gelding has been drawn out of gate 3.
Lucky Adventure has won six out of 12 starts this year including the TA Tommy Peirce Memorial Handicap on the Massy United Derby Day. The son of Belmont Stakes winner Looking At Lucky, had 118 pounds when he made all the running in the Tommy Peirce, carrying level weights with the rest of the colts. Boxing Day could be his biggest test.
As hundreds of race fans flock to the Garrison for the second biggest day on the local racing calendar, Nekitta, the lone mare in the race, will benefit from a five pound sex allowance. Earlier this year she upset the odds-on favorite, Sirius Black, in the Sale Grauduate’s Champion Stakes with the same weight over the same distance.
Joshua, from the stable of the great Coo Bird, owned by George DeVere Davis, will make a welcomed return to races come Monday. Having not raced for 268 days, in his last start he placed second to Just A Fashion in the Grand Stand Posse Spa Ferry Cup over the same distance.
Marcus Antonius, also coming in a bit cold having not raced for 296 days, his last race being the Sandy Lane Gold Cup, will be looking for a solid performnace.
Finally, Janak’s Gold will round off the field.
The Diamonds International/Crown Of Light Boxing Day Stakes & Trophy is set to run off at 4:25 p.m.
Florida Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association (FTBOA) Juvenile Open Trophy, Race 4. will boast field of nine. Comprising five imported animals racing against four locals, this is expected to be a real treat. The 1,570 metre event has had only two winners, Rockley – from the stable of former champion trainer William Clarke, and Fleurette – owned by Suzanne Miller, has won twice in her last thee starts over 1,100 metres. Both will have to show how well they can handle the longer trip.
Discreet Lass, a runner up in her first and only start, going the sprint trip, can possibly cash in here as her breeding lends itself to the longer trips.
Celebrity Star, a full sister to 2016 Derby winner Northern Star, is also bred for the longer trips. The rest of the field is made up of Won Grand, Felony Fire, Island Cotton, Brigardier Wood and Vencedor.
Race 5, the Boxing Day Nursery Trophy, one of three stakes on the day worth $30,000, will cater strictly to locally bred two-year-olds. Four of the fields six starters have taken top spots in the past and local race fans are eargerly awaiting this juvenile clash.
Burbon Street looks the early favorite, winning two of his four starts. He is the most experienced animal in the field. Watch That Birdie, owned by Yellow Star Racing, who defeated Burbon Street in her first start, is another possible contender.
Black Rock, owned by Luther Miller III, is another of the winning animals in the six horse field, and only one of two in this race to win over 1,570 metres.
Zip Code one of the two maidens in the field, is from the William Clarke Barn, and placed second to Black Rock on November 19. She now has three second place finishes in three career starts.
Oberoi, the other maiden in the field, placed third last race day in the Santa Clause Allotted Weight race.
Leading trainer in 2016, Victor Cheeseman, has a unassailable lead in the trainers championship, and will start the day on $585,829 in prize money that his horses have earned to date. Cheeseman currently is over $200,000 clear of his closest rival. The soft spoken trainer first won the trainers championship in 2013 and could make it four championships in a row, with the copping of the 2016 title. He will be the first trainer in Barbados to do so.
Cheeseman will be looking to make more history on Monday as he hopes his horses win all three stakes races on the card. He came up just short at the Sandy Lane Gold Cup taking two of the three stakes on the card. No trainer has ever won all the stakes on a days card in Barbados.
Post time on Boxing Day is carded for 1:15 p.m.
My selection: Diamonds International/Crown Of Light Boxing Day Stakes & Trophy –– 1st Just A Fashion, 2nd Lucky Adventure, 3rd Dorsett, 4th Nekitta.