The eagerly anticipated clash between 2017 Barbados Derby winner Butterfly and the rapidly improving Zip Code comes off on Errol Barrow Day Bank Holiday in the Australia Handicap, the feature event on the day’s card with a field of six spirited runners going 1800 meters.
The two last met on August 1, 2017, in the Massy United Derby with Butterfly galloping home giving owner Gay Smith her second Derby win in four years. Zip Code had finished fourth in the most important race for three-year-old creoles. Since then Zip Code has won three races from five starts and will be looking to be a worthy adversary to last year’s Derby winner.
Zip Code will take the top weight of 128 pounds and will be running out of gate 7, the same gate he won from on Boxing Day and will be going after a hattrick of wins. Trainer William Clarke has told Barbados TODAY Zip Code was in the pink of condition and could be the star of his stable just like Galileo who he trained to win the 1999 Barbados Derby.
Zip Code is out of the dam Signorina who is the half-sister to 1994 Barbados Derby winner Zarmella who produced Galileo. Zip Code will be ridden by Jalon Samuel who has taken over from Rickey Walcott, his pilot in his last two victories.
The Edward Walcott-trained Butterfly had some experience racing with the older horses for the first time when placing fourth in the Super Lotto Breeders Classic going 1800 meters to 2016 Massy United Derby winner Northern Star with crack creoles Stolen and Spartacus placing second and third respectively. She returned on December 3 placing third of four runners in the Sale Graduates’ Champion Stakes to Northern Star again with her stablemate Princess Tiana placing second. The derby winner will take 125 pounds.
2017 Barbados Derby runner-up Legion is fresh from scoring last race day taking victory from stablemate Watch That Birdie in the Ferry Boat Handicap going the sprint trip of 1100 meters on the first day of the 2018 racing season. Before that victory, he was unplaced on November 25 in the Barbados Cricket Association Trophy going the mile trip of 1570 meters running down the field in sixth position behind Felony Fire who placed second and Zip Code who placed fourth. The Phillip Moseley-bred runner will take 123 pounds in the Australia Handicap on Monday with apprentice Delano Lopez in the saddle.
Melrose stables’ Oberoi who had placed third in the 2017 Massy United Derby will be looking to find the form he once had. The son of Rocamadour won the Midsummer Classic, the second leg of Triple Crown on June 24 defeating Legion but has not won since then. After the Derby, he ran a dismal 10 of 10 in the Super Lotto Breeders Classic and fifth to Zip Code in the listed race the Graduate Vase Handicap on December 9 going 1800 meters. However, he ran a much-improved race when placing second to Zip Code going 1800 meters on Boxing Day in the Vena D’Amore Handicap. Oberoi will take 121 pounds and Antonio Perch will be in the saddle.
Island Cotton and Felony Fire complete the Australia Handicap which is race 6 on the 7-race card and will run off at 4:40. p.m.
My selections for the Australia Handicap – Zip Code, Oberoi, Butterfly, Legion.
The Galileo Handicap for West Indian- bred three-year-old maidens going 1570 meters is named after the best stallion in the world at Coolmore stud in Europe and is the first of two superfectas on the day. Jackmananny Gap looks like the one to beat having placed fourth in the Boxing Day Juvenile Open with the more seasoned horses. The son of champion sire Janak has raced six times having two second-place finishes and twice placing fourth. The Victor Cheeseman-trained animal will take the top weight of 123 pounds with Antonio Whitehall aboard.
Horse number 15 Leviticus looks like the horse to give Jackmanannygap a challenge. The son of In-form stallion Zwick had some creditable performances having placed second to one of the two top two-year-olds of last year, Quality Star, in the Sale Graduates Futurity Stakes going 1570 on November 11. Leviticus showed his class having been unlucky in the start when his rider’s saddle slipped and he could not achieve a true position. In that Sale Graduates’ race, Leviticus had defeated Jackmananny Gap who finished fourth.
Leviticus had placed fourth in his first start on July 15 defeating Jackmananny Gap who had finished fifth of the six runners in the Bailey’s Plantation Handicap.
Leviticus and Jackmananny Gap met again on August 1 In the Massy United Staff Trophy going the 1000 meters trip. Leviticus had placed second to winner Don’t Doubt Dorris with Jackmananny Gap finishing fourth. The two have met three times with Leviticus coming out on top each time. However, Leviticus ran a poor sixth of nine runners having been sent off as the eight to five favourite on Boxing Day – his last start. He will take the joint top weight of 123 points along with his archrival Jackmananny Gap
Horse number 8 Lady Jazz a daughter of the newly imported stallion Eagles Peak who is by the world champion sire Galileo, is fresh from finishing fourth on Boxing Day in the Diamonds International\Gift Race. Having only her second start on December 26 she defeated Leviticus in the process and could be on the improve. The Boston John-trained filly will take 118 pounds. two more than on Boxing Day and will have Rasheed Hughes aboard.
Too Much Bling from the Victor Cheeseman-barn is a half-brother to multiple stake champion mare Nekitta and could be one to watch. He has had only one start to date finishing fifth on November 11 in the Pride Of BarbadosRace to leading undefeated two-year-old filly Stealin. Too much Bling is going up two more pounds than his first start to 118 pounds
Rounding off the 10-horse field will be Whatyouthink,Top Kat, Pretty Princess, Secret Mission, Abigail, Aquila. Post time for the Galileo Handicap is 3.35 p.m.
My selections for the Galileo Handicap are JackmanannyGap, Lady Jazz, Leviticus, Too Much Bling.
Post time for race 1 on Monday is 2 p.m.