Owners Steven and Allan Madoo’s two-time defending champion Dorsett will be looking for a hat-trick of Sandy Lane Gold Cup wins when he faces a field of eight others on March 3. The Sandy Lane Gold cup which carries a purse of $214, 000 plus $23 000 in subscriptions will be race 9 on the 11-race card and starts at 4.30 p.m.
Trainer of Dorsett Robert Peirce pulled post position number 8 at the draw held at the Incitatus Members Lounge at the Garrison Savannah today. Peirce said he was very happy with Dorsett’s preparation coming up to the race and was looking for him to equal former hat-trick winner of the Sandy Lane Gold Cup, Blast of Strom, who won the Gold Cup in 2000, 2001 and 2002. English Jockey Darryll Holland will be riding Dorsett for the first time in the 37th running of the Gold Cup.
Nolan Ramsey, the grandson of owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey, pulled gate number 2 for 2016 $1 million Queens Plate winner Sir Dudley Digges. Nolan said Sir Dudley Digges was handling the tight Garrison Savannah course nicely at gallops and he was confident he could give his grandparents a third win in the Caribbean’s most prestigious race after they had won it twice in 2014 with Major Marvel and 2015 with Sayler’s Creek. Sir Dudley Digges will be ridden by Jalon Samuel who is going after a record-equalling fourth win in the Sandy Lane Gold Cup. Retired jockeys Venice Richards and Jono Jones are the holders of the record along with the still active Patrick Husbands. Samuel has won the Gold Cup with Dancing David in 2012 and Dorsett over the past two years.
Nolan also pulled position number 4 for the much talked about eight-year-old Shining Copper, a multiple graded stakes winner who is coming off a hat-trick of wins in his last three starts in the USA. Shining Copper will be ridden by Puerto Rican-born Jockey Raphael Hernandez who placed second in last year’s race with High Noon Rider.
Local trainer Edward Walcott Jr. selected gate 3 for his owner Gay Smith’s Chip Leader who also like Shining Copper is coming off a hat-trick of wins in the USA. The six-year-old son of Giant Causeway will be trained by top USA trainer Todd Pletcher who won the Kentucky Derby last year with Always Dreaming. Pletcher is no stranger to the Garrison Savannah having placed second in the 2003 running of the Sandy Lane Gold Cup with Zoning. Chip Leader will be ridden by Barbadian ace Jockey Patrick Husbands who will be going after a record-breaking fifth Gold Cup win.
2016 champion imported Just A Fashion has gate number 1. Just A fashion has won all but one of the major races in Barbados as the Gold Cup eludes his trophy cabinet. The Victor Cheeseman-trained seven-year-old will be ridden by Antonio Bishop.
Horse number 7 Campaigners Gold which has been recently purchased by CTA Stables with the Gold Cup in mind, will be representing Barbados. His trainer Jean-Marc Cozier said he was pleased how his horse was taking to his new surroundings having only arrived in Barbados last week Friday. Campaigners Gold will be ridden by Rickey Walcott.
Richard Seale, son of Sir David Seale, put his hand on the spinning wheel and pulled gate number 6 for Marcus Antonius which will be ridden by eight-time champion jockey Anderson Trotman. Martin Raizman had pulled gate 9 for Infrared who he co-owns with his brother Dan. Martin said he was hoping to get a more inside draw in the field but nevertheless was contented. Infrared will be ridden by his usual partner Rasheed Hughes.
Trainer Jonathan Simpson was the last trainer to select his number and only number 5 was in the wheel which his four-year-old USA filly Won Grand will have on her number cloth. Won Grand will be ridden by Lester Edwards who will be having his first ride in the Gold Cup.
Post time for the first race on Sandy Lane Gold Cup will be 12 noon. Top USA commentator Larry Collmus will be a special guest and will be calling a race or two on the day. Peter Rotondo, vice president of the Breeders Cup, the most important day in USA horse racing, will also be in Barbados for the Gold Cup as well.