The attention of sports enthusiasts will be focused on the Garrison Savannah tomorrow as the Caribbean’s most prestigious race, the Sandy Lane Gold Cup, comes off at 4.30 p.m.
A field of nine horses was originally slated for the main event which is the day’s ninth race, but the runners have been reduced to eight after USA-based Chip Leader did not make the trip to Barbados as a result of travel issues.
Winner of the last two editions of the Gold Cup Dorsett will be looking to make history and become the second horse after Blast of Storm to win a hat-trick of Gold Cups. Englishman Darryl Holland will be riding Dorsett for the first time tomorrow. Out to stop him will be the Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s pair of Shining Copper, winner of his last three starts and Sir Dudley Digges, winner of the 2015 $1 million Canadian Queens Plate. Shining Copper will be ridden by Puerto Rico-born jockey Raphael Hernandez who placed second last year on High Noon Rider and will be looking to win this time around.
Sir Dudley Digges who is creating history by becoming the first horse to have won a million dollar race to race in Barbados, will be ridden by defending Sandy Lane Gold Cup-winning jockey Jalon Samuel who partnered Dorsett in his last two Gold Cup victories.
The Victor Cheeseman-trained Just A Fashion is doing well at gallops coming up to the Gold Cup and only that prestigious trophy is missing from both trainer and horse’s prizes cabinet. Just A Fashion has won every major top-rated race in Barbados he has contested but the Gold Cup. Cheeseman told Barbados TODAY that with some racing luck he could win his first Gold Cup as he has won every major race on the local calendar. Just A Fashion will be ridden by Antonio Bishop who rode the 2011 Sandy Lane Gold Cup winner, Zoom.
Newcomer Campaigners Gold owned by C T A stable was bought with the Gold Cup in mind and has won many friends at the Garrison Savannah with his stunning looks. The Jean-Marc Cozier-trained chestnut will be representing Barbados and could carry on a trend with horses making their debut in the Gold Cup as the last three winners succeeding on their debut. Campaigners Gold will be ridden by 2017 champion Jockey Rickey Walcott who has had one Gold Cup victory with Whiskey For Me in 2007.
Marcus Antonius from the Sir David Seale barn will be looking to give his owner yet another win in the race as he leads all owners in the Sandy Lane Gold cup with six victories. Trainer Liz Deane has won the race three times before and is the only female trainer to have won the race. Eight-time champion jockey Anderson Trotman will be astride once again.
Horse number 5 Won Grand the only filly in the race will be an outstanding long shot and she is the lowest rated horse in the race at 78. Won Grand will be ridden by Lester Edwards.
The Richard Dean-trained Infrared will be having his second start in the Gold Cup after finishing sixth last year. The Dan and Martin Raizman-owned colt will be ridden by Rasheed Hughes who is one of the four jockeys in the race who have yet to win a Sandy Lane Gold Cup – the others are Lester Edwards, Raphael Hernandez and Darryl Holland.
The total purse for the Gold Cup is $214 000.
The Bajan Blue Restaurant Trophy is another major race on the mouthwatering 11-race card tomorrow. The Bajan Blue Restaurant Trophy going 1570 meters will showcase the cream of the locally bred three-year-olds with four of 11 horses entered having won their last start. Horse number 2 Jericho a winner of the Michael Parravicino Memorial Hopeful Stakes on February 3 in his last outing, giving favourite and champion two-year-old of 2017 Stealin her first loss in four starts, will be looking to win his third race from four starts. Jericho will take 123 pounds as all colts and geldings will carry.
Jean-Marc Cozier’s Stealin will be looking to redeem herself after tasting her first defeat to Jericho last time out. She will take 118 pounds as will all of the fillies in the field. The Bill Inc.- owned Gandalf which had split both Jericho and Stealin in the Hopeful Stakes when he placed second will be looking to walk in the winners’ circle for the first time having placed fourth and second in two career starts.
The field is made up of Taco Man who placed fourth in the Hopeful, Majestic Star a winner last time out, Abigail, who won her last start also, Storm Watch, Inthestorm, Quality Star, My Friend Patch, and Peruvian.
World Class commentator Larry Colmus who is known for calling the Breeders Cup World Championships in the USA has been given the opportunity to call race 4 the Sandy Lane Spa Sprint for the top-rated sprinters. This race has been given extra spice with the entry of Kitten’s Cat which won the Juvenile Turf Sprint on Breeders Cup Day in 2015 and will be looking to give his international owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey their first win in the race from their first start. The four-year-old bay colt will take 130 pounds with Hernandez in the saddle. Other runners are Celestial Storm, last year’s defending champion Wild Cat Tea and sprint queen Apparition, Watch That Birdie, Forsaken One, Poetry In Motion, Joshua, Sea Gold and newcomers Debonaire David, No Not Again and Radial Flyer.