Connections of 2018 Massy United Derby winner Gandalf will be going after the horse of the year honours when he tackles the top rated horses for the first time in the inaugural running of the J B Simpson Classic Handicap sponsored by Carlton A1 Supermarket tomorrow.
The J B Simpson Classic is the feature race on the card with a purse of $32 000 plus $5 000 in subscriptions and will be going the mile trip of 1570 meters with a field of nine entered and is carded for race seven on the eight-race card to run off at 4.25 p.m.
The J B Simpson Classic is in memory of the late John Brian Simpson a past Turf Club member and horse owner who had owned horses Windmill Girl, Jay cloud and Tsipura, to name a few.
Gandalf had won his first classic of the year The Guineas Grade 1, and then the Massy United Derby Grade 1 and will be looking to clinch a third major event to be in line for horse of the year. The son of Rocamador had met the older foes for the first time on September 8 in the Graduates Vase Handicap going the longer 1800 meters trip and defeating last year’s Derby winner Butterfly. The Bills Inc.-owned charge will have Rickey Walcott in the saddle with the light weight of 110 pounds and has drawn gate 1.
Gandalf’s stablemate Brave Star who is not entered had won the Mega 6 Lotto Breeders Classic last race day getting the upper hand on the horse of the year award.
The best entry for top-rated horses seen since this year’s Sandy Lane Gold Cup is beaming with talented, competitive runners. The best creole mare in Barbados Stolen has entered once again. She will be clashing with Gandalf for the first time since tasting defeat last race day by his stablemate Brave Star. The daughter of star broodmare Bossa Nova had won the TA Tommy Peirce on August 1 defeating the top rated horses going Saturday’s trip.
Stolen will take 117 pounds and has drawn gate number 7.
Trainer Richard Deane will have a two-horse entry in Infrared and Refire. Infrared, a 5-year-old USA import, is rated 130 which is the highest rated horse in the race. The son of Discreetly Mine had run a below-par off-the-board effort on September 22 in the final handicap going the sprint distance of 1100 meters, a race won by Celestial Storm whom he will face again.
Before that below-par effort, Infrared had won the Sirius Black Handicap going 1800 meters on September 8 from stablemate Refire. Infrared will take the top weight of 128 pounds and have his main partner Rasheed Hughes aboard.
Stablemate Refire has not been worse than second for 2018 but the dark bay gelding will be coming up against his hardest task to date with other consistent horses entered.
Four horses have beaten Refire for the year -Infrared, Arrow Head,Debonaire David and Campaigner’s Gold.
Refire has drawn gate 2 and will take 110 pounds.
Celestial Storm, Marcus Antonius, Radial Flyer and Daunting David complete the field. Post time for the first race is 1 p.m.
My selection – Gandalf, Stolen, Infrared and Refire.