A rescheduled programme for the first day of the Barbados Turf Club’s third racing season has been shifted to this Saturday after heavy rains forced the postponement of races last Saturday.
Four horses will face the starter in the Barbados Breeders Association Breeders Classic Trophy which will see the two highest-rated horses in the race Gandalf and Brave Star returning to action after layoffs, going 1800 meters with a purse of $26 000 for locally bred horses.
The Barbados Breeders Association Breeders Classic Trophy will be race 7 on the eight-race card to run off at 4.25 p.m.
The 2018 Barbados Derby winner Gandalf who had chipped bone knee surgery this year is the only horse in the field to defeat the top class on two occasions when he won the John B Simpson Classic in November last year and the Diamonds International Stakes on Boxing Day.
The four-year-old gelding who has not raced since April 29 will be looking to defeat his stablemate Brave Star for the first time going Saturday’s trip after been disqualified when winning the Midsummer Classic last year.
The Bills Inc.-owned Gandalf will be looking to make history and become the fifth Derby winner to win the Breeders Classic after Coo Bird, Apostle, Areutalkintome and the late Northern Star who won the classic in 2016 and 2017.
Gandalf will be ridden by Rickey Walcott who won with him in his last two victories last year and will carry 128 pounds.
The 2019 Barbados Derby winner Nzinga was withdrawn at the final entry on Thursday morning.
Gandalf’s stablemate Brave Star is looking to give trainer Victor Cheeseman a record fourth win in a row in the Breeders Classic. Female trainer Liz Deane also has a hat-trick in the event which she won with Nicodemus from 2000-2002 but she does not have an entry in the Classic on Saturday.
Brave Star’s last race was on May 25 when defeating the top rated horses going 1100 meters, and he is looking fighting fit to defend his Breeders Classic crown of last year.
Rasheed Hughes who will be looking for his first Breeders Classic win will ride with 128 pounds.
The 2019 Derby runner-up Naomi will be facing the older horses for the first time and will have an advantage at the weights as she will be carrying 119 pounds.
The three-year-old filly that will be making her first start under her new trainer Richard Deane, last raced on August 24 to Good Vibration who finished third in this year’s Derby.
Antonio Whitehall will ride Naomi for the first time.
Third highest rated animal in the field 4-year-old filly Stealin, who is rated 82, never won going the 1800 meter trip as trainer Jean-Marc who had prepared her to win the BTBA Juvenile in 2017, has only won once this year when dead heating with Joshua going 1100.
Eric Daniel has the call on Stealin from gate 4.
My selections: Gandalf, Brave Star, Naomi and Stealin in a time of 150.4
Post time for the first race 1:15 pm