9 make grade

Defending champion Zoom (left) is one of nine horses nominated for the 16th running of the Sandy Lane Barbados Gold Cup. (FP)

nationnews.com | By Lindon Yarde | Thu, February 09, 2012

Defending champion Zoom as well as top heavyweights Apostle and Show Me The Money are among nine horses selected by the Classification Committee of the Barbados Turf Club (BTC) to represent Barbados or Trinidad and Tobago in the 16th running of the Sandy Lane Barbados Gold Cup.

The prestigious race is scheduled for March 3 at the Garrison Savannah.

The other horses are Cavachi, Giovedi, Graeme Hill, Indanger, Mingun Temple and Trinidad and Tobago’s lone entrant Joezel.

The selection of the nine, with the exception of the Canadian-bred Cavaichi, could be easily traced to their performances in the Victor Chandler Stakes & Trophy over 1 570 metres and the Coolmore Home Of Champions Stakes & Trophy over 1 800 metres. The top three finishers in both races have gained selection here.

However, the indifferent and erratic form of the other eight nominees has certainly created a massive headache for the selection committee.

The eight, whose fate lies in the balance, with their present ratings are: Charge It (99), Daga (97), Dancin David (90), Fusaichi Ridge (94), John Brian (109), Little Man Arran (99), Reward Me (74) and Ring Time (102).

Their selection for the final three positions now depends heavily on their performances in Saturday’s Rotherley Construction Inc. Race Day.

Noticeably amongst this group is the much talked about Canadian-bred Dancin David, owned by Sir David Seale, who is competing for a Barbadian spot.

Just how many of these horses will face the starter remain to be seen as only John Brian, Ring Time, Dancin David and Reward Me are down to race on Saturday.

Similar uncertainly also surrounds one of the supporting feature races on the Gold Cup card.

When the final nomination closed last Friday, 14 horses had been entered to contest the ninth Sandy Lane Spa Sprint Stakes & Trophy over 1 100 metres: Areutalkintome, Bipin, Cavaichi, Erados, Golden Moment, Greely Gone West, Istanbul, Kingdora, Peaceful Envoy, Preach To Me, Purr Class, Rocamadour, Vitality and Who’s To Say.

Areutalkintome won the Barbados Derby in 2009, but hasn’t raced for over a year because of injury following a collision with another horse.

Bipin won the Spa Sprint last year, but was disqualified after failing a urine sample. Rocamadour defeated the “A” Class sprinting and Preach to Me was the winner of his last start.

This race day will see Preach To Me, Greeley Gone West, Istanbul, Purr Class and Vitality on Saturday’s card in the Rotherley Construction Inc. Sprint Trophy. A stellar performance here would enhance their chances of gaining final selection when entries close.

Twelve horses have been nominated for the Tanglewood Stakes & Trophy and the field includes doubly entered Gold Cup winner Zoom and Erados.