Gold Cup fever running high

DOUBLING UP: Zoom is entered for both the Sandy Lane Gold Cup and the Tanglewood Stakes and Trophy. (FP)

nationnews.com By Lindon Yarde | Wed, February 15, 2012 

Every year, Gold Cup Day has always been about the big race, the pomp and pageantry associated with the march past by the Sandy Lane majorettes to the pulsating songs of the Royal Barbados Police Force Band.

Bajans and tourists alike converge on the Garrison Savannah which is abuzz with excitement and bubbling with enthusiasm.

One race which gets the adrenalin flowing and provides very good support to the big race is the Tanglewood Stakes and Trophy.

This 2 000 metres weight for age race for West Indian-bred four-year-olds and over is usually overshadowed by the pattern event.

It does, however, expose some of the best West Indian-bred route horses. The previous nine editions have been won by Barbadian-bred horses – a testimony to the local breeding industry.

Gay Smith-owned Zoom, winner of this event in 2009 created history by becoming the first and only locally bred horse to win that race and then go on to win the prestigious Sandy Lane Barbados Gold Cup. The defending Gold Cup winner is once again nominated for both races.

Glaring facts

Looking in the past as well as this year’s field, one can’t help but notice two glaring facts – since the inception in 2003, when Francis Cozier’s filly Victoria Regia won, her stakes record of 2:06.3 has remained unbroken. However, the most revealing fact is that no previous Derby winner has ever won this event.

History may be in the making as Sir Charles Williams-owned filly Kendal Moon possesses one of the better records in here. Going route distances of nine furlongs and further, she has won the Barbados Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association Midsummer Creole Classic at (1 800 metres), she then took last year’s United Insurance Barbados Derby over 2 000 metres.

Kendal Moon, the daughter of Moon Solitaire, out of Zelina, then stepped up in class and had two performances of major credits – the first being her second place finish to Gold Cup winner Zoom in the BTBA Breeders’ Classic over 1 800 metres.

This was followed by a resolute fourth place behind Zoom, Show Me The Money and Apostle in the 2012 BTBA Garrison Turf Stakes over the up coming Tanglewood trip.

With three weeks of preparation ahead of her, fans could be in for an extra special treat.

Dwindling

Continuing my look at route performers, the resumes begin to dwindle. Only stablemates Captain Sully and Island Memories (two each) and Gay Smith fillies Silk N Satin and Heavenly Angle (one) have won at 1 800 metres.

Captain Sully won the 2010 Diamond International Crown Of Light Handicap for horses rated 0-65 before winning the Leave It To Me Trophy Handicap for horses rated (58-80). He failed badly in his only Tanglewood Stakes and Trophy attempt last year trailing last.

Island Memories’ two scores at the trip could not come at a more ideal time. The Anderson Ward-trained colt recorded back-to-back trumps in the Diamond International Crown Of Light Handicap for horses rated (58-80) and the (88-110) rated Rotherley Holdings Challenge Trophy Handicap. In last year’s Derby he finished fourth behind Kendal Moon.

Heavenly Angel’s lone route win came in the 2010 edition of the Diamonds International Safi Kalima Handicap. She followed that with an incredible second to Zoom in the 2011 BTBA Garrison Turf Stakes and Trophy Condition race over 2 000 metres. She has room for improvement.

Silk N Satin struck in the Dylan Thomas Handicap. She then ran the race of her career, finishing a close second to last year’s Tanglewood winner Bouncebak. She’s under-rated but has a big heart.

Sail On was second to Kendal Moon in the Derby but has shown no sign of a recovery from that effort. Dance The Distance was fourth in the 2010 Derby and he is also a useful sort.

Cinnamon Jane ran a good second to Local Speed over the trip but will have to step it up considerably. Erados and Sea Gypsy have both been moderate in routes at best and will need to improve, while Surinan has been away for a while and is trespassing in untested territory.