Tough field for Mont Blanc

By Lindon Yarde | Fri, December 24, 2010

The Diamonds International Mont Blanc Bonus Challenge Stakes and Trophy (Gr-1) for West Indian-bred two-year-olds over 1 570 metres, promises to be a thriller, as the year’s horse racing programme ends on Monday, with the Boxing Day card.

Finding the winner in this event could prove to be quite difficult, as no fewer than four of the nine entered have a fantastic chance, with very little to choose between them.

The colts and geldings carry 126 pounds, while the fillies take 121 pounds.

A leading contender is filly Slip Stream, with her imperious record of four wins from five starts for owners Sir Charles and Lady Williams.

Slip Stream has been impressive in her victories,  in the Elliott Williams Memorial Juvenile Breeders’ Championship Stakes and Trophy over 1 100 metres, the Hallway Feeds Foundation Cubes Trophy condition race 1 000 metres, the R.L. Seale and Company Limited Trophy Conditions race, and the second leg of the Diamonds International Mont Blanc La Boheme Female Challenge Stakes and Trophy both over 1 100 metres.

Her record speaks for itself, but she has shown blinding speed in all her starts, and that has left some questioning whether or not 1 570 metres will be an ideal distance.

However, her sire Federico was a Sandy Lane Gold Cup winner which supports her getting the trip.

Lord Michael Taylor-owned horses have been dominant in both editions of the colts and geldings features in this series, and against the fillies he will no doubt fancy his chances.

Strength in numbers is the key for trainer Anderson Ward, whose horses are in top form at the moment.  He trains Must Be The Money, who was impressive when scoring his maiden victory in the first leg of the Diamond International Mont Blanc Star Walker Gents Stakes and Trophy Conditions race over 1 000 metres.

Significantly Blue Diamonds Stables go-to rider Jalon Samuel has elected to stay with Must Be The Money with young Samuels eyeing the jockeys championship this combination chances are impeccable.

Stablemate Island Memories won the William “Bill” Marshall Memorial two-year-old Creole Classic Stakes and Trophy over 1570 metres, and is expected  to go well.

Istanbul put in a good effort last start, when just holding off Island Memories, to score his third victory from seven starts.

Istanbul fell in his only attempt at this 1570 trip when going nicely and must stand a good chance of scoring a repeat victory.

Danehill Racing’s Lune De Barachois will also benefit from a return to this trip after finishing a gallant second to Slip Stream in the second leg of the Diamonds International Mont Blanc La Boheme Ladies Stakes and Trophy for West Indian bred two-year- olds over 1 100 metres. She will surely be tested here and might find this company too much at this stage.

My Picks

Race 1: Local Speed

Race 2: Vitality

Race 3: Fernandina

Race 4: Byhookorbycreek

Race 5: Slip Stream

Race 6: Run Alke Run

Race 7: Areyoutalkintome

Race 8: Super Dancer