Wide open race in main event

Extra pounds and fitness concerns may mitigate the chances of Show Me The Money. (FP)

By Lindon Yarde | Mon, December 26, 2011 | nationnews.com

It is the day after Christmas and the Victor Chandler Stakes and Trophy for three-year-olds and older over 1 570 metres appears a wide open affair today at the Garrison Savannah.

This race which attracts the most attention after the Gold Cup and the Derby is seen as a precursor to the pattern event to come the first Saturday in March.

Zoom and John Brian are the only horses to have won during this third season.

Zoom returned to winning ways after a little slump with a workmanlike victory in the Barbados Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association Breeders Classic for Barbados-bred horses over 1 800 metres. That being a much softer field, his connections could relish their chances here as Zoom meets all and sundry at a more favourable weight.

John Brian made a welcome return to the winner’s circle when he took the Queen’s Plate Handicap over 1 800 metres. The Sir David Seale-owned horse dead-heated in this race with Areyoutalkintome in the 2009 edition and has a good record in this event. However, he is now up 14 pounds today and that could be the deciding factor for him.

Mingun Temple is back to defend his crown. After an eight-month layoff he ran well last effort but could very well be still in need of this run. Show Me The Money has been in good form like most during the second season. His last attempt at this trip resulted in a hard-fought victory in the T.A. “Tommy” Peirce Memorial Stakes And Trophy.

There is some concern over his fitness as he had been entered twice and was withdrawn. Added to that, he now goes up nine pounds on his last effort – two crucial mitigating factors for his chances.

Stable mate Daga had her winning streak snapped when John Brian inflicted corporal punishment in the Queen’s Plate field.

But once you throw out that last effort she still has room to improve and should give another good account against these more hardened horses.

Purr Class has competed most of her career at the shorter trip of 1 570 metres and on the odd occasions that she has been stretched out, she has acquitted herself well, finishing second and third behind Indanger and Bouncebak.

Fusaichi Ridge has certainly caught the eye with three very good performances. It seems every time this three-year old maiden filly goes up in class she features prominently.

The Aysha Syndicate-owned filly has three second-place finishes on the trot against horses rated 58-80, 68-90 and then 98-120. She has shown the ability, seems to have a big heart while very much improved. She also carries her stable’s best chance.

Bipin has now strung together two ordinary performances in his latest efforts. He was fourth in this event last year and even the likelihood of a place position would be welcome.

Lil Man Arran and Graeme Hill, both from the Jonathon Simpson stables, are improving three-year-olds with a good future ahead of them. Bird Watch and Charge It complete the field. These veterans have been scarce through the year and look best left alone.