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Smiths in the money BY JUSTIN MARVILLE | SUN, MARCH 06, 2011 – 12:00 AM

Winning Gold Cup owners Derek and Gay Smith (right) receiving the Cup from Prime Minister Freundel Stuart and Robert Logan. (Picture by Kenmore Bynoe.)

IT’S NOT OVER until someone shows you the money. The Smith camp will do well to remember that. It wasn’t the ideal way to win the Caribbean’s most prestigious race but champion owner Gay Smith will take it anyhow, after Zoom was eventually awarded yesterday’s Sandy Lane Gold Cup in controversial fashion at the Garrison Savannah.
Initially happy to settle for second, Smith was even more elated to find out her horse was bumped up one spot following an objection that eventually disqualified Show Me The Money.

“It’s absolutely terrible to win in the way we did,” said Smith of Show Me The Money’s disqualification. “But the horse [Zoom] was spectacular and I just have to say thank you to my trainer and my perfect jockey. We’ve won with a home-bred – born and bred in Barbados – which is perfect.”

A long shot to win at 12-1 odds, Zoom seemingly did well to come second best as Show Me The Money, ridden by Jalon Samuel, crossed the finish line a good four-and-a-half lengths ahead. However, that decision was rescinded following a lengthy process, after Apostle’s connections lodged a protest claiming that Samuel impeded the horse in the home stretch.

So it was Zoom who eventually showed everyone the victory.
“We can’t do anything about that,” said victorious trainer Edward Walcott Jr with a sympathetic voice. “As a trainer it could have happened to me in the race but the stewards have to make their decisions and that’s what they decided.”

In spite of the controversy and Zoom’s high odds, Walcott believed his camp had the horse to give Barbados a locally bred champ for the first time since Federico won 13 years ago.

This after imported horses Bad Action and Safety Zone generated all the buzz heading into the race’s 30th edition. And if any attention surrounded a local contender, Apostle was the one getting it.

In the end, all were left behind. Not to Walcott’s surprise, though.
“It didn’t bother me what they said [because] we knew what we had,” Walcott said of Zoom’s overlooked status.

“He’s been on top of his game for the last three months [so] we’ve been really happy with him. He’s just won his last race before this and he’s had two seconds before, that so I was really happy with him coming here.

“It’s everybody [though], it’s a team effort and truthfully speaking, without Mr and Mrs Smith, I don’t know how we would do it, but we managed to do something we’ve been trying to do for a few years now – bring the local horses to the front.”

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Zoom wins Gold Cup

Barbados Advocate | 3/6/2011

For the first time in the history of the Sandy Lane Gold Cup, the winner passing the post first has lost in the Stewards Room.

After all the objections made by trainer Stephen Bynoe, Barbados Turf Club President, Sir David Seale, and owner Eugene Melnyk against the St. Kitts horses running on the day, and the Stewards ruling that they could take part, all went smoothly. The St. Kitts horses caused no danger whatsoever to other horses, jockeys, race fans or anyone else – they were better trained at the gates than many of the local horses running on the day that had to be withdrawn by the Starter.

Sir David’s Reward Me, who was a reserve, got into the Gold Cup race after Rocamadour was withdrawn, as did the Melnyk-owned Emerald Crescent, who was also a reserve got in the Spa Sprint, but were not able to place.
Once again a huge crowd turned up at the Garrison Savannah to witness the 30th running of the race which will be seen by millions through the world.

When starter Mark Batson pressed the button to release the horses from the gates, it was none other that the Elias Haloute and Sir Charles Williams-owned, Andrew Nunes-trained creole Apostle, with Anderson Trotman in the saddle that broke first, and went straight to the lead as he has done in all of his 30 starts with the exception to the time when his was rank favourite in the 2008 running of the Gold Cup.

He was immediately challenged by the Lord Michael Taylor-owned, Andy Ward-trained, Show Me The Money, with Jalon Samuel in the saddle.

The Aysha Syndicate owned Bird Watch, another reserve that got into the race after the connections of Al Portador elected to go in the Spa Sprint was closely following the two front runners.

Positions remained the same until approaching the three furlong pole with Apostle and Show Me The Money still in the lead and the Gay Smith-owned Zoom, trained by Edward Walcott Jnr, and ridden by Antonio Bishop joining the Naz Issa trained Bird Watch, with Paul Leacock in the saddle, behind the two leaders. With two furlongs to go Show Me The Money was going best of all, and had drawn along side Apostle with Zoom and Bird Watch closing.
As they straightened up Show Me The Money picked up the race, and went on to a eased up 4 1/2 length victory from Zoom, with Bird Watch third and Charge It fourth.

As tears of joy and excitement ran from the eyes of the seventeen year old Samuel, he quickly had to dry them away, as the Racecourse Stewards posted the red light indicating that they were holding a Stewards inquiry, while following that the connections of Apostle lodged an objection for interference against the winner.

The Stewards, after hearing the evidence and viewing the film, decided that Samuel had been careless and had caused interference to Trotman and Apostle, and disqualified Show Me The Money, placing him behind Apostle who finished one from last.

The final placings then ended up with the Gay Smith-owned Zoom being placed first, giving Mrs Smith her third Gold Cup, and jockey Antonio Bishop, and trainer Edward Walcott Jnr. their first win in the Gold Cup.

Horseracing can be a cruel sport at times, and on this occasion it was unfortunate that Show Me The Money, and young Samuel had to loose the race in the Stewards room, as his 4 1/4 length victory showed that without question he was best horse on the day. However, the Barbados Turf Club has rules, and once the Stewards are satisfied that a rule has been broken they have to act as the rule states they shall.

They were two supporting feature races on the da, the first was the Tanglewood Stakes and Trophy, for West Indian bred 4-year-olds and over, going 2000 metres. This was won by the Lord Michael Taylor owned Bouncebak, trained by Andy Ward. Jalon Samuel rode the mare, and put her straight into the lead, and she was never caught. The Gay Smith-owned Silk N’ Satin trained by Edward Walcott Jnr and ridden by Edward Walcott Jr. was second, with Mrs. Mara Di Venazio’s Conquest trained by Peter Arthur and ridden by Badrie was third, with Sea Gypsy fourth.

The Sandy Lane Spa Sprint Stakes & Trophy, for 3-year-olds and over, going 1100 metres was won by Bipin owned by the Estate of Yusuf Mongroo, trained by Boston John and beautifully ridden by Kenny John, who came with a final dash on the rail to just catch second placed Grant Times, owned by Averill Racing LLC and trained by Wesley Ward and ridden by J Sanches. Third was the Gay Smith owned Spicey Tiger trained by Edward Walcott Jnr, and ridden by Renaldo Cumberbatch, with Kingdora finishing fourth.
Racing continues on Saturday March, 19.

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Zoom awarded Gold Cup in Barbados controversy

By Julian Armfield | Racing Post | 3:23PM 6 MAR 2011

Show Me The Money: crossed line first but demoted to 11th after inquiry

PICTURE: Eddie Belle

Report: Barbados, Saturday

Garrison Savannah: Sandy Lane Barbados Gold Cup (Group 1-domestic) 1m1f, turf, 3yo+

IN a dramatic outcome to the £70,000 Sandy Lane Barbados Gold Cup, Gay Smith’s 12-1 outsider Zoom, who had finished a well beaten four-length second past the post behind to Show Me The Money, was later awarded the race in the stewards’ room.

This followed an enquiry and an objection by the connections of Apostle, who finished 11th of the 12 runners.

Show Me The Money, ridden by local champion jockey Jalon Samuel, had just taken the lead from the pacesetting Apostle as the field turned from home with a little over a furlong to run when he hung violently across his rival.

The manoeuvre almost led Apostle’s rider, Anderson Trotman, to be unseated but Show Me The Money had his measure at the time and came home to win unchallenged.

Zoom, who was bred on the island by Gay, wife of Derrick Smith, scored a third success for his owner in the southern Caribbean’s richest race.

The six-year-old’s victory marked a first success in the 9f event for trainer Edward Walcott Jnr and Antonio Bishop, his jockey.

Show Me The Money is owned by Cheshire businessman Michael Taylor, who had seen his colours carried to victory twice before in the race.

He became the first winner of the contest in its 30-year history to be disqualified in the stewards’ room. The stewards placed the winner 11th, one position behind Apostle.

In a race featuring raiders from the US, Canada, Trinidad and St Kitts, there was a clean sweep for Barbados-trained horses, which occupied the first four places after the enquiry.

Darryll Holland: unsure about result

PICTURE: Edward Whitaker/

Philip Makin fared best of the visiting British jockeys by finishing third on ChargeIt, one place better than Darryll Holland on John Brian.

Jamie Spencer, who had flown all the way from Dubai on the eve of the race, had a disappointing ride on the St Kitts-trained Bad Action, who finished seventh.

Gay Smith said: “That’s not the way you want to win a race but rules are rules. Sometimes they go for you and sometimes against you but this was a perfect result for me”.

Darryll Holland was in two minds about the eventual outcome: “There’s no doubt that Show Me The Money interfered with Apostle quite badly but whether Zoom would have been the winner is debatable.”

Lester Piggott, who together with Eddie Hide, enjoyed the carnival Gold Cup atmosphere at the Garrison Savannah, was in no doubt.

“There was no way they could have let the winner keep the race,” he suggested.

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Spencer leads British- based riders in Barbados

By Julian Armfield 4:25PM 4 MAR 2011 |Racing Post

Preview: Barbados, Saturday 9pm GMT

Garrison Savannah: Sandy Lane Barbados Gold Cup (Group 1-domestic) 1m1f, turf, 3yo+

JAMIE SPENCER, Darryll Holland and Philip Makin are set to ride in Saturday’s 30th running of the Sandy Lane Barbados Gold Cup at Garrison Savannah.

However, the 12-runner race has been given the green light to go ahead only after connections of three of the contestants failed in a bid to exclude a horse from another Caribbean racing jurisdiction in the £70,000 event.

The event looked in real jeopardy after three senior figures joined forces in a bid to prevent horses from St Kitts taking part.

Sir David Seale,president of the Barbados Turf Club, millionaire Canadian owner Eugene Melnyk and local trainer Stephen Bynoe took legal action on the matter, which would have affected Spencer’s big-race mount Bad Action.

Three other Kittian horses are also set to run in a supporting race earlier on the card after racecourse stewards overruled the objection.

Beaumont Park racecourse in St Kitts opened its doors only last year, but the island has a rich racing history and a Kittian-trained horse won the 1954 running of the Barbados Derby.

Melnyk, who has won the Barbados Gold Cup twice before, with Kathir in 2004 and Sterwins last year, believes the Barbados Turf Club is making a “terrible mistake” byallowing the Kittitian horses to run.

He said: “They are putting the horses, the jockeys and the spectators at risk. We don’t know the history of the horses from St Kitts. Are they properly trained for the stalls? What are their ratings? This affair could put the Barbados Turf Club’s status in jeopardy.”

Melnyk is hoping that Safety Zone, trained by Canadian Mark Casse and ridden by last year’s victorious jockey Patrick Husbands, will run a big race.

He said: “He’s won seven of his last nine races at Woodbine and Tampa Bay so we’re in with a shout.”

Spencer, who jetted into Barbados on the eve of the race after booting home Wigmore Hall to win the Jebel Hatta at Meydan in Dubai on Thursday, will be aboard Bad Action, the St Kitts raider, in the big race.

The five-year-old gelding finished fifth in last year’s Gold Cup in Derrick Smith’s colours. Bad Action is a multiple race winner in both the US and St Kitts.

Holland, who has ridden in the Gold Cup twice before and finished third on Preach To Me in 2009, partners Sir David Seale’s John Brian.

He said: “I’m hopeful because there are a couple of front-runners in the field and mine is a hold-up horse. The race could be set up perfectly for me.”

Makin takes the ride on Charge It, another Barbadian contender. He said: “It’s my first ride in the race but the track is very similar to Chester and my experience going around there should stand me in good stead.”

The sole American raider, Grand Cash (Wesley Ward/Jeffrey Sanchez) has been working well at the track while Gay Smith, wife of Derrick, is bidding for her third Gold Cup with Zoom. Cheshire businessman, Michael Taylor, who has won two of the last three runnings of the race, is represented by Show Me The Money.

Local favourite Apostle will carry a lot of Barbados dollars on his back but there would no more popular winner than Mingun Temple.

This four-year-old is part-owned by Amanda Marshall, daughter of the late Bill Marshall, who saddled seven Gold Cup winners. The horse will run in Bill’s old colours.

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John Brian’s connections looking to do well in Gold Cup


By Petra Harvey March 4/2011, Barbados Advocate
This will be John Brian’s third attempt at winning the Sandy Lane Barbados Gold Cup and his connections are confident the seven-year-old horse will do well this year.

The Barbados Advocate caught up with trainer Liz Deane SCM recently at the Garrison Savannah and she noted that John Brian is fit and ready for the race on Saturday.

“After last year’s Gold Cup where he ran a creditable fourth, he had a bad fall coming out of the swimming pool, and he was out for quite a few months because he had actually broken some ribs. He came back out, and ran third in the Victor Chandler Stakes on Boxing Day.

“He always seems to show up Gold Cup Day, he is seven years old, getting older, but he is a very honest and genuine horse. So we are just hoping he gives a good account of himself,” said Deane.

She admitted that John Brian was her favourite horse, describing him as a real gentleman.

“He is my favourite horse so I might be biased, but he is a real nice guy, a gentleman. [Darryll] Holland worked him the other day and he came in and said ‘Liz what a gentleman he is.’ So he is really a nice guy,” said Deane.

Of the other horses in the race, Deane noted that the one she is keeping an eye on, is Apostle, who placed third in the Gold Cup last year, behind eventual winner Sterwins and second placed Bribon.

“You always have to watch for Apostle. He always seems to turn up on the day as well. The foreign horses, I honestly don’t know that much about them. Grand Cash I’ve heard is a good horse, Safety Zone. But of the local horses I have a soft spot for Apostle to be honest. I think he is a really wonderful creole,” said Deane.

Owner Sir David Seale is also confident in John Brian, despite him not winning in recent times.

“He didn’t run particularly well in the Coolmore, but the ground was quite soft and he doesn’t run well when the surface is like that. He was coming from a lay-off and we were trying to keep him on point for this race, there is no doubt about that,” said Seale.

John Brian pulled post position number six, but Sir David thinks that this makes little difference in a race of nine furlongs.
“Nine furlongs, post position isn’t of any real importance. Some people might like an inside draw because their horse is quick, they want to get in position, but they still have to go nine furlongs, so in the end it is really about who has the stamina,” said Sir David.


SHOW ME THE MONEY – 5-year-old chestnut horse, bred in Barbados, and racing for Barbados.
DRAW. Gate 1.
OWNER: Lord Michael Taylor.
FORM: 25 starts, won 6 and placed in 12.
EARNED: $147 551.
TRAINER: Anderson Ward.
JOCKEY: Jalon Samuel.
WEIGHT: 122 pounds.
Show Me The Money can run from in front, or from off the pace and will get 1800 metres. He won his last race on July 17, 2010 over 2000 metres, on soft ground, buts acts on any ground. He lost a little form recently, but once he is back to himself he could finish in the money.

ROCAMADOUR – 5-year-old bay horse, bred in the USA, and racing for Barbados.
DRAW. Gate 2.
Owner. Melrose Racing Stable & Clifton Racing.
FORM. 11 starts, won 2 and placed in 5.
EARNED $41 670.
TRAINER. Jonathan Simpson.
JOCKEY. Jono Jones.
WEIGHT. 129 pounds.
Rocamadour, can run from close to the pace or from off the pace, and will get 1800 metres, having won at the distances. He can also run on any type of going. He has only had one race since July 2010, and that was on December 27, 2010. He is capable of finishing in the money.

ZOOM – 6-year-old bay/brown gelding, bred in Barbados and running for Barbados.
DRAW. Gate 3.
OWNER. Mrs. Gay Smith.
FORM. 29 starts, won 5, and placed in 13.
EARNED. $157 944.
TRAINER. Edward Walcott Jnr.
JOCKEY. To be declared
WEIGHT. 122 pounds.
Zoom, will get the 1800 metres, and won his last start on January 21, going 2000 metres on the soft. Seems to prefer a cut in the ground, and comes from off the pace. He has improved, but will have to come up with a big run to trouble the top three.

BAD ACTION – 5-year-old bay gelding, bred in the USA, and running for St. Kitts.
DRAWN. Gate 4.
OWNER. Mrs. Daislyn Sharpe.
FORM. He won 8 races in the USA, and placed in 11, Placed 3rd in Sandy Lane Gold Cup and won mutable race in St. Kitts.
EARNED. In the USA he earned US $339 325
TRAINER. L. Warren.
JOCKEY. Jamie Spencer
WEIGHT. 129 pounds.
BAD ACTION, raced in the USA, winning 8 races there, and came to Barbados for the 2010 Gold Cup, and finished fifth, and was only 1 1/4 lengths behind Apostle. He has since won multiple races in St. Kitts. While he seems more comfortable at a mile, the 1800 metres at the Garrison should not trouble him. He looks a harder and more matured horse this year as a 5-year-old. He also has the asset of having a top international jockey in Jamie Spencer. On form he could be a danger to all.

BIRD WATCH is in Gate 5, but he is a reserve.

AL PORTADOR drawn Gate 7 is scratched.

REWARD ME – 4-year-old colt, bred in the USA, and running for Barbados.
DRAWN. gate 8.
OWNER. Sir David Seale
FORM. 12 starts, won 1, and placed in 8.
EARNED. $42 077.
TRAINER. Stephen Bynoe.
JOCKEY. Ricky Walcott.
WEIGHT. 125 pounds.
REWARD ME, has won at 1800 metres, and ran his best races on good to soft and soft going, but does not look like this is the only type of ground he needs. He is improving as a 4-year-old, and ran a corker last time out when second to Boucebak, having John Brian, Charge It, and Mingun Temple behind him. He should be capable of finishing in the money.

JOHN BRIAN – 7-year-old bay horse, bred in the USA and running for Barbados.
Draw. Gate 6.
OWNER. Sir David Seale.
FORM. 31 starts, won 5 and placed in 18.
EARNED. $233 622.
TRAINER. Elizabeth Deane SCM.
JOCKEY. To be declared.
WEIGHT. 129 pounds.
John Brian, Has placed in past Gold Cup races, but seems
to find 1800 metres just outside of his comfort zone. He runs
from off the pace. He acts on any going, has not won a race
during 2010, and should find it difficult to win here. He acts on any ground.

CHARGE IT – 5-year-old chestnut horse, bred in the USA and running for Barbados.
DRAW. Gate 9.
OWNER. Aysha Syndicate.
FORM. 13 starts, won 3, and placed in 6.
EARNED. $35 280.
TRAINER. Naz Issa.
JOCKEY. To be declared.
WEIGHT. 129 pounds.
Charge It, will get the distance. He runs from just off the pace, and should act on any type of ground. He would have to come up with a big run to trouble the first four.

GRAND CASH – 5-year-old chestnut gelding, bred in the USA and running for the USA.
DRAWN. Gate 10.
OWNER. Silver Oak Stable LLC & M & G Stable LLC.
FORM. 29 starts, won 8 and placed in 5.
EARNED. US$217 041
TRAINER. Wesley Ward
JOCKEY. J. Sanchez
WEIGHT. 129 pounds.
GRAND CASH, won as recently as November 27, 2010 at Calder over 7 1/2 furlongs, and also won a claiming race at Gulfstream on January 6, 2011.

JUST CALL ME ROGER – 4-year-old Dk bay/bay gelding, bred in the USA, and running for Trinidad & Tobago.
DRAWN. Gate 11.
OWNER. 2 Amigos.
FORM. 14 starts, won 4, and placed in 4 while in Canada, USA.
EARNED. US$137 824 also won in Trinidad.
TRAINER. Andrew Nunes.
JOCKEY. Nobel Abrego
Just Call Me Roger, has been in Barbados for a couple weeks, and is reportedly working very good. He should get 1800 metres at the Garrison.
SAFETY ZONE – 7-year-old bay gelding bred in the USA, and running for Canada.
DRAW. gate 12.
OWNER. Eugene Melnyk.
FORM. 28 starts, won 9.
EARNED.US$419 049.
TRAINER. Mark Casse.
JOCKEY. Patrick Husbands
WEIGHT.129 pounds.
Safety Zone, is the class horse in the race, winning seven of his last nine races, of which six was at Woodbine, Canada, and then on January 8, he won at Tampa Bay. On October 31, 2010 he won the Can$100 000 Labeel Stakes, at Woodbine, and he should be the one to beat, especially with Patrick Husbands in the saddle.

Mingun Temple – 4-year-old bay colt, bred in the USA, and running for Barbados.
Draw. Gate 13.
Owner. Mrs. Amanda Marshall-Way and Helen Spencer.
Form. 14 starts, won 4, and placed in 7.
Earned $116 862.
Trainer. Andrew Nunes.
Jockey. Paul Leacock.
Weight. 125 pounds.
Mingun Temple, will find the 1800 metres to his liking. He runs best when just off the pace, but not too far off the leaders. He seems to be at his best on good to soft or soft ground, as he has won two of his four races on soft ground, and two on good to soft. Once he performs to his maximum he will be a strong contender.

APOSTLE – 7-year-old chestnut gelding, bred in Barbados, and racing for Barbados.
DRAW. Gate 14.
OWNER. Elias Haloute & Sir Charles Williams.
FORM. 29 starts, won 12, and placed in 10.
EARNED. $419 083.
Trainer. Andrew Nunes.
Jockey. Anderson Trotman.
Weight 122 pounds.
APOSTLE, likes to dictate the pace of the race, and is a strong front runner that gets 1800 metres. Only two grade one horses beat him last year in the Gold Cup. He likes to hear his feet rattle, so he would need good to firm going to be at his best, and should he get that type of going on Saturday, it could take a good one to
beat him.

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Top jockeys in for Cup Day By Lindon Yarde | Fri, March 04, 2011

Gold Cup Day at the Garrison Savannah has always attracted highly skilled jockeys in the past, and 2011 will be no different.

This year a record seven jockeys from the Caribbean, United States and Britain will showcase they honed skills against our local riders when the 30th edition of the region’s most prestigious race runs off at the Garrison Savannah tomorrow.

Last year, Barbados’ most famous rider   Patrick Husbands, came face to face with top Irish jockey Johnny Murtagh, and when they flashed past the post, Husbands reigned supreme aboard Sterwins.

This year, fans are saying it’s now David versus Goliath – Husbands versus another top Irishman Jamie Spencer.

And let’s not forget another Irishman, Darryl Holland and the relatively young Englishman Phillip Makin.

If one can question the quality of the horses entered, then that’s supplemented by the high quality of professional riders who continuously strive on the adrenalin rush for motivation by heading to one of the smallest tracks in the Caribbean.

 The local jockeys are being led by Husbands,  an eight-time Canadian Sovereign award winner, and aruguably the best jockey this country has ever produced.

Englishman Darryl Holland, who is no stranger to this race having participated for the past two years, is determined to add the Sandy Lane Gold Cup to his high profile riding career achievements.

These include winning the German and Italian 2000 Guineas with Dupont, the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on Falbrav and the Coronation Cup aboard Warrsan just to name a few.

Holland’s best effort in the Gold Cup was a third place finish aboard the Sir David Seale-owned Preach To Me in 2009. He will once again team up with Hopefield Stables to ride John Brian.

Sir David has not won this race since 1992 when the popular Sandford Prince strode to victory.

Makin will be getting his first taste of action on the Garrison track.

He will be seen wearing the Aysha Syndicate’s silks aboard Charge It.

Another first-timer here is the talented Puerto Rico-born America- based Jeffrey Sanchez, who won his first Breeders Cup ride in 2010 aboard Awesome Feathers for trainer Stanley Gold.

The pair combined to land the Grey Goose Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies (Gr.1) Over 1 1/16 mile at Church Hill Downs last November. Sanchez will be aboard the Wesley Ward trained Grand Cash in the big event. Panamanian-born

Nobel Abrego will be riding the Trinidadian representative Tres Amigos; Abrego is no stranger to these shores; his appetite for big races was evident when he won the final two legs of last year’s Triple Crown. Adding the pattern event will be a dream come through.  

Kittitian champion jockey Jason Liburd will also get a taste of the action as he partners M & S Stable-owned Al Portador in the seventh Sandy Lane Spa Sprint Stakes and Trophy (Gr.1) over 1 100 metres.

Former Guyanese champion jockey, Michael Semple, now based at Beaumont Park, has the riding arrangement for the M and S Stables-owned Atabaas Pride in the Sandy Lane Spa Sprint.

Joining Husbands in the Caribbean richest horse race is Jono Jones who is tied with the most wins in this event with the retired Venice Richards – four wins, as well as Anderson Trotman and Ricky Walcott, both of whom have won the race once.

Champion jockey Jalon Samuels and Antonio Bishop will complete the local contingent who will lock horns in the main event.

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No clear pick

Atabaas Pride of St Kitts, with race day jockey Jason Liburd aboard. (Picture by Basil Griffith.)

By Lindon Yarde | Fri, March 04, 2011 – 12:05 AM

When the Sandy Lane Gold Cup runs off tomorrow, there will be no outstanding favourite, which should make it an extremely competitive race.

Die-hard race fans will more than likely turn to the jockeys to make their final decisions as to which horse they will choose to win the prestigious event.

When one looks at the past performances of all entered for this glamorous event it makes for interesting reading.

Silver Oaks LLC-owned Grand Cash has the most impressive record. The American gelding has won eight of his career 28 starts. The Wesley Ward-trained gelding who runs on the pace, was involved in a dead-heat in his last start at Gulfstream Park in the United States on January 6 in a Claiming US$44 000 event over 1 1/16 miles on the turf.

On that occasion, he stopped the clock at 1:41.3. It was an impressive victory as he slugged it out at the top of the lane.

The Eugene Melnyk-owned Safety Zone is not in the same category of his stablemate Sterwins, last year’s winner. After winning the Labeeb Stakes at Woodbine, in Canada, he then journeyed to Tampa Bay, Florida, where he won a Starters Handicap US$18 000 race over 1-mile in a time of 1:36.2.

He was then third next outing at the same venue in a Starters Handicap US$20 000 event over 1 1/16 mile. With career statistics of 28 starts with nine wins, this turf specialist is a late running type. He will have to contend with traffic if he is to retain the coveted prize for his connections.

The Tres Amigos-owned Just Call Me Roger has been working exceptionally well. His career record of 14 starts, with four wins looks good when judged against some of the other starters in the race. This front runner was swallowed up by his opponents at Woodbine in a Claiming $40 000 race.

He made amends on November 25 last year with a pole to pole victory at the above-mentioned venue in a claiming $10 000 race over  seven furlongs, stopping the clock in 1:24. He has performed well on turf and will get the distance.

Local favourite, the Elias Halute and Sir Charles Williams-owned Apostle will have his work cut out for him. The fact that he has to use his early speed to get over to the rail can be detrimental to his chances at the finish.

In his fourth Gold Cup and modest returns for the last year which have yielded only two wins, he does not inspire the same confidence as in the past. Apostle should take them along at a hectic clip early on, and should not be ruled out, as this style can be advantageous.

Daislyn Sharpe-owned Bad Action will seek to extend his unbeaten run from St Kitts, and make it five wins on the trot. He has won at all distances at Beaumont Park (four, five and seven and a half furlongs) and much is expected of him this time around.

Of the others, A Marshall-Way and H Spencer-owned Mingun Temple showed great form with a devastating performance in last year’s Victor Chandler Stakes and Trophy over 1 570 metres against top rated horses.

He then disappointed in the Coolmore “Home Of Champions” Stakes and Trophy over 1 800 metres, where it was believed that the firm going was his undoing. Mingun Temple’s four career wins were all achieved on soft going.

A firm track will surely reduce his chances.

Melrose and Clifton Racing-owned Rocamadour has won four of his eight starts, including three over the Gold Cup trip. He romped home in the Val Gale Cup over 1 800 metres, before an injury set him back.

He was a no-show in the Victor Chandler Stakes and Trophy over 1 570 metres. This trip is right up his alley. He will probably be a race or two short, but could be considered a live outsider.

The Lord Michael Taylor-owned Show Me The Money has won four races from 12 starts, three at this distance. The Queen’s Plate Handicap is his most celebrated accomplishment.

Sir David Seale-owned Reward Me, has won once in a maiden race, and in higher company has only managed a third place finish as his best effort in his last race. This will be a sterner test, and although improving could find this race way out of his league.

 Zoom, owned by Gay Smith, is in good form, but has scored once in two years, and looks outclassed.

Aysha Syndicate’s Charge It has chalked up three wins from 12 starts, all over 1 570 metres, and if one is looking for a real dark horse, he could be it.

Sir David Seale-owned John Brian, in his fourth Gold Cup, is the only horse in the field not to have won a race in over a year, after five attempts in the last year. On that form he might be best ignored.

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