By Lindon Yarde | Mon, December 27, 2010
Last race-day winner Must be the Money (at far left). Must be the Money will be in action again today at the Garrison Savannah. (HW)
Expect racing conditions to be on the soft side at the Garrison Savannah today, after the unseasonal rains that have drenched the island since Friday afternoon.
When the final edition of the Diamonds International MontBlanc race day runs off from 1 p.m., fans should be provided with thrills galore. The fifth and final day of the Barbados Turf Club third season is set to climax with a number of duels that all comers will fully enjoy.
The race for trainer of the year is intriguingly poised. Trainer Anderson Ward heads the table for the third season ahead of Andrew Nunes. however, it is the overall title that is the real prize at stake.
The Jamaican born Nunes has his eyes set trying to win more than the third season championship, as he is the only trainer within striking distance of long time leader Naz Issa.
At the start of the third season the trainers’ championship seemed a foregone conclusion, as trainer Issa was $93 137 ahead of Nunes in earnings; and for those who are not too familiar with the criterion, this championship is decided by earnings and not wins.
Nunes closed the gap during the ongoing final season by raking in $122 234 in earnings, compared to Issa’s mere $37 809.
Issa was dominant with his inseparable pair of fillies in Leave It To Me and Amanyara, both of whom tormented their peers. He has now become a stranger to the winners’ enclosure, winning only twice this season.
Those wins were with Slammin ’N Jammin in the Diamonds International Mont Blanc Virginia Wolf handicap over 1 100 metres, and Dance The Distance who won the Diamonds International Safi Kalmia handicap over 1 570 metres.
Nunes on the other hand has found winners’ enclosure at a commendable rate, scoring seven victories for the same period.
Nunes’ charges were able to score in big races during the third season, with his fillies Kendal Moon and Slip Stream taking two editions of the Diamonds International Mont Blanc La Boheme Ladies Stakes and Trophy condition races over 1 000 metres and 1 100 metres, respectively.
He then scored in the top-rated class with the crowd favourite Apostle, when taking the Diamonds International Mont Blanc Meistestruck Handicap over 1 800 metres.
Going into today’s final day, Issa will be represented by nine starters, with his best offerings being Dance The Distance, Slammin N Jammin and Habibti in races one, six and eight respectively.
The top trainer will be sending out 11 starters, and will have high hopes for Jamaica Quill, Slip Stream, Apostle, and Summer Star in races three, five, eight and nine respectively. Wins will be needed if he is to claim his first trainers’ championship, and cap a sensational year for him.
In the jockeys’ race there will be no room for error, as Anderson Trotman finds himself with a challenger in Jalon Samuels. The youthful and exuberant Samuels will throw down one final effort.
Locked in battle all year, this championship will go down to the wire, and these two contracted riders have both booked full cards for two of the most powerful yards at the track. Those stables being Sir Charles Williams-owned Kendal racing (Trotman), and Lord Michael Taylor-owned Blue Diamonds stables (Samuel).
Trotman, who is leading by one win will fancy his chances on Jamaica Quill, Nomoreginrog, Slip Stream, Spellbound, and Summer Star in races three, four, five, six and nine, respectively. Experience could prove the deciding factor as Trotman is battle hardened.
On the other hand, Samuel’s best chances are Vitality, Must Be The Money, Run Alke Run and Zaltarr in races two, five, six and eight, respectively.
If he wins the championship, he will join an elite group that achieved the feat recently while still being apprentices. That list includes Anderson Trotman, Juan Crawford and Ricardo Hibbert to name a few.
Ironically, Samuels is also just five wins away from losing his apprenticeship, a most remarkable achievement, at a fantastic rate. You wouldn’t want to miss this action packed race day