By Charlie Heath | Monday 27 December, 2010

Three feature races are slated to bring down the curtains on the Barbados Turf Club’s final day of racing for 2010 on Monday, December 27.

There are nine exciting races carded for the day, and the first feature is race five, which will be the fifth and final Diamonds International/MontBlanc Bonus races, which is the Diamonds International/MontBlanc Challenge Stakes & Trophy, for West Indian Bred 2-year-olds.

In this one the Fillies will be meeting the Colts & Geldings for the first time, plus they will be running 1570 metres for the first time in the series. With a stake of $40,000, it is not surprising that the race is over subscribed. 14 horses have taken entry, while only 12 can face the starter come race day, leaving two reserves.

Each race so far in the series has been won by a different horse, and all four of them are entered. Must Be In The Money, won the first and should appreciate the extra distance. Kendal Moon won the second, and

she is unbeaten in two starts and will surely find the extra trip to her liking. The third was won by Istanbul, which gave him his third win. His mother, Sky Beauty, was a sprinter, and while he has shown some speed, he looks like he has also inherited a bit of his sires (Thady Quill) staying blood, making him a real threat here. Slip Stream, the

winner of the fourth race, and she has speed to burn. She has won four of her five starts, and it will be interesting to see if she can get the 1570 metres.

These four are no certainties to fill the first four positions, as Island Memories with three wins under his girth, including one at 1800 metres has proven that the distance will be right up his alley. Another one that looks real promising is, Lune De Barachois, who was second to Slip Stream last time out. She is one that will also appreciate the 1570 metres. Fernandina has been a model of consistency, and has not been out of the money in her six starts.

Sponsors Diamonds International/ MontBlanc and the Barbados Turf Club, could not have hoped for a better line-up for the final race in the series.

The feature, Victor Chandler Stakes & Trophy, is a (Group.1.-Bar Race), for 3-year-olds, going 1570 metres. This race is second only to the Gold Cup in prize money for the top-class horses, so again it is not surprising to see that the race is over subscribed by one as 13 have taken entry, leaving one reserve. The race carries a total purse of $79,000. None other than Apostle, the winner of the 2008 running of this race, heads the list of entries in this one. This little 6-year-old chestnut gelding, with the white blaze, can be credited with bringing more people to the Garrison Savannah than any other horse over the last four years.

Up to this day the question remains unanswered as to why he did not leave the gates when he had the biggest race of his career, the 2009 Gold Cup at his mercy. In each of his 27 races before and after he has been first out of the gates.

Also entered are John Brian and Areutalkintome, who last year finished in a dead-heat for first. John Bryan returned on December 4, after a nine month break, and that race should help bring him on, while Areutalkintome returns after an accident at exercise a while back.

Should he be back to full fitness by race day, he will be in with an winning chance. As a late 4-year-old, he has matured into a top class horse. Another noticeable entry is the improving Mingun Temple, who’s run last time out when finishing down the field to Apostle can be ignored, as he did not seem to relish the ground on that day, and did not show much interest. He is a much better horse that he showed in that race. Two others of note are Show Me The Money, and Preach To Me.

A supporting feature is the Boxing Day International Trophy (Condition) Race, for 2-year-olds, going 1570 metres, with a purse of $30,000. Byhookorbycreek heads the entries here, while Daga, Intact, and Royal Spirit could be the ones to follow. Also making the day even more interesting is the battle for the 2010 jockey title, where Anderson Trotman has a one win lead over the young talented apprentice Jalon Samuel.