Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 28th 2014 Contents A46
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt December 28, 2014
Sprinter Sacre remains on course to
embark on a light work and schooling
session at Newbury tomorrow as long as
there is not a significant deterioration in
The long-absent two-mile star has not
been seen on a racetrack since pulling up
at Kempton 12 months ago, after which he
was diagnosed with a heart problem.
Commenting on the planned exercise,
the Seven Barrows trainer said: "Sprinter
will go to Newbury as long as the weather
"I shall talk to Richard Osgood (clerk of
the course), the idea being some light work
followed by schooling over the fences down
the back straight."
However, there are no immediate plans
for stablemate Simonsig, who himself has
been off since winning the Arkle at Chel-
tenham in March 2013.
Henderson said: "He s off the radar at
the moment. But we will try to get him
back in the New Year with a view to getting
him to Cheltenham. He s just had niggles
here and there."
Meanwhile, the yard s 2013 Gold Cup
hero Bobs Worth is back to defend his
Lexus Chase crown at Leopardstown
tomorrow, although heavy rain at the Dublin
track on Friday was not what Henderson
wanted to see.
He said: "He s up in the air and on his
way right now.
"He s been very good the last three
weeks, but it s unfortunate they ve had so
Two of this country s best trainers Glenn
Mendez and John O Brien will start the New
Year keeping their rivalry intact as they vie
for top honours to signal the start of the 2015
local acing season which is sponsored by
First Citizens Bank. The 11-race card will
unfold at the Arima Race Club, in Santa Rosa
with 126 horses all seeking to open their
accounts on winning notes.
The days programme includes two feature
events on the turf: the Grade Two Sian s Gold
Sprint and the Grade Two First Sprint over
At yesterday s launch for the First Citizens
Day At The Races, Warren Sookdar, chief
information officer, First Citizens, said an
exciting day was planned for the traditional
opening. Sookdar noted that First Citizens
and the Arima Race Club shared a long, pros-
perous relationship together with the company
being sponsor of the New Year s Day card for
the past nine years. "Because of this extensive
relationship, it is not just my pleasure, but
my honour to announce the sustained union
between the ARC and First Citizens in 2015."
He continued, "The 2015 edition of First
Citizens New Year s Day at the Races will be
the eleventh year for us. This milestone has
given us as a sponsor the prime position of
now having a decade of varied yet memorable
experiences of this event. Trust us, at First
Citizens New Year s Dat at the races, we have
seen it all.
He asked, Does that include sporting glory?
Let s see. In 2008 right here on these tracks
a young apprentice jockey with composure
beyond his years, guided locally bred All For
Java to a three-quarter length victory in the
Sian s Gold Sprint. That was then 18 year old
How about controversy? He asked. The 1100
metres First Classic is shielded to be run off
on the turf course, but jockeys are adamant
that the track is slippery and dangerous. The
stewards are rejecting and begin to seek
replacement jockeys. After a thirty-five minute
delay the race is shifted to the main track.
"Sweet Alex takes home the $90,000 first
prize cheque and returns to the winner s enclo-
sure amidst much jeers. That happened in
"So we have had glory and controversy but
can we boast of being home to any significant
career achievement? In 2011 female Canadian
jockey , Chantal Sutherland took her very first
ride at Santa Rosa Park atop "Honourable
Mention" and little did she know that her
shouts of success would later be drowned out
by defining cheers of the crowd as she pushed
"Will Power to a clear 3 3/4 length victory
in the First Citizens Optional Claiming event.
Certainly a moment of joy and I m sure many
of you can recall tragic moments as well.
Nonetheless, all of these moments - the good
and the not so good form part of the long
partnership between First Citizens and the
Arima Race Club in staging this event. Like
any other sport, horse racing is dynamic ,
thrilling and able to produce any or all of life s
varied experiences on and off the track.
Sookdar continued, "Speaking about off the
track, we have seen the excitement of parents
and children as they line up cheering on their
favourite contenders. This event has become
an opportunity for bonding and teaching the
values of sportsmanship. A social investment
we do not regret. Additionally, we are well
aware of the economic advantages of investing
in the industry but we are also pleased that
it is just as financially viable for the many
vendors who line the entrance on our raceway
eager for a great day of business. That is the
beauty of about this event : there is impact
on both the larger and smaller end of the
spectrum. This partnership with the Arima
Race Club has been exciting, fulfilling and
beneficial and we thank them for their support
over the years. In closing, if you are not con-
vinced about anything else , I hope I have
persuaded you that without fail, First Citizens
New Year s Day at the Races is as good as any
or better; for horse racing. You never know
what you ll be missing so plan to be there on
Thursday, January 1st,. 2015."
There is an exciting card planned including
the First Citizens Sian s Gold Sprint, a grade
two race for three-year-olds and over, racing
over 1,100 metres on the turf for a purse of
$150,000, of which the winner will receive
There is also the First Citizens First Sprint
run over 1,200 metres open to three-year-
olds. This race will also be run for a purse of
$150,000." Champion trainer O Brien seems
to hold the whip hand with DanubeWaltz and
AbsolutelyChrome. ControlUnit trained by
Mendez is also entered. AmericanRanger which
has won its first two starts will make this a
very competitive affair.
In the Sian s Gold Sprint, a field of eight
horses took entry inclusive of Stewards Cup
winner CrimeOfPassion which will be ridden
by Nobel Abrrego for trainer John O Brien.
Also so entered is Shaffique Khan trained
Holyman which will be saddled by Ronald Ali.
Glenn Mendez has WildExcitement entered
with Wilmer Galviz together with last year s
winner IndianMedicine and SacredTrust which
is trained by Jose William Samaroo.
However, record holder and turf specialist
Fly Junior will be in the line-up. The Maniram
Maharaj-owned and trained speedster and
holder of the 1,100 metres track record will
be tough to catch if the race stays on the turf.
The studfarm Association Trial Stakes over
1,350 metres look an easy target for O Brien
with BetterLateThanNever which will be part-
nered by Emile Ramsammay. King Ronan and
HailTheChief will go after the $75,000 purse
in this event.
Willie Mullins is drawing a line
through Vautour s defeat at Leopard-
stown on Friday.
Last year s Supreme Novices Hurdle
winner lost his position at the head of
the betting for the Arkle when well beat-
en by Clarcam, whom he had beaten
easily earlier in the season.
A bad blunder in the back straight
contributed to his defeat, but Mullins
also feels there was an underlying issue.
"I m just drawing a line under Vau-
tour s run. He wasn t right. I didn t actu-
ally see the race yet but from talking to
all my people at home in the stable and
people who watched the race, the horse
wasn t right," said Mullins.
"I have my own reasons. People who
were watching him said to me he just
didn t stride the way he does . I have
my own reasons for that and I think
he ll get over that and hopefully I ll bring
him back to the way he was. Vautour
will come back to himself."
Champagne Fever ran with credit in
the King George before getting tired
close home and Ireland s champion
trainer said: "That s probably as good
as he is. He ll probably get an entry in
the Gold Cup, but he d need to improve
about a stone on the King George run
to have a chance."
While Kalkir was also turned over at
long odds on, he is another Mullins
thinks will bounce back.
"I didn t expect him to get beaten and
I think he ll come back from this," said
ENGLISH RACING NEWS
Sacre still set for
faith with Vautour
Strong field sign for
First Citizens sprint test
HEADING HOME ALONE
Blue Tequilla, ridden by Dillon Khelawan,
powers her way to a 12 1/2 length victory
in the Republic Mortgages St Ann's Stakes
for fillies over 1,350 metres at Santa Rosa
Park, on Friday. PHOTO: MARCUS GONZALES
FCB DAY ON NEW YEAR'S DAY
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