Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 7th 2015 Contents A45
Wednesday, October 7, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Republic Day and Derby Day are now
synonymous and those who were at Santa
Rosa Park on September 24 witnessed a
number of spectacular performances.
Pride of place always goes with the animal
and so it was only fitting that the best horse
in the country Bigman In Town continued
to stamp his authority on the local racing
scene while re-writing the history books.
The Jamaican bred colt has now been
unbeaten for over one year and nine con-
Although he treated his field with disdain
in the Diamond Stakes, there was a highly
credible performance from the runner up,
Control Unit trained by Glenn Mendez and
owned by the Ahamad brothers (SIR).
This colt has been very consistent among
the imported three-year-old class but his
performance in finishing a respectable sec-
ond to the Bigman must surely be his best
performance in this country to date.
He is in the right hands to progress and
improve again as a four-year-old, so he will
be a potent challenger for the Bigman in
the sprints up to 1,350 metres in the future.
The other stand out performance was
undoubtedly the Derby winner himself, War
Maker. Owned, like the Bigman, by Baskaran
Bassawh, this colt defied racing history and
pundits by scoring impressively by six
lengths at the good odds of 6/1. The build
up to the Derby for this colt was anything
but smooth with the colt finishing distressed
after his final Derby gallop.
That he was then able to quicken twice
during the race itself in spite of obviously
breaking down during its running must be
a testament to his trainer, John O Brien and
He was notably lame on his return to the
parade ring and had to be dismounted by
his rider, the very shrewd and sometimes
versatile Nobel Abrego, and walked into the
Although the time was slow, confirming
it was not a vintage renewal, the race still
was full of drama.
The other remarkable run of the race
came from the maiden winner, Morning
His connections were quietly confident
that his stamina would bring him into the
race in the closing stages but not even they
could have anticipated this performance
after he veered dramatically to his left com-
ing out of the starting stalls forfeiting more
distance than he was eventually beaten by.
If this colt can reproduce this form, he could yet
prove to be the best staying three-year-old in the
country. This result would have placed a big smile
on the face of respected breeder Charles James.
The third feature of the day, the Derek Cozier Clas-
sic, was also won in impressive style by the improving
Swept Away owned by Russel Ramsammy. This Glenn
Mendez trained colt dismantled his field when running
away to an easy four-length victory.
A lot of the early speed in the race was compromised
by the early antics of the outsider Princess Britney
at the off but this colt could do no more than win
He seems the best of the three-year-old creole
sprinters at present though connections of Bergeron
Boy and Star Sapphire will be hoping that their three-
year-olds can rebound from poor Derby performances
when dropped back in distance.
While the animals dominated, the homo sapien
specie did not cover itself with glory on the day. In
particular, the turnout for a Derby day was not con-
sistent with what we would have come to expect in
The races were sponsored by the National Gas
Company (NGC), an organisation that we know would
have been going through a political transition with
a new board appointed a few days prior to the Derby.
It is unclear also whether the sport will continue to
benefit from their sponsorship but we can only hope
that this continues.
It could be that the invited guests were in a bit
of limbo given the change in leadership which could
have contributed to the low turnout.
While this would explain the low turnout in the
Level 2 of the Grand Stand, there was also a noticeable
reduction in the attendance by the general public. It
would be interesting to see what the overall betting
handle was on the day and how it compared to pre-
vious Derby days.
The other human disappointments were the stew-
ards who presided over racing on that day.
A review of the stewards notes in the racing pro-
gramme for the subsequent day s racing revealed that
there were a number of objections and enquiries
during the course of the day, very few of which were
advised to the betting public.
In an information age, it is baffling that the betting
public can only find out about the day s incidents
when the following day s racing programme is pub-
These notes need to be made available to the betting
public ahead of such publications and it can surely
not be too difficult for the notes to be posted online
at the ARC website.
Of particular concern were the incidents that
occurred at the start of the Derek Cozier Classic in
which the four horses drawn towards the inside
seemed to have had their chances totally wiped out
at a very early stage.
While the #1 horse, Princess Britney was the clear
instigator, #3 and #4, Hail the Chief and Turn Me
Loose (the favourite) also seemed to have veered (to
their left) leaving the stalls.
The meat in the sandwich, #2 Faith, lost all chance
at that point being almost brought down on two
occasions. None of this information was shared with
punters at the track on the day. Surely better com-
munication can be expected or is that too much to
Racing remains at a crossroads but the news that
moves are afoot to take the sport from the Ministry
of Trade to the Ministry of Finance could be good
news. Through the Betting Levy Board, most of the
revenue from the gaming industry should fall under
the purview of that body.
The new legislation that was tabled by the previous
government should be reviewed and amended where
necessary but there is a need for the new legislation
in this country. We look forward to this development
with interest and some optimism.
Pleasure and pain on Derby day
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