Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 20th 2013 Contents A56
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, December 20, 2013
The day all race fans wait for every year is finally
upon us again and Boxing Day does not only bring
out the fans in droves. It is also the day that attracts
far more first-timers to the track than any other
during the year.
It is the most pres-
tigious day on the local
calendar and that has
never changed, even
after the most treasured
event, the Trinidad
Derby Stakes (GR.IR),
was moved from the
card over three decades
In those days, Boxing
Day races were contested at Queen s Park Savannah,
but the sport was centralised in 1994 and Thursday
will be the 20th anniversary of action on the grand
day at Santa Rosa Park, Arima.
Boxing Day card usually contains more classic
events than any other and this will be the case again
as there will be three on Thursday s Republic Bank-
sponsored programme. But in addition to the graded
events, fans also have the conclusion of the exciting
battle for champion jockey to look forward to as
well as another opportunity to see their beloved
This country s most successful jockey, a winner
of over 2,500 races in his illustrious career, is back
from his base at Woodbine Race Course, Canada,
and will have a mount in half of the ten races.
Despite only coming back a couple times since
he returned to Canada after campaigning here for
the first three months of the year, Ramsammy is
still third in the jockeys standings with 32 winners
from just 106 mounts.
Wilmer Galviz seemed certain to be crowned
champ for the second time when he led by six win-
ners going into the penultimate day, but two-time
defending champion Brian Boodramsingh produced
one of the very best days in the saddle since cen-
tralisation on December 14 and is now two lengths
behind the Venezuelan with 49 winners.
It would still be very difficult for the Venezuelan
to be caught as he has outstanding chances in both
races for the West Indian-bred juveniles and his
mount may also be the favourite in the other feature
event, the Republic Bank Gold Cup (GR.I).
After winning by almost 15 lengths on her Decem-
ber 14 debut, Soca Rhapsody could be the short-
est-priced favourite of the day when she lines up
in the Republic Mortgages St. Ann s Stakes (GR.IRF)
with Galviz up at 12:53PM.
Leslie Moore s Jamaican bred will only have four
challengers over 1,350 metres in the day s fourth
race, but the only other filly who deserves mention
is Maranza, runner-up in both career starts.
The male version of the $150,000 contest, the
Republic Online St James Stakes (GR.IRC&G) will
be eighth race, and nine colts and geldings have
been declared to face the starter at 3.30 pm, but the
1,350 metres event could turn into a two-horse race
with the presence of Momentum and Dark Treasure,
who both turned in breathtaking performances the
only time they faced the starter.
Momentum totted up by 71/2 lengths over 1,300
metres in the Nursery Stakes on November 30 and
Dark Treasure coasted home by 11 lengths the fol-
lowing Saturday in the 1,200 metres Stud Farm
Association s Breeders Stakes.
What adds to the intrigue of the clash is that
Galviz will partner Dark Treasure, while Boodram-
singh has the leg up on Momentum.
Also included are fellow winners Eye See You and
Country Boy, who soared to a 12-length triumph in
the Futurity Stakes in early October, but broke slug-
gishly and beat just one horse when he returned in
the "Nursery" almost two months later.
The $500,000 Republic Bank Gold Cup (GR.I),
the joint richest and the most prestigious open
staying race on the local calendar, will follow right
It is certainly the biggest field for the
2,000 metres contest in many years as 16
top class horses have been declared to face
the starter at 4.15 pm.
Champion Owner Shivam Maharaj,
who will have United States-based
Puerto Rican star Orlando Bocachica riding
for him on the big day, is being represented
by three of them, but their chances were
dealt a serious blow during the draw for
Galveston would not only have to over-
come the No 1 draw, he will be tackling the
top class horses for the very first time with
top weight of 56 kilos, and the Independence
Cup (GR.I) winner has taken a backward
step at the worse time as, after winning
five of his first six races, he was beaten by
over ten lengths into third last time out in
the Caribbean Champion Stakes (GR.IR) a
Stable companion Gabby s Gold won the
President s Cup (GR.II) last time out, but
it has been almost five months since that
Emancipation Day (August 1) 900-metre
contest and the American-bred four-year-
old will have to come out of the No 15 gate.
Woden, Maharaj s other runner, is drawn
alongside in the 14th gate and he is also
returning from a break of over two months
to face the top-class horses for the very
first time. However this American-bred
three-year-old has an imposing record over
two turns, as before his runner-up effort
last time he was unbeaten from four starts
over 1,750 metres.
Derick Mosca will actually be represented
by almost a third of the field, as in addition
to Maharaj s trio he will saddle American
bred three-year-old Slewjero, in his first
Classic events ahead on Boxing Day
Continued on Page A57
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