Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 30th 2013 Contents A64
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Monday, December 30, 2013
Wilhana looks a classic each-way bet in
the Maiden Stakes over ten furlongs of Ling-
field polytrack today, if all eight declarations
go to post and there are three places avail-
That s no certainty given bookmakers will
be scouring the field to find someone willing
to take one out in order to offer two places;
already I ve got my idea as to which one it
Hopefully that wont be the case because
Wilhana, runner-up in her first four races and
third last time out over twelve furlongs, is
ready to win and expected by in-form trainer,
Pam Sly; significant that champion all-weather
jockey, Adam Kirby*, rides this Singspiel filly
Adam was aboard earlier this month when
Wilhana found the trip too far, previously fin-
ishing strongly over this course and distance
to register a alf-decent time-handicap mark.
Obvious dangers are ex-Lady Cecil-trained
conserve, now with Amy Weaver, and Marble
Statuette, runner-up to Curious Mind over a
mile of Southwell fibresand eleven days ago
but other will have bellows to mend from a
long way out; I d like to bet on that!
This situation is all about if and the oppor-
tunity to back Wilhana each-way, no bet if
the worst case scenario happens.
Earlier nine are declared for the nursery
over six furlongs, the bottom three Royal
Brave, Thataboy and Kodafine are clear best-
in on the TH, in that order.
Royal Brave is trained by William Muir,
whose fortunes have gone sky-high these last
few weeks with two well-backed newcomers
winning at Wolverhampton/Lingfield, on the
back of a recent sale at Newmarket where
stable-star, Purr Along, was sold for a million
The Acclamation colt was beaten just under
two lengths by Pushkin Museum over the
minimum distance with Kodafine a neck away;
the last named is now a pound better off and
they should dead-heat!
Thataboy definitely comes into this and
was fifth to triple-winner, Drive On, before
finishing second at Wolves; he s my choice
and indeed, providing there are no non-run-
ners, I ll be playing an each-way double.
Urban Hymn is ideally suited by conditions
of the Brush Novices Hurdle over two and
a half miles of soft Haydock; occasionally
we ll mention a jumper when dealing with a
8 am Thataboy (e.w)
9 am Wilhana (e.w)
10.30 am Urban Hymn
Wilhana---a class bet
Hurricane Fly takes Ryanair Hurdle
Hurricane Fly staked his claim to win a
third stanjames.com Champion Hurdle at
Cheltenham in March with an emphatic vic-
tory over two powerful young pretenders in
Leopardstown s Ryanair Hurdle.
In the process, the nine-year-old was
achieving a world record 18th top-level victory
in this Grade One contest.
It was Captain Cee Bee who attempted to
put some pace into the race in the early stages
after overtaking early leader Thousand Stars
going to the second flight.
The 12-year-old raced into a clear advantage
going down the back straight but the rest of
the field largely ignored the leader, preffering
to fight a private battle in behind.
Jezki, in the same ownership as Captain
Cee Bee, first set about closing in on the
leader after the second-last flight.
But he didn t quite have the tactical pace
to match his rivals at that vital stage and was
hemmed in by Danny Mullins aboard Our
Conor, leaving Tony McCoy s mount with
nowhere to go going to the final flight as the
pacesetter dropped back.
Hurricane Fly, meanwhile, was travelling
powerfully down the outside of the pack, and
when Ruby Walsh asked the winner to go
clear the response was immediate.
The 11/10 favourite stayed on strongly to
score by two and a half lengths, with Jezki,
switched out wide by McCoy to get past Our
Conor, staying on late for second place.
Mullins said: "It was a hugely tactical race
and Ruby was very cool on him.
"At one stage I thought the leader (Captain
Cee Bee) had got away in front, and Ruby
had to quicken up a bit sooner than he would
have liked to.
"We spent a long time getting him to settle
and, as a result, he s inclined to go to sleep
early in his races. Because of that, we ve
changed slightly the way we ve trained him.
"He ll be back here at the end of January
(Irish Champion Hurdle) and then it will be
Cheltenham. He s coming along and is going
to improve again.
"He s a fantastic horse and a horse of a
"I didn t foresee Captain Cee Bee doing
what he did, but it worked out nice for me,"
an emotional Walsh told At The Races. "It
made it a real test of stamina.
"Look, he s still there. It s no good having
these horses for one year. You have to look
after them and that s what Willie s been doing.
"For whatever reason, he hasn t always
been at his best at Cheltenham even though
he has won a couple, or maybe if I d ridden
him differently he might have been going
back there going for four, but we ll look for-
ward to the Irish Champion with him first."
Trainer Jessica Harrington accepted Jezki
had been beaten by "a champion". She said:
"A strong-run race would have suited him.
"Going to the last, it looked like he d be
a bad third, and he ended up being a good
"He s still only a five-year-old and I m
delighted with him.
"But if you re going to get beaten, you get
beaten by a champion."
Jezki was two and a half lengths behind
Hurricane Fly, while Our Conor was third,
another three and a quarter lengths adrift.
Sky Bet promoted Hurricane Fly to 7/2
from 9/2 in their stanjames.com Champion
Hurdle betting, with Jezki now an 8/1 chance
for the same contest, just behind Our Conor
Spokesman Michael Shinners said: "The
Champion Hurdle is building up into a fas-
cinating race. It s great to see Hurricane Fly
is still at the top of the tree but the younger
hurdlers are lining up to have another crack
at him and there was plenty of encouragement
for the connections of Jezki at Leopardstown."
OZONE PARK---Comandante made it
three wins in a row for trainer Todd Pletch-
er with a comfortable score in the
US$100,000 Alex M. Robb for New York-
bred three-year-olds and up on Saturday
at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Owned by Three Diamonds Farm and rid-
den by Cornelio Velasquez, the three-year-
old son of Frost Giant broke best and led
the field through fractions of 24.42 seconds
for a quarter-mile and 48.55 for a half. Turn-
ing for home, the Pletcher trainee edged
away from pace-pressing Moneyinyour
Pocket and gradually extended his advantage
throughout the stretch, ultimately winning
by 4 ½ lengths.
"My horse is in good form; this was his
third straight win," said Velasquez. "The
assistant trainer [Byron Hughes] said before
the race if the No. 4 horse [Zetterholm]
wanted to go, to let him go, but my horse
broke two lengths in front. He was never
under any pressure even when the other
horse came to him, and had plenty left at
Since switching to the barn of Todd
Pletcher earlier this year, the bay gelding
has won three of five starts, including the
NYSS Thunder Rumble on November 23 at
the Big A, to go along with a second and
a third place finish. His overall record now
stands at four wins in 14 tries with career
earnings of US$270,568. He returned US$5.10
to win as the second choice in the wagering
and completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.15.
Runner-up Moneyinyour Pocket finished
a nose in front of favored Awesome Vision.
It was another five lengths back to Zetter-
holm in fourth. Completing the order of
finish were Bake Shop and Sound of Drums,
while morning-line favorite Saratoga Snacks
and West Hills Giant were early scratches.
Meanwhile the New York Racing Asso-
ciation, Inc. (NYRA) announced yesterday
that the purse for the 146th running of the
Belmont Stakes, the third jewel of thor-
oughbred racing s Triple Crown to be run
on June 7, 2014, will be $1.5 million. The
Belmont had previously offered a purse of
US$1 million since 1998.
The other two races that comprise the
Triple Crown, the Kentucky Derby Presented
by Yum! Brands and the Preakness Stakes,
currently offer purses of US$2 million and
US$1.5 million, respectively. Earlier this
month, Maryland Jockey Club officials
announced that the Preakness purse would
be raised US$500,000 from the US$1 million
that had been offered since 1998.
"This Belmont Stakes is the main attrac-
tion of the biggest day of the year at Belmont
Park, and we feel this increase suitably
reflects the race s status as one of the sport s
prestigious Triple Crown events," said Martin
Panza, Senior Vice President of Racing Oper-
ations for NYRA. "I am grateful to Steven
Duncker, Bobby Flay, Barry Ostrager, Leonard
Riggio and Rick Violette of the NYRA Racing
Committee for their help and cooperation
in making this increase possible."
The purse for the 2014 Belmont Stakes
will be divided amongst the first eight fin-
ishers with US$800,000 to the winner,
US$280,000 to second, US$150,000 to third,
US$100,000 to fourth, US$60,000 to fifth,
US$45,000 to sixth, US$35,000 to seventh,
and US$30,000 to eighth. In recent years,
the Belmont Stakes purse had been shared
amongst the first five finishers on a 60-20-
11-6-3 per cent basis.
"Belmont Stakes runners represent the
very best of their respective foal crops," said.
5-31--- 10.30 am
14-23--- 1 pm
4-27--- 6.30 pm
Times played this year
10.30 am 1 pm 6.30 pm Total
01 CENTIPEDE 7 8 7 22
02OLDLADY 12 7 6 25
03 CARRIAGE 12 5 6 22
04DEADMAN 4 10 8 22
05 PARSONMAN 9 5 8 23
15 SICKWOMAN 6 11 7 24
18 WATERBOAT 9 11 6 26
10.30 am 1 pm 6.30pm Total
27 LITTLE SNAKE 6 14 10 30
28 RED FISH
29 OPIUMMAN 9 5 13 27
30 HOUSE CAT
31 PARSONWIFE 9 9 6 24
34 BLIND MAN
35 BIG SNAKE
LAST DRAW: SATURDAY
WHEN DE MARK BUSS
Play Whe results to December 28
1 1 (Corbeau) 10.30 am
20 (Dog) 6.30 pm
TODAY'S STAR BETS
15 (Sick Woman)
14 (Money) 1 pm
18 (Water Boat) --- 10.30 am
31 (Parson Wife) --- 1 pm
18 (Water Boat) --- 6.30 pm
it 3 in 3 for Fletcher
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