Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 2nd 2014 Contents The eyes of the entire world are
centred squarely on Brazil at this
moment as the World Cup rises to
While most Trinidadians continue
to support Brazil in its quest to secure
a sixth world title, there are a number
of analogies between what is hap-
pening in Brazil at the moment and
the horse racing industry in Trinidad
While Brazil falters, FIFA prospers.
The World Cup is estimated to
have cost Brazil in excess of US$11
billion, making it the most expensive
games in its 84 year history.
In spite of this cost, extensive pub-
lic protests prior to the commence-
ment of the games suggest that the
promised improvements in public
infrastructure and the general living
conditions of Brazilians has not been
Interestingly, this is not too dis-
similar to what is happening at the
Arima Race Club, though the funds
available are considerably less.
The ARC s budget continues to
reflect significant expenditure on
maintenance but no real improve-
ment in the standard of the facilities
are being seen.
The Main Stand of the track is in
a deplorable state and the conditions
in the paddock are disappointing.
One is left to wonder if there is much
inspection undertaken by the OSHA
personnel, since some of the physical
infrastructure must surely be below
While the sport is not self-suf-
ficient enough to be able to afford
all that is required in one go, a better
schedule of targeted improvements
would signal intent and lay the foun-
dation for a more hopeful future.
Outsiders to the fore as favourites
fall. The 2014 World Cup has been
most notable for the disappoint-
ments of traditional football pow-
The likes of 2010 World Cham-
pion, Spain, England, Italy, Ivory
Coast and Portugal have already bit-
ten the dust.
Unheralded teams such as Costa
Rica, Colombia and Chile have
surged ahead in the South American
heat. The unexpected demise of
favourites is a regular occurrence in
the sport of horse racing locally.
Many times these defeats appear
Punters are advised that connec-
tions were called to explain the turn-
around in the performance of their
charges but on most occasions, the
explanations given are noted.
Noted---I doubt anyone is really sure
what noting the explanation was
meant to achieve. On some occa-
sions, infrastructural changes result
in weird results. Recently, prior to
Midsummer Classic day, the surface
of the track was re-graded resulting
in a significant bias to front runners
and horses racing close to the rails.
The existence of this bias was only
known to a few.
When Rosies Dream got to the
lead and was unable to be headed
resulting in the second longest shot
winner in a six month period, most
punters were left bemused. The fact
however that one trainer accounted
for both those long shot winners
was also not lost on punters, even
if it may have been transparent to
those in authority.
Was it the track bias or the skillful
placing of the trainer...few will ever
Form is temporary, Class is per-
manent. Notwithstanding the demise
of some of the favourites and the
rise of outsiders, there remains little
doubt in the mind of most football
fanatics that the winner of the World
Cup will come from one of a few
teams---Brazil, Netherlands, France,
Germany or Argentina.
These are the remaining class
teams in the competition, and with
the exception of the Netherlands,
prior World Cup winners.
Any one of these teams may be
beatable in any given game but they
won t all be beaten at the same tour-
A similar situation prevails on the
race track at Santa Rosa as was most
clearly illustrated during the running
of the Arima Race Club Cup.
Undoubtedly the likes of J ouvert
and Bigman in Town are quality ani-
mals, but many quality animals have
raced in Trinidad and Tobago.
Very few truly exceptional animals
have raced in Trinidad and Tobago
and the two horses mentioned do
not fall into that category.
Good horses yes, champions, an
emphatic no. When six-year-old
Readbetweenthelines was able to call
on his past class, to hold off the
younger animals, it revealed the holes
in their respective resumes that many
had long suspected, notwithstanding
the form shown.
In the case of the Bigman, an
impressive win over the top class
when receiving in excess of 6 kilos
was always unlikely to be repeated
when only in receipt of 1 kilo, unless
he was exceptional.
Some commentators have attrib-
uted his defeat to the distance, time
will tell, because he will have to com-
pete against the top class horses with
this sort of weight going forward.
He will surely win some and lose
some but he will never be another
J ouvert is another good horse,
though only his closest connections
would think he was champion mate-
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, July 2, 2014
The Zaheer Ali Foundation initiated
and executed a Seminar titled "Com-
petencies of the Stars" in collabora-
tion with the Trinidad and Tobago
Cricket Board on the weekend at the
In the opening ceremony TTCB
President Azim Bassarath and TTCB
executive member and chairman of
the Youth Development Committee
Tarandath Sammy in their remarks
endorsed and commended the Zaheer
Ali Foundation for the initiative and
hinted for further collaboration.
Zaheer Ali in his justification for the
seminar at the opening ceremony stat-
ed that it was imperative that measures
were adopted to develop national youth
cricketers in a holistic manner which
would complement their talent and
ability to play cricket.
He said those involved must think
future and must adopt proactive
approach to ensure the continued suc-
cess of the national youth teams.
Ali said in light of the challenges
we faced as a nation, where our youths
were concerned, such an approach
would impact on the overall develop-
ment of not only the athlete but the
He said it was important to demon-
strate the importance of some of the
core competencies for attaining success
The Competencies of the Stars sem-
inar focused on some of the core com-
petencies which included representing
one s country, emotional competence,
motivation, vision, goal setting, com-
munication, critical thinking and prob-
The seminar was conducted in three
phases comprising both theory and
practical exercises which were executed
by facilitators Haleema Ali-Sisbane a
National and World Bank Scholarship
Winner who is the holder of Master
of Science Degree in Economics with
honours, Ms Janelle Awai an Econo-
mist/ Strategist and Ali, a former West
Indies youth captain, Trinidad and
Tobago Senior Cricketer and the holder
of a Bachelor of laws degree from the
University of London.
The facilitators were supported by
other officers from the Zaheer Ali
Foundation namely, Cheniz Maharaj,
Natalie Mohammed and Savita Sankar,
Asiff Ali some of whom are pursuing
degrees in Economics and Education
The seminar also consisted of a skit
and drama that was executed by Dave
Among the participants were
Trinidad and Tobago youth captains
Kirstan kallicharan, Bryan Boodram
together with the various team Man-
agers and Coaches as well as other
national youth cricketers from the var-
ious national youth teams.
Ali stressed that the Foundation is
committed to youth and community
development in Trinidad and Tobago
and would continue to explore avenues
in order to achieve this mission.
The West Indies selectors
should look in other directions
for new players as they are con-
stantly investing in players who
This is the word of executive
member of the T&T Cricket
Board (TTCB) Patrick Ramper-
sad. He made his comments in
the wake of West Indies losing
the three-Test series 1-2 to New
While acknowledging that the
cupboard was bare, Rampersad
said: "I know that the cupboard
is bare but the West Indies selec-
tors should now look in the
direction of other players
because the ones they have right
now continue to make the same
mistakes over and over again.
"I seriously think that the
selectors should sit with some
of the senior players and have
a good talk with them. They
continue to make the same
errors and they are not just
showing that fight that is nec-
essary to succeed."
Rampersad said it was time
some of the senior players rode
into the sunset, so that the
young ones could come in and
get a chance to work in a new
and professional environment.
"The selectors must now start
looking at other players, we saw
some coming in for this series
and they did well. They showed
appetite for the game and this
is vital. They showed commit-
ment and they showed that they
wanted to do well," he said.
The Merryboys manager
added that he wondered if the
players are using the technology
provided or whether they are
just doing their own thing.
"We see some men getting
out in the same manner over
and over and I wonder if the
players are using the technology
that is now being provided to
He used Kane Williamson
from New Zealand as an exam-
ple: "He is no genius but he got
success because he was disci-
plined and focussed on the job
at hand. He was committed to
New Zealand s cause and took
them to a series win," he said.
World Cup analogies
Cricket seminar a huge success
National youth captain Kirston Kallicharan with Zaheer Ali at the seminar.
selectors must look in
Andre E Baptiste
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