Saturday, December 16, 2017

Ferreira not afraid of the boys

‘Mr TC’ believes Momentum difficult to beat

LONE FEMALE trainer in Trinidad and Tobago Sharon Ferreira is not afraid to take on big boys-- John O’Brien, Glenn Mendez, Harold Chadee, and Harriram ‘Pepsi’ Gobin, all graded stakes-winning trainers --in Monday’s 1,800-metre NLCB Easter Guineas at Santa Rosa Park, Arima.

Ferreira saddles last year’s Futurity Stakes winner Country Boy, who will be partnered by Prayven Badrie. The race has been reduced to eight runners with the defection of trainer Gobin’s Soca Rhapsody and Al Kahani. Gobin’s lone representive is Veins Of Gold.

O’Brien, who won this race last year with War Of Words, has last year’s champion juvenile colt Momentun, High Octane and Justcallmebas. Mendez is represented by Dark Treasure and Spitfire, while Chadee has Eye See You.

When posed with the question about the men Ferreira said: “Definitely not, I am not afraid and it is good for racing. It is a horse race. My horse has trained very well. We put him in a mile race before this and he was a bit disappointing. It was a no-race but he did get the experience. 

‘’In the race before that, he hurt his shin from the gates. He has no issues going into this race, and is fit and trained really well. And there isn’t any reason I should not feel he will not place. We are all excited about Country Boy. He will definitely run big,” added Ferreira. 

Regarding the other runners, Ferreira said: “I do not know if Momentum is beatable by these horses. When you look at him and his performances, you have to be realistic. “The other horse to beat is Spitfire, but we haven’t seen him run (unraced in Trinidad). I think we have a good chance to place. He came out of the gallop well and I am confident he will run a good race,” Ferreira ended.

And with the return of the $1 million bonus, trainer Glenn Mendez, known as Mr TC (Triple Crown), has to be feared with his pair of Dark Treasure and Jamaica-bred Spitfire. He is the first trainer when racing was centralisatised at Santa Rosa Park in 1994 to cop the Triple Crown series, and twice.

He recorded the feat with the late Wilmer Primus’ Carnival Messiah in 2001. And again in 2003 with the Merlin Samlalsingh and Rupert Leong Poi (deceased) owned-Top Of The Class, who went on to become the first horse to win the $1 million bonus, when adding the Caribbean Champion Stakes.

 Asked if the bonus will reignite his career, Mendez laughed and said: “I do not know about that.” He explained why it is more difficult to win now. “The better creoles are the Jamaicans and they are coming from Jamaica at all different stages of the series. It is a lot more difficult now.” 

Getting back on track to the race and his horses, Mendez said: “My horses are well. Spitfire had a very good win in his second start in Jamaica. I have not done much with him, just keeping him happy. Dark Treasure had a nice run around two turns. He is one of two horses with expereince around two turns in the race. He will appreciate the nine furlongs and will running on strongly. All I am hoping now for is racing luck,” said Mendez.

Sharing his views on the opposition, Mendez stated: “Momentum is a class horse. I do not know why people questioning his abiility to stay. His brother won around two turns. He is a class horse and will be very, very difficult to beat,” adding, “He has everything, speed and stamina.” 

“I think he will be difficult to beat. You cannot say you will run him off his legs because he is so quick. You have to have a horse of his equal and class and that we do not know,” ended Mendez.