Friday, December 15, 2017

Holy Man tough to oppose

THE SHOWDOWN between unbeaten three-year-old importations Carbon Fiber and Holy Man will take place in today’s 1,350-metre Three-Year-Old Sprint Stakes, the fourth race on the nine-race card at Santa Rosa Park, Arima.

Five importations are entered for the Grade Two restricted stakes race, which carries a purse of $150,000. The form suggests that it will be a two-horse affair between Carbon Fiber and Holy Man, with Thisonesforron likely to form the trifecta, as Kodo and Enzo appear outclassed.

Trainer Shaffique Khan, speaking yesterday to the Express, said: “The field is highly depleted and it was a struggle to get the race going. Both horses Holy Man and Carbon Fiber are the horses to contend with based on their past performances.”

“My horse, Holy Man (57 kilos) is two kilos worse off at the handicap,” Khan pointed out, “But he is a big strong horse, and I think this is the best distance for him. He has a good jockey in Ricky Jadoo. Carbon Fiber (55 kilos) is a good type, and has won both his races easily. He is the horse to beat. I do not think the other horses have come on enough to split them.” 

Carbon Fiber’s trainer Glenn Mendez, who has won the last two graded events, said: “Fit and well, everything alright with him. I am hoping for a nice clean break. Basically, on form, you will have to say he, Holy Man, and Thisonesforron are the horses.” 

Holy Man’s groom Rowl ‘Old Oak’ Ramdewar when asked if he had gone to church (yesterday) replied: “I will go Sunday and atone for beating people.”  While another groom chipped in: “You mean you will not be coming if Holy Man gets beat.” 

Carbon Fiber has been a few steps slower than his competition coming out of the gates in both his races, and will need to be sharp for this encounter. Holy Man will relish sitting on Carbon Fiber’s hind quarters, and this pair should separate themselves from the other three runners in the race. 

Trainer John O’Brien’s Thisonesforron will be sitting in their slipsteam in third, and if leading the protagonists turn the race into a speed duel, it will be tailor made for Thisonesforron to run out a winner. 

However, both Carbon Fiber and Holy Man have sensible riders in Wilmer Galviz and Ricky Jadoo, and they should not fall prey to the occasion. Holy Man, although handing out weight, should get the better of Carbon Fiber, who is not as seasoned a competitor.

It is another competitive programme, and Jamaica-bred Bigman Bas, who failed miserably in the Midsummer Classic, should recompense backers who supported him that day. He has the ability and should be Jadoo’s other winner on the card, and should easily account for Ten Powers. 

Meanwhile, The Cheerleader should enter the winner’s enclosure in the second race at the expense of fellow maiden, Diamondintherough. Post time for the day’s opener is 12.15 p.m.