Mosca hoping for ‘Light’ to strike twice
THERE could be some teary eyes should last year’s Derby-winning trainer Derick Mosca repeat the feat with Fire Light in Tuesday’s NGC CNG Trinidad Derby Stakes at Santa Rosa Park, Arima.
Mosca won his first Derby in 2012 with Free Passage, owned by his late brother-in-law Juan “Tony” Navarro, and will be dedicating this year’s renewal to Navarro, who died from a massive heart attack on Monday on his way to the 83rd Derby press conference and draw.
He was cremated yesterday at the St James crematorium.
“I am going to miss him when we will be saddling Fire Light on Derby day,” Mosca said.
“Tony was very excited about this horse after he saw him work on Sunday. I hope he could bring that performance to the Derby. It is not easy to lose someone so young and so involved in the sport. He loved the sport, and his loss will impact on the sport.”
Switching to the Derby runners, Mosca spoke favourably of Bigman In Town.
“I did not see Bigman In Town work. I have seen little glimpses of him, but I have seen his performances in Jamaica, and they were good, probably the 12 furlongs in the Jamaican Derby was too far.”
“His performance in Trinidad were good. It was a four-horse race, but he ran an excellent race, and...a first time tongue-tie brought out the best in him.”
Mosca added that after Bigman In Town, “the horse I like...is Prince Zeshan, from his performance against Woden (trained by Mosca), who is a good three-year-old importation.
“In my opinion, a good three-year-old needs to run a race like that to have a chance in the Derby. War of Words did not beat anybody. He is a stayer. Although he beat Prince Zeshan in the Midsummer Classic. Prince Zeshan wasn’t the horse at that time. And now he will be ridden by top rider Rajiv Maragh he must have an excellent chance.”
Regarding his horse Fire Light, which will be partnered by 2011 Derby winning rider Alan Maragh, Mosca said his charge had improved “tremendously” since his last start.
“He came to Trinidad in poor condition, and a horse usually takes at least three months to acclimatise, and it took some time to get him right. I thought he was right going into the race when beaten by Pistons And Rings, but considering all things he ran a good race. After that run I found out certain things about him.”
Mosca continued that, “he has changed a lot since that run, and will give a good account of himself. I like his chances. It is not the best chance, but he will have a chance.”
Sharing his opinion on Triple Crown contender War Of Words and stablemate, Headline News (trained by John O’Brien) Mosca stated, “Headline News ran around the track before the start of his race (Derby prep) and came back and won. He did very well to run a circuit and still win. However, I would like to see horses perform at the higher end to be considered a Derby contender.”
He added: “War of Words did not beat anybody in his last race, but he is the Triple Crown contender, and you have to respect that. From his performances in the Triple Crown races, yes, he is better than the other horses, but I think Bigman In Town is a cut above what we have here. Racing is a lot of luck and hard work. You have a good horse, it is like 75 per cent, then the other part is the rider and luck.”