NOMINEE, Gabby’s Gold and Golden Dixieland—the three finalists for the 2013 Jetsam Award for Champion Imported Stayer—will clash in the feature event on today’s ten-race card at Santa Rosa Park, Arima.
The Jetsam Awards ceremony will be held on Friday, in the Century Ballroom at Queen’s Park Oval, and the title could go to Gabby’s Gold, who won the President’s Cup last August, beating Golden Dixieland and Nominee in the open graded contest.
Nominee is also one of the three finalists (the others are Indian Medicine and Sacred Trust) for the Champion Turf Performer, having won the 1,600-metre Champagne Stakes on April 1, beating Just Call Me Roger and Mobthewarrior, and should cop this award for that outstanding performance.
Today’s event is over 1,600 metres on the turf and Nominee, who finished third to Headline News and Bigman In Town in the 2,000-metre Republic Bank Gold Cup on Boxing Day, is a standout on that performance and the fact that he shoulders the light impost of 45.5 kilos and is a proven grass runner puts him ahead of his class.
Gabby’s Gold and Golden Dixieland do not have any turf form to pose a threat to him and are both giving him weight, and this diminishes their chances.
Just Call Me Roger, who is also in the line-up, is coming off a layoff, but is a proven turf runner.
However, when they met in the Champagne Stakes, both horses shouldered 56.5 kilos and this time around Just Call Me Roger carries 57 kilos, while Nominee is allotted 45.5, a difference of 11.5 kilos.
On that handicap advantage one cannot look further than Nominee.
Another proven turf runner, Wild Shuffle, who finished second to Indian Medicine in the Sian’s Gold Sprint on New Year’s Day, also carries the light impost of 43 kilos, but looks safely held by Nominee.
Stewards Cup winner Crime Of Passion is entered with a “main track only” entry and should remain indoors as the track is reported to be good and the chances of moving off the lawn are very remote.
Importation Lang Amour, fourth in the Gold Cup, has earned money on the turf and is also nicely handicapped at 40.5 kilos and has a chance of forming the trifecta.
However, Nominee has fulfilled all the criteria and looks set to open his 2014 campaign on a winning note.
He will be hard to topple and should score from Lang Amour, Buffalo Soldier and Golden Dixieland.
Earlier on the card, importation Bergeron Rodeo, who finished an eyecatching second to stablemate Holy Man in the First Sprint on New Year’s Day, should build on that performance, but could have most to fear from Princess She’s Not, Goliath’s Boy and Uncle Norman.
Bergeron Rodeo is poorly drawn, against the fence, and if he overcomes that disadvantage he will be the one to follow, but if not, speedy Princess She’s Not will be the one to catch. Post-time for the day’s opener is 11.15 a.m.