A SHORTAGE of molasses is having an effect on the racing industry.
It has resulted in National Flour Mills (NFM) being unable to provide a supply of racehorse feed to horsemen at Santa Rosa Park, Arima since Monday. Trainers are now forced to ration the amount of feed given to their charges, while some of them do not have any feed at all.
A limited supply of imported feed has helped to buffer the shortage, but that has been "eaten up", forcing some trainers to give their horses just grass and water and beg or borrow feed from fellow trainers.
Fred De Freitas, supplier of NFM feed at the Santa Rosa Park paddock said he has been in contact with NFM about the supply and has been informed that the company does not have any molasses, which is a main ingredient in "sweet" feed.
He has been told that Vasant Bharath, Minister of Trade and Industry, has to intervene for NFM to get molasses from Angostura as it is in a bonded warehouse.
De Freitas said he could not say how soon NFM will have feed available for horsemen.
The Express also contacted NFM's communications officer Kevon Fields about the problem and he said: "Our local supplier, United Molasses (from Trinidad) ran out of stock. However, arrangements are in place to get molasses elsewhere."
When pressed to find out if it is from Angostura he responded: " I cannot confirm and prefer not to make any statement to that effect, but the process is in place to get molasses."
Further pressed to find out if Minister Bharat had to get involved to get molasses for NFM, Fields again said he could not confirm.
Asked when horsemen could expect feed from NFM he said, "unfortunately I cannot give a ball park date. We are taking measures to get the molasses. "
The Express has been reliably informed that NFM is getting molasses from Angostura, and Minister Bharat had to be approached to get it released from the bonded warehouse.
NFM has been experiencing a problem with molasses since the closure of Caroni (1975) Limited several years ago and it has impacted on the racing industry.
Molasses, which is a by-product in the refining of sugar cane into sugar, is now imported from outside Trinidad.
Despite this problem, there will be racing on Saturday at Santa Rosa, with the Arima Race Club (ARC) staging a ten-race card, with the feature event being the Grade Two ARC Cup, which attracted Mobthewarrior, winner of last December's 2,000-metre Republic Bank Gold Cup.
Mobthewarrior will have his first run since that success in Saturday's 1,800-metre ARC Cup, the ninth race on Day Seven of the ARC's 2013 season.
The Canadian-bred runner, trained by Stephen Jardim, renews rivalry with champion creole stayer of 2012, Galveston, who finished second in the Gold Cup on Boxing Day, and Strikes Not Spares, who was third in the same race.
Last year's CNG Trinidad Derby winner Free Passage, who closed off the 2012 season on a winning note when beating Toro Rosso, is also in the "Cup" line-up.
They will be joined by Gabby's Gold, who trotted up in his lone run of the new season over course and distance under leading jockey Emile Ramsammy, who will be back aboard Saturday.
Last year's winner of the ARC Cup was Montejo, who suffered a training injury to his hind leg and was euthanised just a few days before the Gold Cup, and was voted champion imported stayer at the February 1 Jetsam Awards ceremony.
Here are the declared runners, jockeys, weights and post positions for Saturday's ten-race card:
RACE 1—11.45—4 Y.0. & OVER HORSES RATED 45-0 WHICH HAVE NOT EARNED MORE THAN $20,000 AFTER 23/08/02—1,300 Metres--$33,000—1. Strategic Silence 50.5 D. Gopie; 2. Zen Master 57 B. Boodramsingh; 3. Destiny Train 57 S. Chadee; 4. Mambo Lady 52 R. Thomas; 5. Agra 53.5 K. Balgobin; 6. Visible Wind 56.5 R. Hernandez; 7. Diamond T 55 P. Badrie; 8. Precise Rule 56.5 K. Khelawan; 9. Herald Angel 52 N. Flavenney.
RACE 2—12.22—3 Y.O. & OVER HORSES RATED 60-40—1,200 Metres--$40,000—1. Fleet Admiral 57 P. Badrie; 2. Ten Powers 57 S. Samuel; 3. Northern Hills 52 N. Chadee; 4. Super Grey 53 B. Pahal; 5. Treasure Hunt 57 N. Patrick; 6. Super Sonic 53 K. Khelawan; 7. Charming Lass 54.5 B. Boodramsingh; 8. Personal Exchange 57 R. Hernandez; 9. My Ari 56.5 L. Ramos.
RACE 3—1.00—3 Y.O. & OVER HORSES RATED 70-50—1,350 Metres--$43,000—1. Burst Of Energy 52 L. Ramos; 2. Becquerel 57 L. Lopez; 3. The Right Time 54 E. Ramsammy; 4. A Great Millennium 55 R. Latchman; 5. Mambo Cat 54.5 D. Gopie; 6. Big Daddy 53.5 B. Boodramsingh; 7. Ramblin Rose 54 R. Jadoo; 8. Believe It Or Not 55 N. Abrego; 9. Unquestionable 54.5 K. Balgobin.
RACE 4—1.39—WI-BRED 4 Y.O. & OVER MAIDENS—1,100 Metres (TURF)--$32,000—1. Hidden Agenda 57 H. Martinez; 2. Rest Assured 48.5 R. Hasranah; 3. Western Movie 56.5 R. Latchman; 4. Young Dinaro 40 N. Flavenney; 5. Stairway To Heaven 51.5 E. Ramsammy; 6. Rosie Dream 49.5 K. Khelawan; 7. Champagne On Ice 56.5 D. Gopie; 8. Song Of Class (Res 1) 38.5 P. Badrie; 9. Spectacular Return 56.5 S. Chadee; 10. Casino Host 49 R. Thomas; 11. Precious Lily 51.5 R. Ali; 12. Captain Chally 46.5 N. Patrick; 13. Royal Banker 52.5 S. Samuel.
RACE 5—2.16—IMPORTED 3 Y.O. & OVER MAIDENS AND WI-BRED 4 Y.O. & OVER NON-WINNERS OF FOUR RACES—1,350 Metres--$48,500—1. It Is Alleged 57 N. Abrego; 2. Autumn Storm 57 R. Jadoo; 3. Stormy Frontier 57 D. Khelawan; 4. Captive Witness 55 D. Butcher; 5. Star Entertainer 57 E. Ramsammy; 6. Slewjero 57 L. Ramos; 7. Golden Enchantment 55 B. Boodramsingh; 8. Farad 57 S. Samuel.
RACE 6—2.55—3 Y.O. & OVER HORSES RATED 55-35—1,600 Metres--$36,400—1. Actin Time 55 K. Balgobin; 2. Prince Shival 56 P. Badrie; 3. Malibu Heights 57 L. Lopez; 4. Naughty N Nice 54 R. Ali; 5. Cover You Donkey 53.5 K. Khelawan; 6. Lookin At Lovely 57 E. Ramsammy; 7. Hesuntouchabull 54 B. Boodramsingh; 8. Enigmatic 55.5 D. Khelawan; 9. Settled 54.5 L. Ramos; 10. Nothing Left (Res 1) 52 N. Flavenney; 11. Nature's Reality 54 D. Gopie; 12. Invictus 57 R. Latchman; 13. D'Last Flight 56 B. Pahal.
RACE 7—3.34—3 Y.O. & OVER HORSES RATED 85-65—1,200 Metres--$48,500—1. Joezel 54.5 P. Badrie; 2. Nakita 51 N. Flavenney; 3. Quick City 52 R. Hasranah; 4. Wild Shuffle 51 K. Balgobin; 5. Loan Shark 54 S. Rodrigo; 6. Immortal Flame 50 D. Butcher; 7. Officer Ike 54 R. Jadoo; 8. Intact 57 E. Ramsammy; 9. King Whistler 57 K. Khelawan; 10. Black Genius 52 B. Boodramsingh.
RACE 8—4.13—3.Y.O. & OVER HORSES RATED 30-0—1,100 Metres (TURF)--$30,000—1. Fire N' Faith 57 J. Stephen; 2. Sweet Parang Music 48.5 R. Hernandez; 3. Red-Hot Wheels 52 R. Hasranah; 4. Nad Al Sheba 51 S. Singh; 5. Vijayanti 57 D. Gopie; 6. The Conqueror 53 G. Laban; 7. Love In Tokyo 48.5 R. Thomas; 8. Insidious 56 D. Butcher; 9. Dazzling Diamond 48 K. Khelawan; 10. Renewed Dream 57 B. Pahal; 11. On My Own 56 V. Charles; 12. Danzig's Day 53.5 N. Vargas.
RACE 9—4.50—ARIMA RACE CLUB CUP (GRADE II)—3 Y.O. & OVER—1,800 Metres--$150,000—1. Gabby's Gold 56.5 E. Ramsammy; 2. Strikes Not Spares 56.5 N. Abrego; 3. Galveston 50 P. Badrie; 4. Secret American 51 R. Latchman; 5. Free Passage 48 L. Ramos; 6. Toro Rosso 53 R. Hasranah; 7. Mobthewarrior 56.5 B. Boodramsingh; 8. Golden Dixieland 53 G. Laban.
RACE 10—5.25—WI-BRED 3 Y.O. MAIDENS—1,200 Metres--$43,000—1. Brash N Willing 52.5 R. Latchman; 2. Iconic 54.5 P. Badrie; 3. Purple Touch 54.5 R. Jadoo; 4. Honour Roll 54.5 L. Ramos; 5. Big Red 49.5 R. Ali; 6. Convoy 57 N. Abrego; 7. Unguarded Moment 49.5 N. Patrick; 8. Sapphire 49.5 D. Butcher; 9. Atlantica 50.5 B. Boodramsingh; 10. Readyfortheroad 54.5 E. Ramsammy; 11. Big Profit 52.5 K. Balgobin; 12. Saynomore 52.5 N. Samaroo; 13. Princess Zara 52.5 K. Khelawan