Record 121 for Derby Day
A SEASON’S record 121 horses have been entered to run on the seventh race day of the second season at the Garrison on Saturday – United Insurance Derby Day.The fourth running of The “Tommy” Peirce Memorial Trophy Handicap for three-year-old and over horses rated 0-145 going 1570 metres is one of the features, and will generate tremendous interest.Apostle will take the top weight of 130 pounds in this top class event, and is expected to give a good account. The Andrew Nunes-trained gelding is proven in this company, and can make a return to the winners’ circle. Although the third place finisher of this year’s Sandy Lane Gold Cup has run below his usual standard in his two starts since that race, he has a sense of the big occasion, and can rediscover his form in this group, and return to winning ways.Walk On By, owned by the Josephs, has similar form to that of Apostle, with her last decent performance being in this year’s running of the Tanglewood Stakes And Trophy. Now handicapped at 115 pounds, she should be able to find a place, especially if a speed duel with Apostle can be avoided.Sir David Seale-owned Preach To Me now seems to be in the habit of throwing a bad race every other start. He finished out of the money in the Queen’s Plate over 1 800 metres in conditions that suited him, and on that evidence will need to improve in order to be a factor.Preach To Me is handicapped at 128 pounds, and this might just make the task a little too difficult.Boston John-trained Bipin stays the distance and has triumphed over the trip with a recent win over three-year-olds rated 83-110. He should be better for that win, and with improved confidence and maturity, must stand a chance handicapped at 118 pounds.The Lord Michael Taylor-owned Pure Temptation and Peaceful Envoy are nicely handicapped at 114 and 120 pounds. This stable is always competitive and the pair should appreciate the trip, and at least find places.Bram Stoker, Super Star, Zoom and Proud Bajan are all vulnerable against this class. The Altman Real Estate Trophy Handicap for three-year-olds and older rated 0-95 promises to be a speed fest. Aysha Syndicate-owned Time D’or gets the top weight of 133 pounds.The Anderson Ward-trained Purr Class, handicapped at 124 pounds, makes a return after a brief lay-off. He has recorded four victories from five starts, including a half-length triumph in the Guardian General Flexi Commercial Fire Insurance Condition race over 1 100 metres.Yusuf Mongroo-owned Janaki has not put a foot wrong recently, and got up on the wire in the nick of time to take the Zouk Handicap going 1 100 metres for horses rated 0-105, winning by a short head. Janaki takes 128 pounds, and at that weight she will need to be at her very best to score.Bloumberg (128), Vandross (126) and Grace Chapel (129) would all prefer a longer distance, but cannot be ruled out. The Liz Deane-trained Dark Knight cannot be far from a visit to the winners’ enclosure.