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Two to tango

Lindon Yarde

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Tomorrow is United Insurance Barbados Derby Day at the Garrison Savannah.
Day seven of the Barbados Turf Club’s (BTC’s) second season consists of ten races and gets going at 12:45 p.m..
Attention will not only be focused on the marquee event but also on the supporting feature – the T.A. “Tommy” Peirce Memorial Trophy Handicap for three-year-olds and older rated 118-140 and also open to horses rated 117 and below.
This will certainly set the momentum for the day’s premier race.
Kendal Racing – noted for its blue and gold quartered body with monogrammed blue sleeves, blue and yellow cap with blue peak and gold pom pom – has the strongest hands in tomorrow’s 72nd running of the Derby.
Owner Sir Charles Williams has won the event three times – in 1987 with Don Juan; 1993 Secret Habitat, and 2007 Apostle (part-owned with Elias Haloute).
Sir Charles also has the distinction of having bred two Derby winners: Don Juan and Leave It To Me.
Slip Stream took the first jewel of the Triple Crown with a handsome victory in the Barbados Guineas over 1 570 metres, defeating stablemate Kendal Moon.
Kendal Moon did not get her revenge in the second leg, as favourite Slip Stream was a late non-starter for the Midsummer Creole Classic over 1 800 metres. Kendal Moon won in convincing fashion.
As the third and final leg of the Classics beckons, it would seem a foregone conclusion that one of these super fillies will take the Derby; it’s just a question of which one.
Champion trainer Andrew Nunes will be looking to add this year’s Derby to his championship, and is seeking his second success in this premier event.
In his first win he saddled the people’s favourite – Apostle.
His camp will definitely be gunning for the gold and aquamarine colours tomorrow.
It promises to be a thrilling Derby as these two fillies are equally matched for talent and loaded with tonnes of ability – the only difference being their running style.
As the Classics have continued, the chances of the Blue Diamonds Stables have dwindled. Although still high in number of entries, their main hopes clearly sit with Istanbul and Island Memories.
Owner Lord Michael Taylor will be hoping his new protégé, trainer Andy Ward, can produce the goods and give him a second Derby winner.
If Ward is successful, it would be a most memorable occasion, second only to his winning the Gold Cup this year with Show Me The Money before his disqualification.
Taylor’s only Derby win came with Captain PJ who defeated the “invincible” Kabul in 2004. Ironically, back then Ward was the jockey on board.
A win here would see Ward joining the great horseman Challenor Jones in having both ridden and trained a Derby winner.
Speaking of the maestro, Jones will want to cause an upset in this race as it would further improve his impressive resume.
He will be represented by the filly Victoria Belle who is decent at best and will have to climb mountains to achieve the feat.
Jones’s flamboyant record in the Derby shows him as a jockey with an unprecedented 11 wins.
He has also been victorious five times as a trainer – second to the late champion trainer William C. Marshall who holds the record of nine victories.
Jones has also bred three Derby winners.
His son Jono Jones, who just retired from the sport, has chalked up five local Derby wins.