Gold Cup mystery
There is plenty to talk about in the Sandy Lane Barbados Gold Cup which runs off at the historic Garrison Savannah on Saturday.
Several questions can be asked: will an imported horse win the race? Can a locally bred horse make it two Gold Cup wins in a row?
Or can eight year-olds Apostle or John Brian finally win the coveted Gold Cup in their fifth attempt?
To give you a better picture, here is a look at how the runners have performed over the Gold Cup distance of 1 800 metres.
Record over 1 800 metres: 13=5-0-4-2
Easily the most impressive record in this year’s field, his victories came in the 2007 Breeders Stakes and Trophy, Coolmore Home Of Champions Stakes and Trophy 2009 and 2010, with his last major success coming in last year’s Val Gale Cup.
Along with those victories he has finished third on two occasions in the Gold Cup. While his record speaks volumes and he meets his weakest Gold Cup field, his age has to be factored into the equation.
Record over 1 800 metres: 14=3-2-1-2
His major achievement came last year when he was upgraded to winner of the Gold Cup. Prior to that accomplishment, he took the Barbados Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association Breeders’ Classic. He has also won one of his two 2 000-metre Tanglewood Stakes and Trophy appearances and has won at every distance he has attempted. He’s at the top of his form and is seen as one of the leading players.
SHOW ME THE MONEY
Record over 1 800 metres: 11=3-1-2-0
His biggest achievements were winning the 2010 Queens Plate Handicap 0-120 and placing second in the 2010 Val Gale Cup. Let’s not forget he won last year’s Gold Cup but was penalized.
Arguably he is in the greatest form of his life and appears ready for all and sundry.
Record at 1 800 metres: 11=0-2-3-0
He is a winner of two sprint races and his record at the trip does not inspire confidence.
He will be a long shot going into the race.
LITTLE MAN ARRAN
Record over 1 800 metres: 2=0-0-0-1
Both career wins have come over the middle distance of 1 570 metres. His best effort was a hard fought fourth in this year’s Coolmore Home Of Champions Stakes and Trophy. Now a four-year-old, he is improving but the task ahead looks huge.
Record over 1 800 metres: 13=1-2-2-2
His lone distance success came this year in the 0-120 Queens Plate Handicap where he carried a light 115 pounds.
This veteran’s best effort has been a second and two fourth-place finishes in the 2008, 2010 and 2011 Gold Cups, with the last an upgrade. His form coming into this year’s race can only be described as moderate. While his experience should count, his form and age are two worrying factors.
Record over 1 800 metres: 2=0-0-0-0
One of the most promising fillies in the game but her six consecutive victories over 1 570 metres now seems to mean nothing. She failed in her two attempts and this assignment is a huge test for her. She should be better for the experience.
Record over 1 800 metres: 6=2-0-0-1
His highest route success came against 0-115 opposition in 2010 when he was fourth in the 2011 Coolmore Home Of Champions Stakes and Trophy but a few his appearances have been restricted by injury. On this comeback he could wake up at a good price.
Record over 1 800 metres: 1=0-0-1-0
His lone effort was a courageous third in this year’s Coolmore Home Of Champions Stakes and Trophy. The son of Forest Dancer out of Dyno Dancer has made a remarkable comeback after a 15-month lay-off. On form, he appears a live outsider.
Record over 1 800 metres: 2=1-1-0-0
He defeated horses rated 68-90 but his best effort was a hard-fought second in this year’s Coolmore Home Of Champions Stakes and Trophy. The Jonathon Simpson-trained colt is improving and seems to be one for the future.
Record over 1 800 metres: 4=1-0-2-0
The high point in his career has been his splendid triumph in this year’s Coolmore Home Of Champions Stakes and Trophy. Like his stablemates, he is getting better and with some incredible speedsters in the race, his closing style makes him extremely dangerous. At this moment, class might be against him but he could be the real deal.
Record over 1 800 metres: 0=0-0-0-0
Since arriving in Barbados he is yet to race and that alone adds suspense to the race.
The track, its direction and the Garrison atmosphere on Gold Cup Day will make his bid for success in the pattern event more of a mystery.