Rain, rain go away!
That will be the cry of everyone hoping to attend the running of the Sandy Lane Barbados Gold Cup today.
Persistent rain has made the 12-horse feature event – once believed by some pundits to be a three-horse affair – more open, as conditions will be testing on the foot.
On the Barbados Turf Club’s biggest race day – the fifth of the first season – the crowds are expected to swarm the Garrison Savannah by the thousands to witness the Caribbean’s most prestigious horse race.
Just before the main attraction, fans will be treated to a cultural spectacular put on by the Royal Barbados Police Force Band and the Sandy Lane Majorettes.
For the first time in the history of the race, the locally-bred creoles have taken centre stage and will all start firm favourites. Apostle, Show Me The Money and Zoom – not necessarily in that order – will most likely command the betting.
This has been strengthened by the fact that the imported horses failed to create any impression on the above mentioned trio when they met previously despite receiving weight concessions.
Now that the three will be throwing around weight from a maximum of seven pounds to a minimum of four pounds, the chances of the importeds have shrunk.
At even weight of 122 pounds, the creoles have no major advantage over each other, and riding tactics and track conditions could be the main factors in the final outcome.
Apostle, owned by Elias Haloute and Sir Charles Williams, is known for his natural speed. However, the prevailing track conditions have proven unfavourable to him in the past and he now looks totally up against it.
Apostle’s nemesis, Show Me The Money, has the perfect running style where he can sit just off the pace or he can make it very uncomfortable for the flighty Apostle. If the latter is the case, it will most certainly take care of his winning chances.
The Lord Michael Taylor-owned, Anderson Ward-trained Show Me The Money will have the benefit of a Patrick Husbands ride.
With so many options available at his disposal; it’s just a matter of which one the riding maestro will choose. Show Me The Money is the one they will all have to beat.
The defending champion, the Gay Smith-owned Zoom, with his never-say-die attitude will come fighting tooth and nail as he relishes the prevailing conditions. Although appearing not as classy as the other two, he is extremely alive.
The Bill Blevins-owned Graeme Hill, partnered again by Kyle Carter, must stand an outside shot once he reproduces the form that earned the Coolmore Home Of Champions Stakes & Trophy.