Nekitta looks set to deliver
Barbadians and racing aficionados could witness the garlanding of another Triple Crown winner at the Garrison Savannah today.
At around 4:30 p.m., the overwhelming favourite, the Lewin Godding-owned Nekitta, appears all set to deliver big time.
This Victor Cheeseman-trained filly, once she lands local racing’s most celebrated horse race, the United Insurance Barbados Derby, a grade I race for West Indian-bred three-year-olds over 2 000 metres, will be the toast of the country.
By winning, she will give her owner and trainer their first ever Derby success, and a basic total prize of $105 300. She will further be rewarded with a $100 000 bonus donated by the Barbados Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association for capturing all three racing jewels.
Although there’s no such thing in racing as a certainty, Nekitta, having dismissed all entered at various times, really looks invincible.
Her pedigree of sire Feet on Flames (Gold Cup winner 2005) and dam Black Bird (second in the 2002 Derby) surely cannot be in doubt. Her record is proven and her class is unquestionable.
She runs on just about any surface with a slight preference of a little or some give in the going. No matter the accolades, when the gate flies open, she will still need the most important part of he puzzle – a clean trip and a little racing luck to seal the deal.
Stablemate Vanity Affair will need to find plenty more if she is to turn the tables on Nekitta although trainer Cheeseman remains sweet on her chances.
The Price Is Right has performed credibly in the Triple Crown series and will again be a major threat.
Trainer Jonathon Simpson is confident she will get the distance. She is prone to acting up and is a nervous type of horse, but if left alone she may never be caught.
When asked about his other entry Janak’s Gold, Simpson responded: “He is going very well; he’s stronger than before and with the blinkers added his chances are good.”
Knight Rider is believed to be the best of Gay Smith’s horses, however if Snow White is given a more relaxed race, she can be around at the finish.
The Blue Diamond Racing team of High Tide and Cabin Boy have been fairly consistent. The latter, in the Midsummer Creole Classic, had a ground-saving trip but came up empty. High Tide will have to improve significantly to factor, but the stable’s record in this classic is unimpressive.
Boston John is the only trainer in the race to have experienced the thrill of winning a Derby.
John said: “It will be a joy to win it again. I’m expecting big things from Stratford’s Lad; he will run a good race as he has been specially prepared for this event.”
Among the outsiders Ben Ten’s trainer Colin Browne reported: “He is doing everything he’s been asked to do; his chances are good as he’s bred to stay. All he needs is a clean trip and 16 ounces of luck.”
For Devils Khandy the distance is no problem.
“She is working very well, I’m satisfied with a clean trip she has a good shot.” said trainer David Yearwood.
Sweet Bottom Sarah’s form has taken the wrong road and it will require a big united effort for her to land the coveted prize.
Race 1: Dancing Lady
Race 2: Sirius Black
Race 3: Secret Of Success
Race 4: Indian Soul
Race 5: Shared Adventure
Race 6: Just Jiving
Race 7: Jessie James
Race 8: Nekitta
Race 9: Whatadeal