Sealy: Top mounts a plus for Gold Cup
ATTRACTING TOP-QUALITY HORSES is the key to the continued success of the Sandy Lane Gold Cup.
That is the view of Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy who said that once horses of similar class to that as the American owned bay gelding Major Marvel – which stormed to victory in the 33rd running of the prestigious race on Saturday at the Garrison Savannah – continue to take part in the event, it would garner even more attention.
Last weekend’s race was not only one of the most talked about in recent history, but attracted a field highly regarded as one of the best in the last decade.
And even though Major Marvel, the overwhelming favourite ridden by ace jockey Patrick Husbands, raced away to a comfortable three-and-a half lengths victory, the minister maintained that the presence alone of the Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey-owned bay gelding raised the profile of the race.
“We have to work with the Barbados Turf Club to see that they can continue to bring in top-quality horses.
“Just the presence alone of Major Marvel in the race, brought a sense of excitement and intrigue to the event, because everyone came to see how he would perform against a very high-class field,” Sealy told NATIONSPORT just moments after making the Gold Cup presentation.
“It is clear that the interest is there and I know from the tourism end that visitors from the UK are still very sweet on this event.
“They are planning their vacations around it and either coming in earlier or staying later to make sure they can take in the Gold Cup, so we just have to leverage it.”
And with the event having grown to become the most prestigious horse racing event in the Eastern Caribbean, the acting Prime Minister said that the industry was extremely important to both the tourism and sporting sectors.
“We cannot underestimate the importance of horse racing as an industry,” Sealy insisted.
“We talk about our jockeys, but even our groomsmen who go to Woodbine and work all play a part in helping to promote Barbados as an ideal tourist destination.
“A lot of people are employed around this industry both here and abroad so we cannot forget that.”