Avenging duties for Voldemort
Champion trainer Victor Cheeseman will take the fight to his Trinidadian counterparts in the Trinidad Derby set for September 24 at Santa Rosa Park in Arima, Trinidad, with Bills Incorporated-owned Voldemort.
The son of Janak out of Annabel Jane, who impressively won the Massy United Insurance Barbados Derby on August 9 will be the lone Bajan representative in T&T $500 000 (BDS$154 366) Grade I – 2 000 metres event which has a large contingent of Jamaican-bred horses.
Voldemort who finished second in the Barbados Guineas and failed to acquire a top four position in the Midsummer Creole Classic before his healthy 10/1 derby success, will be seeking to break the momentum of the Trinidad Triple Crown seeking horse Momentum whose career record stands at six wins and a second from seven starts.
Some of the obstacles in Voldemort’s way include running anticlockwise and racing on the sand for the first time; he has a record of three wins and a second from seven starts.
The Cheeseman trainee, who is due shortly to travel to the Land of the Hummingbird, is entered to compete in Saturday’s fourth race on the final day of the BTC’s second season nine race card. That race the Sale Graduates Vase Handicap will see ten other useful Barbados bred three-year-old stayers rated 70-52 going 1 800 metres.
There he will square off with the 2012 Derby winner Bandera Belle, who like Voldemort recorded an upset win in the Derby, and both won their last race on the soft track that existed.
Once again Trinidad and Tobago’s champion trainer John O’Brien commands all the attention going into this year’s Derby; as this is not first time as he finds himself in the hot seat seeking the country’s Triple Crown, a feat last achieved in 2003 by Top Of The Class.
The Jamaican-bred Momentum, who won the first two Jewels of the Trinidad Triple Crown – Easter Guineas and the Carib Brewery Midsummer Classic by two and a quarter and 11 and a quarter lengths, respectively, had his six race winning streak curtailed at the hands of Urban Knight over 1 350 metres.
He has to be given even more respect as he is a full brother to the Jamaican and Trinidadian Derby winner of 1998, Technomoto, owned by local racing tycoon Elias Haloute.
Topping the list of Jamaican contenders is the reigning horse of the year Princess Popstar who has already won at Santa Rosa taking the 1 800 metres Massy Oaks Stakes. She missed all the Jamaican classics through a torn muscle.
The twin-island republic derby will have plenty of Jamaican entrants, many of whom have felt the wrath of the Dr Rupert Indar Jr-owned colt Momentum.
For Cheeseman, presently the leading trainer, it will be another attempt at stopping the Trinidad Triple Crown quest and to avenge the poor showing by the Barbadian horses that converged on the Arima Race Course last year.
Cheeseman took his filly Nekitta, who won the first two legs of the local classics before failing to fire in the Trinidadian Derby along with the other Bajan representative in that race, Khartoum, both finishing at the rear.