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Cheeseman holding aces


Lindon Yarde

Cheeseman holding aces

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Champion trainer Victor Cheeseman seems to hold all the keys for today’s feature races at the Garrison Savannah.

Cheeseman saddles the raging hot favourite Halle Rose, who is yet to taste defeat after two starts. She won her debut by a whopping 12 and three-quarter lengths, then returned on a contrasting surface (soft) and was still good enough to ease home by four and three-quarter lengths.

This daughter of Thady Quill out of Sky Beauty is confidently expected to take Race 4 – the Courtesy Juvenile Breeders Stakes & Trophy over 1 100 metres, the first of the day’s two feature races.

Even with the weights in both features showing a five-pound differential in favour of the fillies and mares, it still looks very much as though the remaining five competitors will battle for the second spot in this grade IR – for Barbados-bred two-year-olds.

Favourite Cat, Midnight Run and Howulikedisname offer the most value of the others.

Favourite Cat has improved with each start and was a comfortable winner of his last race. However, be mindful that he and stablemate Midnight Run never saw the hoofprints of Haley Rose in their debut massacre.

Howulikedisname may not like this early speed but is still expected to give good representation. Island Woman is yet to show the encouragement needed to sway punters in her corner, while Double Jeopardy does not look a bad prospect for the future.

A small field will compete for the top honour in this year’s Courtesy Garage Breeders Classic over 1 800 metres. Cheeseman’s star equine Sirius Black is expected to power to the winner’s enclosure in this grade IR race for Barbados-bred three-year-olds and older horses.

Taking the top impost of 127 pounds, Sirius Black on form looks unstoppable. With class and versatility on his side it appears only to be a question of which style his jockey will use. Does he go to the lead and run them ragged or simply tour the back line then sweep by when it matters most?

Nekitta, the second starter for Cheeseman in this event, had a little setback early up in the year and was given much needed time off. But whether her fitness level is near what is required to win this race is left to be seen.

The others all make interesting opposition and are all in with a fighting chance.

Knight Rider, after winning the Derby last year and turning back Shared Adventure has not improved as was expected.

Janak’s Gold has improved by leaps and bounds, and he would give further testimony if he somehow lands this one.

Vanity Affair can’t be discounted despite her failure to win a race beyond the 1 570-metre mark, and she is very much at home in this company.

High Tide will be seeking glory in his second start for this outfit, while Zoom has to be respected even if only on the merit that he won this classic back in 2011.

My picks
Race 1: Snow Storm
Race 2: Poetic Licence
Race 3: The Price Is Right
Race 4: Halle Rose
Race 5: War In Gunsite
Race 6: Sirius Black
Race 7: Daunting David
Race 8: Super Lady
Race 9: Apparition

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