GOING FOR GOLD: Celestial Storm
The Sandy Lane Gold Cup, the most prestigious horse race in the southern Caribbean, runs off at the Garrison Savannah on Saturday. In the lead-up to the big race, horse racing writer Lindon Yarde begins a series of profiles on the horses.
Owner: Estate of C.N. Parravicino
Trainer: Roger Parravicino
Distance attempts: 3; never won
Celestial Storm, with eight career wins, is seeking to create history by capturing the Gold Cup to go with the Sandy Lane Spa Sprint that she won last year.
The five-year-old daughter of Get Stormy out of Raging Storm has a closing style that suggests she would appreciate much more ground than the sprint trip.
Her disadvantage is that she does not have that explosive kick associated with out and out closers. She is more of a plodder.
Celestial Storm is one the few local horses with a stakes victory. However, she has been beaten at this distance by Spartacus, Won Grand and Infrared.
Parravicino will be hoping for something spectacular as there is cause for concern relating to her stamina. In six middle-distance attempts at 1 570 metres, the grey mare has one win. It should be noted that she hardly ever runs a bad race.
However, the issue goes beyond a sprint as she seems good enough for a possible place in the top four. Her stamina was evident in her first run at the trip against the crème de la crème. That race was won by Infrared.
Celestial Storm’s second place finish in the Grade I Coolmore Home Of Champions Stakes And Trophy made her worthy of a place in the 38th Sandy Lane Barbados Gold Cup. But will her lack of early speed be to her detriment as was the case when she got within striking distance of the winner, only to be found wanting, and still winless at 1 800 metres?
These races will require her to give everything asked of her, perform better than her best if she is going to upgrade from being a possible place option to become the first grey winner of the Gold Cup. (LY)