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GOING FOR GOLD: Infrared


LINDON YARDE

GOING FOR GOLD: Infrared

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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.

Owners: Daniel and Martin Raizman

Trainer: Richard Deane

Distance attempts: 13

Won: 8

Best time: 1:50.1

Weight: 129 pounds

Infrared is the most experience runner in the field. Could it be a case of third time lucky for this six-year-old bay horse by Discreetly Mines out of Heat Street?

Infrared won his first Stakes race in his third attempt of the Coolmore “Home of Champions” Stakes, and in the process increased his number of wins to 13.

This is his third appearance in the Gold Cup. His best finish was a third place in last year’s contest. He is renowned for his front running speed which he has displayed before in 2017 and, again in 2018 when Sir Dudley Digges and Shining Copper outran him.

This speedster controlled the 2017 edition, but may have to contend with fellow speedsters Gandalf and Burdines. Infrared has been exemplary in handicap and condition races when conceding weight. In one instance, carrying 130 pounds, he returned 1:51.3, and in others recording a time of 1:51.4 with weights of 126 to 128 pounds.

Infrared counted five victories in 2016, four in 2017 and three in 2018. Following his handicap win on September 8 the going got rough. He ended the second season with a loss to Spa Sprint winner Celestial Storm. Fans eagerly anticipated a clash with Gandalf who had won two legs of the Triple Crown, including the Derby, from in front.

They would salivate no longer with two high speed 1 570 metres races featuring Infrared and Gandalf. In the November 24 John B Simpson Classic, Infrared gave his conqueror 17 pounds, finishing off the board as a speed contest ensued. On December 26, in the Diamonds International Crown of Light Boxing Day Stakes the two had almost equal weights – Infrared 128 to Gandalf’s 125.

Infrared employed the unusual tactic of trying to close from mid-pack, which made no difference as Gandalf’s lead from gate to wire. (LY)

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