Friday, April 12, 2024

Gold cup on

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SATURDAY’S SANDY LANE GOLD CUP is back on track and so will be the Kittitian horses, which had faced the possibility of being left in the gates.
The DAILY NATION understands that yesterday evening the four race day stewards threw out an objection lodged by two prominent racehorse owners and a trainer against the entry of Kittitian horses in the Caribbean’s richest horse racing event – now in its 30th year.
That means the Arthur Sharpe-owned Bad Action and Al Portador will be among the 12 horses facing the starter when the $200 000 event runs off in four days’ time at the Garrison Savannah.
Earlier this week, dark clouds threatened the event after well known racehorse owner Sir David Seale and Canadian millionaire Eugene Melnyk, along with local trainer Stephen Bynoe objected to the Kittitian entries on the grounds that St Kitts was not a recognized racing jurisdiction.
That objection came in spite of the fact that the Barbados Turf Club (BTC) had on February 15 agreed that the Kittitian entrants were eligible for the prestigious race.
Sharpe, who has already spent more than $100 000 to bring in his mounts and for entry fees, immediately retained the services of Barbadian attorneys Roger Forde, QC, and Dr Adrian Cummins, QC, to fight his case.
“Late yesterday, we were informed that the stewards had met and that the objection was thrown out,” Forde told the DAILY NATION. “We are satisfied by that decision, although we were not invited to represent our case and have no reason to take the matter any further,” he said.
He then added: “Barbadian owners should not feel they have a monopoly on racing in Barbados. The Gold Cup is an international event, and once the overseas entrants meet the criteria, they must be allowed to run.”
Besides the two entries in the Gold Cup, Sharpe, who arrived in the island on Monday, also has another horse in the VII Sandy Lane Spa Sprint Stakes & Trophy.
This means that the first reserve horses in these two events – owned by Sir David and Melnyk – will not be taking part in Saturday’s card, unless there is a late withdrawal. 
The Gold Cup race annually attracts a number of international celebrities, and while it could not be confirmed last night, reports indicated that legendary English jockey Sir Lester Piggott would be at the track on Saturday.

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