Saturday, April 20, 2024

Nekitta looks one to beat


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The Diamonds International/Mont Blanc and Victor Chandler Race day, the fifth and final day of the Barbados Turf Club’s third racing season, will be on Boxing Day from 1 p.m. at the Garrison Savannah.  
Traditionally, this day sees a massive crowd which can expect nothing less than top class entertainment over the nine-race card. West Indian-bred two-year-old horses will share the spotlight on the afternoon with runners in the Grade I Victor Chandler Stakes and Trophy over 1 570 metres.
Nine juveniles will compete at that distance in the Diamonds International/Crown Of Light Stakes and Trophy Challenge, a Grade I event. Winning fillies Nekitta, Cavanak and Koh-I-Noor, who are all pencilled in to carry 118 pounds, meet the in-form colt Flying South who is down to carry 123 pounds.
Lewin Godding’s Nekitta appears to have a slight advantage, if solely on experience, to go with her two wins, including her last at today’s distance. Cavanak suffered serious interference before recovering to finish a commendable fifth, but improvement is expected.
Koh-I-Noor smoothly turned her maiden certificate in the Tinker’s Image Condition race over 1 100 metres, but this encounter should prove much tougher than what she has overcome.
Flying South seeks a hattrick and will be going the extra distance for the first time in what should be a close race. Janak’s Gold is yet to run a bad race; his improvement indicates he is heading to the winner’s enclosure and Wednesday could be the day.
The afternoon’s penultimate race No.8 – the Diamonds International/Day 2 Night Handicap over 1 100 metres – will see the return of the 2011 Guineas winner Slip Stream who has recently recovered from injury.
She has been asked to share the top weight of 133 pounds with Nomoreginrog in this race for three-year-old and older horses rated 57-80 and also open to horses rated 56 and below.
While it has been proven to be Slip Stream’s favoured distance, she will need the race. Based on the perfect draw and his potential, Nomoreginrog should be seen at his best. Iamsogroovy shoulders 127 pounds but should still factor in the final outcome.
Zaltarr, also up in the weights of 129 pounds, recorded his first win for some time when he took the Blast Of Storm Handicap for horses rated 52-75 at this distance and should give another honest effort. Boo, Rickoshey and Golden Moment are all capable of finding a place.
West Indian-bred three-and four-year-olds will star in the Diamonds International/Sara G Condition Race over 1 570 metres. Maximum weight has been allotted to the Blue Diamond pair of Island Memories and Vitality shouldering 130 pounds, respectively, both with chances.
Barbados Guineas winners, in 2010 Slip Stream (125 double entered) and in 2011, Aston Martin (127) will clash for the first time. Both are returning from a layoff but can’t be ignored. Lune De Barachois, Cinnamon Jane and Lady Quill, all touting 125 pounds, should not be overlooked.


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