Monday, April 22, 2024

GOING FOR GOLD: Northern Star

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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: Mervyn Rollins and Victor Cheeseman

Trainer: Victor Cheeseman

Distance attempts: 6

Won: 6

Best Time: 1:50.4

Northern Star has ruled the race track, and embarks on his first Gold Cup with an unblemished record.

He will be seeking his 11th consecutive victory, which would be another phenomenal mark in his already impressive resume.

Northern Star returned to the track with a sprint win against the top-class horses following eight months of inactivity due to a foot operation.

His wins at the Gold Cup distance saw him carrying weights of between 124 and 129 pounds, which is better than all entered in the race.

In the 2018 Coolmore “Home of Champions” Stakes, he outran his opponents recording his fifth career Stakes win, and a personal best time, which makes him a legitimate contender worthy of being Gold Cup champion 2019. The son of Carpe Diem, out of Aquarius Star, has won the 2 000 metres Tanglewood Stakes twice.

A review of his resume would show that he travelled the 1 800 metres journey six occasions, winning all.

Northern Star has proven his stamina by defeating two-time Gold Cup winner Dorsett over 2 200 metres in the Saleh and Khatijah Mohamad Memorial Trophy Condition Race.

Northern Star has been piloted by six different jockeys to the winner’s enclosure, conquering all comers, and being dominant at every distance.

There can be no question of his class, and many believe that he should have contested the 2017 and 2018 editions of the Cup.

Champion three-year-old Horse Of The Year 2017, Northern Star, a household name in Barbados, will be one of the heavy favourites today.

His reputation is formidable and only the overseas horses seem capable of challenging him as he has demolished the locals.

His stats are flawless, but it is my opinion he is not the same horse that he was before the injury when he was overpowering.

My heart wants him to pass this gruelling test in grand style, but my mind tells me very few horses return from injuries and dominate the Caribbean’s biggest racing extravaganza.

At 4:30 p.m., the jury will notify the judge (John Public) of its findings.

Is Northern Star truly a good star? Or has his layoff affected his much-anticipated performance? (LY)

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