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  • Be wary of Raising The Bar, Fortuneonehundred

    first_imgPUNTERS hunting quick-fire bankers on today’s 11-race card at Caymanas Park should be wary of the two obvious choices – FORTUNEONEHUNDRED in the 1000-metre round opening event and RAISING THE BAR in the nightcap at 1100 metres.FORTUNEONEHUNDRED has not trained on the track since turning for home with a two-length lead in the Diamond Mile on December 5. Tumbling to $550,000 claiming from grade one, where he campaigned most of last year, suggests something has gone amiss in the last 70 days since the talented United States-bred last raced.Even on an off day, FORTUNEONEHUNDRED should easily put away his six rivals, especially at the minimum distance. However, punters are advised to tread carefully in the opening event by backing up their bets with sound horses such as DWAYNE STAR, ITALIANO and speedy COME DANCE WITH ME.Similar to FORTUNEONEHUNDRED, RAISING THE BAR has taken a shocking drop in class from non-winners-of-four to the second-lowest claiming level, a $250,000 tag.It should be noted that RAISING THE BAR, a renowned speedster, has been slowly into stride in his two races this year. First, it was January 9 at 1500 metres, followed by January 31 at 1000 metres straight.In neither of those races did the four-year-old filly recover, even briefly, to show some speed. In addition, she has been sparingly trained, which makes her suspect against horses who she should easily put away.Options to RAISING THE BAR are consistent INFANTRY OFFICER and CLASSICAL TRAIN, who’s hunting a double, carrying 48.0 kilos, but up in class.HOWARD PHILLIPPS MEMORIALMeanwhile, ACTION MAN should prove too quick for his eight rivals in the 1100-metre Howard Phillipps Memorial.Omar Walker partners ACTION MAN, who heads the scale at 56.0 kilos. However, the four-year-old colt is not too heavy to take charge of the event coming off the final turn.Included in the nine-horse field are five fillies, none of whom can match ACTION MAN for speed. His other three rivals, two geldings and a colt, have neither the form nor speed to deny him following his strong third-place run behind DWAYNE STAR at 1000 metres straight on January 31.Partnered by apprentice Bebeto Harvey last time out, ACTION MAN disputed the lead with LEGAL ACCOUNT from the start before DWAYNE STAR closed in mid-track to overhaul both a half furlong out.DWAYNE STAR had reported for that race with solid runs under his girth, finishing no more than five lengths behind winners such as LONG RUNNING TRAIN, TARANIS, ROYAL ASSAULT and BRAWN in four consecutive races.The filly DINNER BY SEVEN has some speed, but was well beaten by ACTION MAN in their last three meetings.The two expected closers, COMMANDING AVIATOR and TURBO MACHINE CAT, are recent graduates to non-winners-of-three, having both beaten non-winners-of-two in the last two weeks.last_img read more

  • Volunteerism can open doors

    first_imgThere is no need for Foster’s Fairplay to declare a Jamaica College (JC) interest, having done so repeatedly when it is deemed to be necessary. Having said that, it is a signal pleasure to congratulate the Old Hope Road-based school’s alumnus, Alan Beckford, on yet another outstanding achievement. The former Boys’ Champs half-miler and recent aspirant for the IAAF Cross Country Committee has broken fresh ground. He has been selected as a technical official for the Rio Olympics by the International Triathlon Union (ITU). According to the co-founder and chief organiser of the Hugo Chambers Memorial 5K Road Race & Fun Run an annual November event “each country nominates qualified officials and a selection process is done to select essential the best.” The achievement qualifies him as an official in the triathlon and “we can be assigned to any aspect of the sport, swimming, transition, bike, run etc” To get to that level, the always media-friendly Beckford had to endure the Level III ITU technical officials course, which is the highest certification. “Maybe about 12 or so persons are at this level in the Americas from Canada, USA, Mexico, Brazil, Honduras and then Jamaica,” he added. He took the time to advise any prospective official who seeks to attain A level of which he is the sole Jamaican. “Start to volunteer and rewards will come. I have been volunteering for nearly 40 years in sports. ” He ended his talk with this columnist on a solemn note, as he looked to Rio. “It is a great honour and privilege to be recognised at this level. No other event can compare to the Olympic Games.” Once again, a sporting personality from the black, gold and green has risen to levels where our athletes have taken the country’s brand in a most significant way. This, as musicians, led by the immortal Bob Marley, scientists and the academics have also blazed their own trail. This should only form a template for those in the wings to attempt to copy as they wait on the, at times, elusive ‘buss’. So often, we see our young people, withholding their best efforts to make a difference in their own lives and that of their family, because, in their own words, ‘nuh dollaz nah run’. It cannot always be about the money. A matter worthy of consideration lies with parents, who need to start the process during the early stages of their children’s lives. No one can argue successfully against the need to earn, to look after one’s upkeep and to keep the landlord at bay. However, there is an important need to get aligned to the volunteer spirit, as is embraced by Beckford. In his case, it was a family-encouraged discipline. They have been staples at sporting events for ages, with mommy Beckford an active participant in her early years. Volunteerism can open doors to opportunities to better oneself in ways unimaginable. It is contagious in that it has the ability to get friends and associates also involved, if only out of curiosity or as something extra. Alan Beckford did it, giving of his knowledge and passion gained from early participation in sports. As dance hall artist Nesbeth sings to the delight of many, he can now say “look at me now’. For Feedback: E-Mail lauriefoster2012@gmail.comlast_img read more

  • Logie blasts Red Force

    first_imgPORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC):Head coach of Trinidad and Tobago Red Force, Gus Logie, has blasted as “disappointing, frustrating and embarrassing” his players’ performance against Windward Islands Volcanoes in their final match of the regional four-day tournament.Red Force suffered a seven-wicket defeat to Volcanoes at the National Cricket Centre in Couva on Monday, leaving the hosts in fourth spot after finishing second-to-last in the previous edition of the tournament.Chasing a victory target of 166, Windwards, resuming from their overnight score of eight without loss, coasted to 169 for three by midafternoon to end a long four-day season on a high.”I think disappointing is a nice word to use. This is as frustrating as it can get. We’ve tried everything possible to make sure that players are comfortable so they can perform,” said Logie.”We came into this game knowing that a win would have (got) us to third spot. It’s frustrating to see the lack of pride, the lack of fight from some of our players, especially the last two games.”Red Force finished the season in fourth position after accumulating 81 points in the tournament.Their inconsistency showed-up within the space of a month, when they hammered Leeward Islands Hurricanes by nine wickets, but followed up with successive seven-wicket losses to the Barbados Pride and Volcanoes, respectively.”Two weeks ago, we talked about seeing maturity in some of the players and (now), if you look at the way we got out in the middle, it was just embarrassing,” said Logie, a former West Indies batsman.”Our bowling seemed to lack some bite, and at the end of the day, it was just poor cricket.”RUNS TALLYOnly four Red Force batsmen tallied over 400 runs.Kyle Hope from Barbados totalled 553, ex-Guyana and West Indies all-rounder Narsingh Deonarine 494, Evin Lewis with 442, and current captain Yannick Ottley 404.Lewis and fellow left-handed opener Jeremy Solozano were the only Red Force batsmen to score centuries in the 10 rounds of matches.In the bowling department, only leg-spinner Imran Khan (43) and off-spinner Jon-Russ Jagessar (22) collected over 20 wickets.”We’ve seen growth in some individuals, but that’s just not enough. When we give (the players) opportunities, they have to grab it,” said Logie, the former West Indies vice-captain.”With all the support that (they) have, there is no excuse for not going out there and performing. There will come a day when they will have to answer and we will have to find players who will want to play, it’s as simple as that.”last_img read more

  • H View for CONCACAF U-13 Champions League

    first_imgHarbour View FC will represent Jamaica in the inaugural Scotiabank CONCACAF Under-13 Champions League. The youth showpiece will be held at the Cruz Azul Acoxpa Stadium in Mexico, August 4-8.In announcing Harbour View’s selection at Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) Football Academy, at the University of the West Indies Mona yesterday, the JFF’s director of football, Vin Blaine, commended Scotiabank for this initiative to help develop football in Jamaica.”Travelling to Mexico is special as they are the top CONCACAF team,” Blaine who is also a Harbour View FC technical director said.While the squad will play under the Harbour View banner players have been drawn from other KSAFA-based clubs. The 16-member squad will be coached by Noel McClaren with Sydney McFarlane as his assistant. The team captain is Rojaughn Joseph.As title sponsors of the Gold Cup, the Champions League and the Caribbean Nations Cup, Scotiabank has now turned its attention to youth development.”One of Scotiabank’s core mandates is to support the development of youth through sport,” regional marketing director at Scotiabank, Heather Goldson, said. “The Scotiabank CONCACAF kid’s Champions League allows us to remain true to our drive to encourage youth development,” she added.Meanwhile, Kingston and St Andrew Football (KSAFA) president, Ambassador Stewart Stevenson said: “I know Harbour View. They always give of their best and I expect excellent performances,” he stressed.The eight clubs in the championship are CD Chatelango of El Salvador; Herediano (Costa Rica); Chepo FC (Panama); Harbour View FC (Jamaica); Montreal Impact (Canada); DC United (United States); Toluca FC (Mexico); Aguilas UAS (Mexico).last_img read more

  • Strong finish key in title race

    first_imgThe guess as to who will win the 2015-16 Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) is no easier than previous seasons.In the past five seasons, five different teams – Arnett Gardens, Montego Bay United, Harbour View, Portmore United and Tivoli Gardens – have won the nation’s most prestigious football championship.Throughout that period, Waterhouse have remained the most consistent team never to have won, finishing fourth, second, second, third and fourth.Arnett, who had been fourth the previous two seasons and eighth the two before, made a huge leap last year under the guidance of it’s community and one of the country’s most successful coaches, Jerome Waite, to regain a title they last won almost a decade and a half ago.This evening they will kick-start their title defence at their home stadium, Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex, to University of the West Indies FC, a first-timer to football at this level.With several of his top players unavailable, Waite expects an uncharacteristically slow build-up to the campaign.”Arnett Gardens will start slow this season, reason being a lot of players who participated in the Business House competition they have not shown up for regular training, as well as the players overseas.”Although the core of the team is not here, I expect them to handle themselves. If you recall, our last 13 games we played leading up to the final, we won and we want to continue that unbeaten run,” he added.Strong start important”As the defending champions, you have to take up the opportunity at the start of the season and not so much in middle or the end of the first round. You have to go out there and start as champions. “It’s a season we are looking forward to and it’s not how we start, but how we finish,” he noted.That latter sentiment pretty much sums up the crux to the title: It’s how you finish.How well the teams pace themselves will significantly impact their chances, a big chunk of which boils down to depth in quality to spread across three rounds of competition, plus the decisive final phase that involves the semi-finals and final.Montego Bay United had been almost as good last season, but came up short in the final against an Arnett team that thrived on its consistency.Having retained its quality squad, and with some additions, too, the western Jamaica standard bearers are hungry to regain the crown.”Our aim is to get better and better each year. The mistakes we made last year, we’ll address them and improve on them,” said Orville Powell, the club’s owner of an improvement that can only be marked by a championship.Waterhouse have been knocking for some time, and again, they should have a say.”We’re trying to go all the way,” noted new and experienced Premier League coach, Calvert Fitzgerald. “I’ve inherited a very good team, Anthony Patrick did a very good job and he left a very talented bunch of players. I just have to do my best to see if we can cross that barrier that has been evading us for so long.”Humble Lion crossed virgin territory into the semi-finals last season, but were undone by none other than the champions. Their ambitions are bigger.”We have more depth … we’re aiming for the top spot,” noted Daphne Taylor, a club executive.Much of the others share a similar view, including Harbour View and Tivoli Gardens, which performed below their usual high levels.Harbour View have added much quality to their numbers and expects to reap greater fortune, despite the generally modest offerings from head coach Ludlow Bernard.”Our ambition is to finish in the top four and take it from there … we’re looking forward to a good season,” he expressed.Club president Edward Seaga pointed to Tivoli Gardens’ shortcomings, noting that “we have been falling off because we don’t have the top-level (players) like before”.However, this will not dampen their spirit and enthusiasm to rise again.Portmore United and Boys’ Town, champions in their own right, will also be looking to make their mark, as is Cavalier, who started well but fell away, Rivoli and newcomers UWI.Most got their first taste of action yesterday, a long way from the line that draws the champion – at the finish.last_img read more

  • Edwards joins Saints for St Ann clash in JCA 50 Overs Championship

    first_imgStrengthened by the inclusion of Barbados batsman Kirk Edwards in their line-up, St Catherine CC will attempt to move one step closer to defending their title when they play away to St Ann CA in quarter-final action of the Jamaica Cricket Association 50 Overs Championship today. The contest, which is scheduled to get under way at 9:30 a.m., will be played at the Noranda Bauxite Oval. Edwards, who was on Friday named to the Jamaica Scorpions’ 13-man squad for their opening round WICB Four-Day Professional Cricket League clash away to Barbados on November 6, is expected to add steel to an already solid ‘Saints’ batting line-up. Led by out-of-favour Jamaica and West Indies batsman Danza Hyatt, St Catherine also boasts the experienced Tamar Lambert and former West Indies ‘A’ representative Shacoya Thomas. This is in addition to former national youth opener Oraine Williams, who recently returned from Ireland, all-rounders Gavin Wallace (leg-spinner), off-spinner Peat Salmon and pacer Wayne Morgan, plus spinner Odean Brown. “When you look at Edwards’ international and first-class statistics, he should bring a lot to St Catherine both on and off the field,” Hyatt said. “He makes our batting stronger, and with us looking to defend our title this is what we want.” St Ann, like St Catherine, boast a record of four wins and one loss from the zonal stages and according to their coach, Cleon Smith, they are not too perturbed by the presence of Edwards. “Kirk Edwards is a well-known name in regional cricket, but cricket is played on the field, not by names,” said Smith. “Jamaica Defence Force and University of the West Indies (UWI) had star-studded line-ups and we stopped them.” St Ann, captained by national opener John Campbell, will be looking to stellar performance from Xavier Marshall, as well as Tevin Gilzene and Duran White. In other matches, unbeaten Kingston, with up-and-coming batsman Brandon King at the helm, will host UWI at Sabina Park. The UWI team will be led by new Jamaica first-class captain Paul Palmer Jr Kensington will travel to Manley Horne Park to face St Elizabeth and St Catherine CA will host St James at Ewarton Bauxite Oval.last_img read more

  • Rain brings premature end to Wolmer’s, Vauxhall Manning Cup clash

    first_imgTorrential rain and a water-logged Constant Spring football field affected yesterday’s ISSA-FLOW Manning Cup second-round double-header.Wolmer’s Boys and Vauxhall High ended in a premature 1-1 draw, while defending champions Jamaica College played to a rare goalless draw, against Holy Trinity High, in the second match.Both teams struggled to maintain ball possession under slippery conditions, despite JC dominating in attack, as well as scoring chances, but were unable to get the ball into the net.”Kudos must be given to the Constant Spring pitch; it held up admirably,” George Forbes, ISSA’s competitions officer, told The Gleaner.”I thought in the first game that was blown off with about five minutes to go, the referee could have waited a little more because it (conditions) weren’t going to get any better, and if he waited for about 12-15 minutes and tried to restart the game, he should have just continued the five or six minutes,” Forbes outlined.The first game, Wolmer’s vs Vauxhall, went ahead at 1 p.m. and it was all to play for, as Vauxhall took the offensive to a jaded-looking Wolmer’s, who featured in the FLOW Super Cup last Saturday.Vauxhall’s leading marksman Tyane Wilson, with six goals, sent them ahead in the 26th minute after kneeing the ball over goalkeeper Shamar Jemison and just over the goal line.Vauxhall tried to defend their narrow lead a little too early and Wolmer’s’ leading goalscorer, Alphanso Gooden, found space inside the box to fire home from close range.The goal took Gooden’s tally to eight, with his team having six minutes to play.ISSA will announce details on the unfinished match.Yesterday’s ResultsJC 0 Holy Trinity 0Wolmer’s 1 Vauxhall 1 (rained out at the 84th minute)Today’s gamesGroup IInnswood vs Camperdown at Prison Oval Field 1 p.m.Hydel vs Denham Town at Prison Oval Field 3 p.m.last_img read more

  • Racquet-eers rack up impressive victory over Georgia

    first_imgThe Racquet’s-eers tennis team had a truly impressive victory over the Georgia Country Club home team last Saturday, winning 71 vs 53 games. The top Racquet-eers player was Norman Marshall. This leading tournament has been played annually since 2003, always on the only grass courts still operational in Jamaica. Non-playing Racquet-eers team captain, Tony Gambrill, said, in thanking Custos Paul Muschett (Georgia doyen): “This is the first time in many, many years that the three Georgia grass courts were properly prepared and rolled prior to the match. Our players have always had better talent, but are normally handicapped by the erratic country bounces. This year had a truer bounce.” Playing tennis captain for the losing team, Georgia, Andrew Hopwood, refused to confirm that the same level of court preparation would be assured in 2016 as “it appears that this adversely affected the results this year. These city people must learn to deal with bumpy ground.” The tournament refreshments were under the direction of Dimps Gallant and Sheona Muschett. Scorekeeper and peace maker was Colin Gallant. A number of first time players participated – with varying levels of skill – this year, namely, Will Iton (who arrived late having lost his way in travel from UWI), Annabelle Todd, Jonathan Todd, Mirah Todd and from the UK via Treasure Beach, Judy Hanley. Bruce Hart attended to play, this year without his dog. The Georgia Courts were recently almost burnt to the ground. A larger-than-usual herd of goats distracted attention as they wandered by during the match. Mr Merrick Marshall suffered a painful calf cramp during play, regrettably after the team physician, Dr Richard Gomes, had abandoned play to go to a wedding.last_img read more

  • Russell defends status as T20 gun for hire

    first_imgWest Indies allrounder Andre Russell has defended his status as a T20 gun for hire, saying he should not be denied the right to secure financial gains from the game. Russell, a member of the Sydney Thunder in the Australian Big Bash, is considered one of the more active players on the international Twenty20 circuit. The Big Bash will be his fifth domestic Twenty20 competition after tournaments in India, Bangladesh, the Caribbean and elsewhere. “As a professional, you have to think about living after cricket,” said Russell, who has played one Test, but says he is no longer available because his knees cannot withstand the rigours of the longer format. “You can’t go into a supermarket and say … I used to play for West Indies, I had 10 half-centuries, 15 hundreds, you can’t get groceries like that – you have to live. You can’t be begging on the road, you can’t live off your stats.” The Jamaican cricketer says he is hurt by media criticism of the West Indies team following their innings and 212-run defeat to Australia in the opening Test. “I see terrible comments in the papers and it hurts,” said Russell. “As a West Indian, I didn’t feel I could leave the room, because I didn’t want anyone to see me or ask me about what’s happening because I may be rude and I’m not that type of person.” West Indies play Australia in the second Test match starting on Boxing Day, and Russell, while not optimistic, is hoping for a miraculous change of fortune for the Caribbean side. “It’s a funny game. We just have to wait and see what will happen on Boxing Day. I’m not saying the West Indies can’t beat Australia, but come on, we have to face the facts,” Russell said. “These guys know how to bowl and bat on their pitches. We still didn’t have to lose so bad. Even if we go down the next game, we’ll go down fighting.” – CMClast_img read more