PUNTERS 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.
Month: February 2020
There 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 [email protected]
PORT-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.”