Talented Tony K to make all in Derby
THE 94th running of the Jamaica Derby, the major event on the racing calendar is with us once again.
Sponsored by McKay Security and run in honour of Sir John Mordecai, the event will highlight a 12-race card and is scheduled to go to post at approximately 5:25 pm with first post at 11:40 am.
The futurity race for native-bred three-year-olds will have a field of 13 contesting 2,400 metres for a purse of $7,000,000.
Talented Tony K, winner of the 2,000 Guineas, the first leg of the Triple Crown and Governor's Cup, is again tipped to go all the way.
A bay colt by Traditional out of Ocean Liner (Law Of the Sea) bred by the late Donald Williams, Talented Tony K is bred to get the distance in this present company if not hurried. Trained by Lorne Kirlew for owner Jigzy Blades, Talented Tony K is expected to face his most demanding task to date going 400 metres farther than he did in the Governor's Cup that he won by a whisker. The connections are leaving nothing to chance and have gone for competent Peruvian-born American jockey Edgar Prado to partner him.
The move certainly is to ensure that Talented Tony K gets the best chance of getting the distance, as Relampago, whom he edged in the Governor's Cup, seems to be better bred for the longer trip and will again be one of Talented Tony K's major stumbling blocks.
Prepared for racing by Anthony Nunes, who like his brother Andrew and his father Nigel, have won the Derby before, Relampago has trained brilliantly to go even closer than on last.
However, trainer Nunes while hopeful, recognises that his charge has to overcome a weight addition to get the better of the favourite.
The other stumbling block is Rocketman, who was twice forced to finish third behind Talented Tony K in both the 2,000 Guineas and the Governor's Cup. However, with the increase in distance and the likelihood that Talented Tony K may be hung out to dry in the rush for the wire, Rocketman may prove to be just better suited to 2,400 metres, as the race will not be as fast and furious as the earlier events that will give him time to gather momentum after setting down for the drive with local Derby-winning hero Winston Griffiths in the irons.
Taking an in-depth analysis of the 13-horse Derby field, former champion trainer Philip Feanny did not have much hope for success beyond four runners. "Obviously Talented Tony K going into the Derby will be the favourite. He won the Governor's Cup allowing lumps of weight to everybody. Going two furlongs (400 metres) longer now with Edgar Prado and a slower-run race he will be able to get a mile and a half. His major dangers obviously will be Relampago, who will stay the mile and a half, Raeven Renae, who appears as though she will get the strip, and Rocketman, who also appears as though he will get the trip. I do not see much else in the race among them as far as a mile and a half is concerned," added the man who conditioned Rocketman.
On the fillies' side, Raeven Renae, who won the Jamaica Oaks, has shown that she too is likely to stay the trip and could prove tacky after setting down for the drive. Trained by Fitzroy Glispie, who is also part-owner with Hayden C Thomas, Raeven Renae will be ridden by title-chasing Dick Cardenas.
Queen Paula, another filly owned, trained and bred by Lorenzo Robinson, has worked industriously to have a serious say in the outcome. Andre Martin, who piloted the filly to victory in the 1,000 Guineas, will again spearhead the attack aboard Queen Paula.
Ones To Watch
Race 1 Kobalt (Shane Ellis)
Race 2 Miss Dorothy (Richard Mitchell)
Race 3 Kesteen (Richard Mitchell)
Race 4 Sister Yvonne (Romario Saunders)
Race 5 Devil's Child (Percy Williams)
Race 6 Lady Abhijita Dane Nelson)
Race 7 Saint Mary (Dane Nelson)
Race 8 Bubbling Angeline (Percy Williams)
Race 9 Sir Roland (Jevvanne Erwin)
Race 10 Lucky Michelle (Edgar Prado)
Race 11 Talented Tony K (Edgar Prado)
Race 12 Oh My Grand Pa (Orlando Foster)