The majesty and magic of the Gold Cup
Over the many years of racing at Caymanas Park the Gold Cup has provided memorable and unforgettable moments for racing aficionados and enthusiasts.
The race bears its name from its first sponsors Benson and Hedges, who was once the purveyors of the Benson and Hedges Gold brand of cigarettes. That sponsorship has long gone, but the quality still remains.
This year's edition is testimony to that fact as the 10 best horses in the land, bar none, are lined up for the 1,400 metres event. It is often said in racing circles that the distance of the Gold Cup was chosen to give the top sprinters in the land a chance at glory, as well as those horses who prefer to race longer. This journey was therefore chosen as the ideal trip for the cream of the crop to race.
What better verification can be asked for than the cracker of one of the best sprinters ever in racing, St Cecelia carrying the top weight of 126 lbs thereby allowing approximately five lbs to one of the best long distant horses ever in racing, Mark My Word. St Cecelia holds the advantage having beaten Mark My Word in last year's renewal, so the encounter today is quite enough to let sparks fly.
If that was not enough to imbue the enthusiasm of racing fans, add to the mix the presence of the foreigner MissMyrtleboyrichie, whose credentials are as potent as the local breds, St Cecelia and Mark My Word. This rivalry between the locally bred horses and those from other jurisdictions is the very essence of this race and what makes it golden.
Remember the astounding come from behind victory by Monte's Stitch with Glenford Walker in the saddle from a seemingly unwinnable position or the unforeseen but equally remarkable win by Rimsky with Neville Anderson.
Gold Cup 2012 certainly if won by St Cecelia or Mark My Word may well be the main determinant in choosing the Horse-of-the-Year. St Cecelia in all likelihood will not race after the Gold Cup for the rest of the year, while Mark My Word, if all remains equal will have the 12-furlong Harry Jackson on Boxing Day.
Whatever the outcome, the magic and majesty of the Gold Cup is sure to be enhanced with another staging.