Horse Racing

Houdini's Magic fancied for Eileen Cliggott Trophy

BY HURBUN WILLIAMS
Observer Writer

Saturday, February 17, 2018

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Trainer Anthony Nune s is chomping at the bit to keep ahead of proverbial champion Wayne DaCosta in the race for this year's Trainers Championship honour, and holds a very strong hand in the Eileen Cliggott Memorial Trophy feature race at Caymanas Park today with three entries of five starters.

The Eileen Cliggott Trophy (Grade One) sprint fiesta is the principal of the 10 races carded, and it has attracted a fast and closely competitive field going six and a half furlongs (1,300m) for a purse of $1.3 million.

It is scheduled to go to post at approximately 4:35 pm, with the first post at 12:15 pm.

Siempre Bueno and the rising star Soy El Senor, along with seasoned Grade One campaigner Houdini's Magic are the three Nunes entries that will contest the Eileen Cliggott, a with Chace The Great, trained by Dwight Chen, and Money Magnet from the stables of trainer Richard Azan completing the field.

What is ironic about this race is that the two first class horses in the line up are Chace The Great and Houdini's Magic, who will bow into action for the first time this season and either of which could run out an easy winner.

On the other hand, the noted in form runners Money Magnet, Siempre Bueno and Soy El Senor have all had two or three outings for the season and most attention could be focused in their direction without much hope as Money Magnet is the lone visitor to the winner's enclosure.

The presence of Chace The Great and Houdini's Magic has greatly enhanced the competitiveness of the Eileen Cliggott. This does not say much for Siempre Bueno and Soy El Senor winning the event, however; Thus leaving Houdini's Magic and Chace the Great to decide the final outcome.

Both have had their last outing in the month of December last year and neither was a winner then. They are, however, well prepared for today's combat and could very well use class to determine the outcome.

What this means is that Nunes' hope for victory here has to be mounted on Houdini's Magic getting the the better of both Chace The Great and Money Magnet.

Houdini's Magic was running some very good races over sprint distances entering the latter part of the season last year until encountering Chace The Great and Campesino and Choo Choo Blue going six furlongs (1,200m) and seven furlongs (1,400m), respectively.

The exercise reports for six-year-old Houdini's Magic have shown that age is just a number, as he has been heating up the track to make his return memorable. Nunes is a master at preserving his runners for quality performances past their five-year-old stage, and the dark bay son of Performing Magic out of the Vanadium mare Milestone could oblige with the distance just right and Shane Ellis called upon rate him over stable rider Dick Cardenas, who will do duty aboard Soy El Senor, with Wesley Henry atop Siempre Bueno.

In spite of his expected fine effort, Houdini's Magic could find Chace The Great, and to a lesser extent Money Magnet, in his way. The distance could prove a trifle long for Money Magnet judging from the expected fast pace of the event, while it will be right up the sleeves of Chace the Great and Houdini's Magic to enjoy.

Local racing has its peculiarities and should the pace setters run out of steam, it may not surprise a bit to see Soy El Senor with the light impost getting into action late in the drive, to arive just in time to hand Nunes victory.

In the meantime, while Nunes will be gunning to capture the Eileen Cliggott feature, nemesis Wayne DaCosta would be sharpening his Without Exception promising colt for Classic duty in a three-year-old and upward run, in an imported three-year-olds and upward (NW3) and native-bred three-year-olds call going a mile (1,600m) for a purse of $930,000. Six will run.

Without Exception is the full brother to She's A Maneater and will go the distance for the first time. Without Exception will be accompanied by two other Classic hopefuls in fillies Nadeshico, from the stables of Nunes, and Honey Ryda trained by Richard Azan. The six-horse field will be completed by stablemates Uncle Frank as well as Winter Is Coming and Rambunctious Links, who are the only runners in the line-up to compete over the distance before, with Rambunctious Links tasting victory. Without Exception is expected to win the event.

Ones To Watch

Race 1 Without Exception, Rambunctious Links, Winter Is Coming

Race 2 Squit, Cody's Dream, Mary's Gold

Race 3 Cheers, Newton's First Law, Photogenic

Race 4 Sunshine Cat, Lady In The Arena, Rohan's Cattleya

Race 5 Moon Walk, Sure Step, Boffo, Luna Emma

Race 6 Two Steps Up, Song On Track, Sir Leyland

Race 7 Ricky Ricardo, El Profesor, Fearless Treblav

Race 8 Silver Surf, Piano Man, Prince Kamali

Race 9 Houdini's Magic, Chace The Great, Money Magnet

Race 10 Cause For Concern, Bars Of Gold, Richie's Pik

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