Keen battles expected in John Clifton Wright Memorial Cup

Observer staff reporter

Saturday, February 09, 2019

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PREPARATION continues for the upcoming native-bred, three-year-olds Classic races with the running of the $870,000 John Clifton Wright Memorial Cup feature going six furlongs (1,200m) at Caymanas Park today.

The maiden special weight contest, which is confined to fillies, is divided into two sections — with both attacting 10 runners each.

In Division One, Black River, Princess Lauren and Splendid Vision, all being first-time runners, should fight out the finish for top honours, while the experienced Cryptocurrency and Reggae Gone Grammy, along with first-timer Gimmiplainka, square off in battle for Division Two.

Division One is positioned as the opening race on the 11-race card and is set for a 11:35 am post time, while Division Two, the fourth race on the programme, has a post time of 1:25 pm.

Splendid Vision, a grey filly by Fearless Vision out of the Alias Mr Glitz mare Intensified, should get the better of rivals and take home her section. The Anthony Nunes trainee has been working well coming into this race and with the stable bang inform, Splendid Vision should open her account right away. Stable rider, the capable Robert Halledeen, will be in the saddle.

It shouldn't be a walk in the park for Splendid Vision, as Black River and Princess Lauren are two capable runners who can get home here under any given circumstance.

The Lance Richards-trained Black River ( Storm CraftShe Sell Off) has also been working well coming into this race and should impact the outcome. Simon Husbands will ride.

Princess Lauren ( Soul WarriorLipstick Lily) from the barn of Gary Subratie has been moving quite well in the mornings and looks smart as well in her gallops. Based on reports about exercise gallops, this chestnut filly, if in the right frame of mind, can win right away. Dane Dawkins has been called upon to do riding honours.

Pine Nut and Mystic Mama are two experienced runners who should play their part in the race, and their input will have an effect on the outcome.

However, three-year-olds racing for the first-time are extremely unpredictable and so it is left to be seen what these three runners will do when the starter sends them on their way.

In this section, it should also be a close race between the three mentioned above as they looked more advanced than the rest of the field.

Cryptocurrency ( Adore The Gold–Pleasant Ending) has three under her belt and should be cherry-ripe for this engagement. Cryptocurrency finished in sixth place by 10 and half lengths behind Run Thatcher Run on debut on December 1, 2018, over five and a half furlongs (1,100m).

Trainer Philip Feanny fitted the blinkers on her for the next two runs and Cryptocurrency came home in second place on both occasions. She was two lengths behind Enedina over five and a half furlongs on December 22 and two and a quarter lengths behind Special Counsel over five-furlongs (1,000m) straight on January 26 of this year.

In those two second-place runs Cryptocurrency was seen making late headway in deep stretch, and now with this extended trip, could get up in time for the win. This is the perfect opportunity for this filly to release the maiden tag. Note, Cryptocurrency races not with blinkers, but visors instead.

Gimmipalinka ( Traditional–Power To Please) was a late non-starter on her intended debut at the races last week Saturday, a race she was expected to figure in. The fact that Gimmipalinka has been brought back to the races this quick means there must be some confidence in the camp. Gimmipalinka is well-prepared and is not to be underestimated in this race.

One of those horses seemingly with promise but who fails to deliver is Reggae Gone Grammy. The bay filly by Western Classic, out of the Traditional mare Little Thunder, was expected to figure in the Cash Pot 'Only One For Me' Trophy on her debut, but did not live up to the hype and was a no-show in that trophy race.

Reggae Gone Grammy had three more outings after that in which she was also expected to produce some fireworks, but again she failed to spark. However, her last two runs during which she finished in third place showed that she is slowly but surely coming into her own.

Reggae Gone Grammy is not to be taken lightly, and if she can get it right this time around, then she will surely be unsaddled in the winners' enclosure.

Worthy of recognition is the highly rated Earn Your Stripes, who is making his three-year-old debut in a three-year-old non-winners of two for local horses, and a maiden event for foreigners going a mile (1,600m).

Earn Your Stripes ( Nuclear Wayne–Brown Sugar) last raced on Boxing Day of last year over the same distance of a mile in the Jamaica Two-Year-Old Stakes, when he finished third behind Run Thatcher Run and stable companion Supreme Soul. Earn Your Stripes enters with the tongue tie on and he should face toughest competition from Phenom, Duke and foreigner Dyna's Pride.

Ones to Watch:

Race 1) Splendid Vision/Princess Lauren/Black River

Race 2) Messi/Lazer Light/Pure Heart

Race 3) Twilight Heroine/Evasive Action/Rundazzle

Race 4) Cryptocurrency/Reggae Gone Grammy/Gimmipalinka

Race 5) Uncle Freddie/Forest Rose/Pepping Tom

Race 6) Earn Your Stripes/Phenom/Duke

Race 7) Big Mistake/Awesome Cat/Guava Ground

Race 8) Dr Banner/Markofaprince/Double Deal

Race 9) Ricky Ricardo/Nuclear Lava/She's Symbolic

Race 10) Twilight Dreams/Dragline/Night Light

Race 11) Strike It Lucky/Piano Man/Clearly Ours

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