Horse Racing

Storm to blow away rivals in URTAJ Trophy feature

Observer staff reporter

Saturday, November 17, 2018

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The Wayne DaCosta-conditioned Storm is probably not getting the acclaim he deserves, but the bay gelding has the opportunity now to win many hearts when he takes on rivals in the United Racehorse Trainers' Association of Jamaica (URTAJ) Trophy feature at Caymanas Park today.

Storm ( Natural Selection – All For Pleasure) blew sufficiently to attract attention for the recently concluded three-year-old Classic races with a fighting win in a maiden condition event over seven-and-a-half furlongs (1,500m) on New Year's Day. With Dane Nelson in the saddle then, Storm relaxed behind the early pace before moving in deep stretch to outpace Anthony Nunes's Daddy's Dilemma (Dick Cardenas) by a short head in a prolonged duel to the wire. Although the quality of the field wasn't the best on offer on that day, the run and final time of 1:34.3 minutes were worthy of note.

However, the far-striding gelding didn't live up to the hype and went completely off the boil, running some dismal races and many thought Storm was a below average sort. It took Storm nine further starts before winning another race when he romped home by three lengths going nine furlongs and 25 yards (1,820m) on August 11 with Anthony Thomas in the saddle. His final time for the distance was a very good 1:58.3 and with today's feature event going over the same journey, Storm commands maximum respect here.

Storm ran a very good race on last when defeated by just over two lengths by Hey Champs over seven furlongs (1,400m) on October 27 in a time of 1:26.0 in which he came home in 1:26.3. He is going to enjoy this extended trip now, and it is going to take a lot to deny him here. Thomas has been called upon to do riding honours.

The Restricted Stakes event, the seventh race on the card, will go to post at 3:25 pm with the first race galloping off at noon.

It won't be a lonely walk in the park for Storm as he will surely get some stiff competition from Azaria, Graydon and Anna Lisa.

Azaria, trained by Gary Griffiths, has been running some good races of late and should continue the trend here. The bay filly holds a victory going over today's distance when she won a non-winners of two event on June 9 in a time of 2:00.3. Azaria will have to improve a lot if she is to beat Storm here, but she could have a say in the outcome for sure.

The horse more than likely to give Storm most to do is the Philip Feanny-trained Graydon to be ridden by Robert Halledeen. After releasing the maiden tag on October 15 over eight-and-a-half furlongs (1,700m), Graydon came back with a good effort on November 10 to finished behind My Sister going seven furlongs. The race ended in a time of 1:26.4 with Graydon clocking 1:27.0. Graydon is going to love this circular course and looks a tough contender here.

Anna Lisa, from the barn of Gary Subratie, was third in the race behind My Sister and Graydon a week ago. Anna Lisa faces Graydon once more and with Storm present, she will have to do more but going over this longer trip, her final rattle in deep stretch is going to have a telling effect.

Also on tap on the 10-race programme is the Stewards' Cup, a maiden special weight event for native-bred two-year-olds going five furlongs (1,000m) on the round course. Seven juveniles are down to take part but the race is a straight fight between DaCosta's Rojorn Di Pilot and Nunes' Universal Boss.

Rojorn Di Pilot, a bay colt by Liquidity - I'm Magic, looks forward enough in his exercise gallops coming into the race but will find Universal Boss too hot to handle. Universal Boss ( Casual Trick - Electrifying), who is a full brother to Patriarch, has been working really well coming into this race and being bred for speed, is poised to get off the mark the first time of asking.

Ones to watch

Race 1) Lady Jaela/Dr Banner/Blue Moon

Race 2) Unbreakable/Supreme Authority/Party Cup

Race 3) Dancing Queen/Princess Emanuelle/Dragline

Race 4) Dinner By Seven/Also Correct/Concur

Race 5) Universal Boss/Rojorn Di Pilot/Just Trick Me

Race 6) Key Witness/Best Advice/Ashtrid

Race 7) Storm/Graydon/Anna Lisa

Race 8) Parajet/Sacrifice/Mrs Kim

Race 9) Brandy/Bad Boy Trump/Elal

Race 10) Night Light/Flowers Thirty/Uncle Freddie

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