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Bulletproof to face local challenge

Another “calaloo” versus “cou-cou” clash is on at the Garrison Savannah tomorrow when the island’s best creoles take on Trinidadian contender Bulletproof in the 2015 Massy United Insurance Barbados Derby.

The Trinidadian bay colt, trained by Harriram “Pepsi” Gobin, arrived in Barbados yesterday and was taken for a work-out today as part of his final preparation for the feature Derby event which carries a first prize of $64,000.

Jockey Nobel Abrego with Trinidad contender Bulletproof today.

Jockey Nobel Abrego with Trinidad contender Bulletproof today.

“We did a lot of work back home in preparation for the Barbados Derby and we are ready. Bulletproof is a turf horse and he is handling the turns and the clockwise running very well,” said Gobin.

Horses in Trinidad usually run in an anti-clockwise direction, which is opposite to how races at the Garrison are contested, but the trainer does not anticipate that this would be a major issue for his horse as they had been doing clockwise work-outs over the past ten days.

Gobin said Bulletproof was second in the recent Chief Commander Stakes in Port-of-Spain, which was a turf event. “After that performance, we had no hesitation in bringing him to the Barbados Derby. It should be a very good contest,” he said.

Barbados’ top riders and trainers have declared themselves fit and ready to defend their turf and keep the big Derby purse at home.

Winner of the Barbados Guineas, Poetic Licence, and winner of the Mid-Summer Classic, Donicodidit, are the two hot favourites for the Derby race which will be run over ten furlongs and constitutes the third event in the annual Triple Crown of races.

Champion trainer Victor Cheeseman, trainer of Poetic Licence, and Robert Peirce, trainer of Donicodidit, both said their charges were in top shape and rearing to go, in the Grade 1 event that will determine the island’s best creole for 2015.

Thousands are expected to flock to the Garrison Savannah where full Derby-Day celebrations for the entire family are being organised by sponsors Massy United Insurance.

Director of business development, strategy & marketing for Massy United Insurance, Michael Armstrong, said it would be a special day for Barbadians and visitors, offering a mix of top-class racing on the track and a range of entertainment.

The day will feature a colourful grand parade around the Garrison and a range of Crop Over entertainment with leading soca artistes Mikey, Biggie Irie, Nikita and Mistah Dale.

Added Armstrong: “We are seeking to involve all attending Derby Day and in addition to a Massy product fair, drivers from the Suzuki Challenge series will be on hand with their vehicles and there is also a free Kids Zone that includes a 21-seater gaming bus with hundreds of the latest games.”

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