Northern Star the one to beat
by Kent Layne
The Republic Bank Breeders Stakes and Trophy headlines the second day of the second racing season of the year at the Garrison Savannah Saturday.
It is the Barbados Thoroughbred Breeders Association Stakes and Trophy race day for three-year-old fillies, colts and geldings going 1800 meters or nine furlongs an some exciting races are anticipated.
The feature race promises to be very entertaining despite its small field of six. Stolen, a full sister to 2009 triple crown winner Areutalkintome, headlines the exciting field. Bred by Diana Jones, wife of Challenor Jones, Stolen comes off two wins and a second in her last three starts. She first broke her maiden on Gold Cup Day on March 5 in the Villa At Sandy Lane Trophy, defeating Silver Bullet in the process. She then returned to races on April 2 to win the The Joe Tudor Memorial and Grandstand Posse Fillies Trial, catching Pay As You Go on the line in a thrilling finish.
Stolen’s last race was running second to Steven Allen in the 66th Barbados Guineas on Heroes Day on April 28 in another nail-biter.
Northern Star will be looking to return to the winners’ circle after a disappointing down the field run in the Barbados Guineas. Trained by champion trainer Victor Cheeseman, Northern Star has won twice for this year out of four starts finishing second once and unplaced once. Jockey Antonio Bishop had reported to his trainer that he had a hard trip on Northern Star and will be looking for better luck this time around.
Sadler’s Dream from the Jonathan Simpson barn is a consistent filly and many think the longer trip of nine furlongs will be right up her alley, as these three-year-olds will be taking this trip for the first time. Sadler’s Dream has one win under her belt after she had defeated Kangaroo Jack and Stolen on August 22 last year as a two-year-old in the King Dora Allotted Weights Race going 1100 meters (5 1/2 furlongs). Since then she seems to be crying out for distance, finishing late on the scene in her races.
Pacha is yet to break his maiden but finished a good third behind Kangaroo Jack and Big Red in the George Corbin Memorial Handicap on March 19 and can’t be ignored out of the placings. The other two horses that make up the field are Midnight Chick drawn number three and Maussane drawn six.
Hundreds of race fans should be flocking to the Garrison to see the return of 2016 Gold Cup winner Dorsett, as he is entered in the Aston Martin Handicap going nine furlongs. This race will be a second round clash between Dorsett and pre-Gold Cup favourite Just A Fashion who is the only horse this year to defeat the top class ride twice.
Just A Fashion started the year winning the Coolmore Stakes going nine furlongs, the prep race for the Sandy Lane Gold Cup, and the second time he won that race after he won last year. He then returned to winners’ circle on April 2 on Grandstand Posse Race Day where he won the Spa Ferry Cup going 7.8 furlongs winning in scintillating fashion over Joshua Giovedi.
Dorsett has won three times going this trip. He won twice going nine furlongs in the USA where he started his career at Fair Grounds on March 13, 2013, piloted by James Graham. He then returned on June 15, 2013, at Arlington winning going 9 furlongs again with jockey Edward Thomas Baird. Dorsett completed his 9 furlong triple winning the Sandy Lane Gold Cup this year.
Just A Fashion has won at 9 furlongs twice, taking the Coolmore Stakes in 2015 and 2016 and this looks like a super clash to see who will win for the third time going this distance between the two titans.
Sirius Black is an out and out stayer but yet to defeat the top class going 9 furlongs. His lone “win” was defeating the top class going 9 furlongs only later to be disqualified by the Barbados Turf Club stewards with and Indiano Jones the second placed horse inheriting the win. Indiano Jones is also in the line-up drawn six in the field. Since winning the Ansa McAl Stakes on November 21, 2015, he has had some mixed results. He finished last on Boxing Day, then returned to run third to Just A Fashion and Sirius Black in the 2016 Coolmore Stakes. He then returned to finish fifth of sixth in the Spa Ferry Cup to Just A Fashion. Daunting David Little Man Arran round off the field. Post time is 2 p.m.
My selection for the Republic Bank Breeders Stakes and Trophy are Northern Star, Stolen, Sadlers Dream and Pacha.