A close 2017 Gold Cup expected

The post draw for the 2017 Sandy Lane Gold Cup was held at the Incitatus Members Lounge at the Garrison Savannah Thursday. The March 4 race day will be the 36th running of the prestigious event.

With a record 12 races slated for Sandy Lane Gold Cup Day, fans are in for some keen racing and top class riding. Last year’s champion Dorsett has post-position number five which was done by his jockey Jalon Samuel. Although not scoring a win since his victory in the Caribbean’s major race last year, his connections are hopeful that he will repeat.

Dorsett, last year’s Gold Cup winner, and jockey Jalon Samuel, will be looking to repeat this year.

Shivam Maharaj’s Conquest Bespoke who will be representing Trinidad and Tobago, arrived in Barbados on Wednesday and looks sharp and alert. The five-year-old gelding which had placed second in the Trinidad Gold Cup on Boxing Day, has starting gate number one which was pulled by his groom Bobby Singh. Trinidad has not won a Gold Cup since 1988 when Call To Account galloped to success in a then record time for nine furlongs.

The double Trinidad entry Trini Navigator will be coming out of gate 11 come March 4 and is looking for back to back wins after winning his last start in Trinidad on February 11. Trini Navigator is owned by Baskaran Bassawh.

Ken Ramsey, an international owner who won the $10 million Dubai World Cup in 2005 which was then the richest race in the world, is back again. The winning owner of the Caribbean’s premier race in 2014 and 2015, then finishing second last year, has two entrants in Keystoneforvictory and High Noon Rider. Keystoneforvictory has gate number three and his stable mate High Noon Rider will be coming out of gate seven.

Nekitta which has won the last two major races for the top class horses, when she won the Diamond International Crown Of Light Boxing Day StakesAnd Trophy going 7.8 furlongs, then returning on Errol Barrow Day to win the Coolmore Stakes And Trophy going the Gold Cup trip of 9 furlongs, has drawn gate number nine. At the nomination stages the classy seven-year-old mare was also nominated to the Tanglewood Stakes And Trophy for locally bred horses going 10 furlongs, but her connections are now entering her only in the Gold Cup. She will take 117 pounds, a special weight for age for locally bred mares. She may be a force to be reckoned with at this light weight.

The Richard Deane-trained Infrared which won on January 14, sprinting hard then to be disqualified, will be looking to give his owners brothers Dan and Martin Raizman, a first Gold Cup victory after trying for so many years. Martin pulled gate six for the four-year-old son of Discreetly Mine. Inwon, a five-year-old by stallion Birdstone, who is also owned by the Raizmans, has drawn gate 14.

The Gay Smith-owned Knight Rider who placed third in the 2015 Sandy Lane Gold Cup is back for a third try at the Cup, after being unplaced in 2014. The 2013 Barbados Derby winner was drawn gate number two by his trainer Edward Walcott Jr. If Knight Rider wins the Gold Cup he will be the second horse to win the Derby and Gold Cup after Incitatus. Daunting David who had placed second in the 2015 running, will be looking to give Hopefield stables an eighth Gold Cup win. Daunting David has drawn gate number 12

Indiano Jones, a stable mate of the Nekitta, will be looking for better luck this year after missing out in last year’s race with an injury. The Lewin Godding-owned gelding has drawn gate number 10 and will be looking to be among starter’s orders come the big day. The Victor Cheeseman-trained Just A Fashion is back for a third attempt at the Gold Cup. After failing to place for the last two years, his fans believe this be his year. A winner of every major race for the top class horses, only the Sandy Lane Gold Cup is to be included in his trophy cabinet.

There are 14 horses entered but only 12 can go as there are only 12 starting boxes. The two reserves are number four Ninepointsixnine and horse number eight Secret American.

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