Look to Magical Victory
A FATHER/SON showdown is on the cards in today’s feature event, the 1,800-metre Caribbean Turf Championship, between champion trainer John O’Brien and his son, Jake. And it could be a “Magical Victory” for Jake if his charge beats his father’s pair in today’s race. Jake will be saddling his first runner as a trainer. The […]
A FATHER/SON showdown is on the cards in today’s feature event, the 1,800-metre Caribbean Turf Championship, between champion trainer John O’Brien and his son, Jake. And it could be a “Magical Victory” for Jake if his charge beats his father’s pair in today’s race. Jake will be saddling his first runner as a trainer.
The clash at Santa Rosa Park is the ninth event on the ten-race card. Young (Jake) O’Brien saddles last year’s Trinidad Derby Stakes winner Academy Award, while his father John will saddle Magical Victory, who has won his last two on grass.
Magical Victory’s only turf defeat was his first run on the surface, finishing fifth to Trini Navigator. O’Brien’s other runner today is King Arthur, who has raced on the turf but not at the level that Magical Victory has competed.
However, they will all have to respect multiple-times Horse of the Year Bigman In Town, who shoulders top impost of 57 kilos. Bigman’s regular rider Nobel Abrego reunites with the fan favourite who has only run once over turf during his illustrious career. He is a class act who does not know how to run a bad race.
Some are of the view Bigman In Town is in the twilight of his career but he could prove them wrong. He looks competitive, and if he handles the turf, the O’Brien clan will have to settle for the lesser spoils.
Academy Award is untried on the turf, but has worked with a degree of comfort over the lawn. He recently changed stables from Anthony “Baba” Nunes to Jake O’Brien and could give his young trainer the perfect start to his career.
Among the other runners, Heat of the Moment loves the turf, as do Red River and maiden winner Black Onyx– who trotted up over the turf last race day—but is now coming up against seasoned runners.
Jamaica-bred Tiger’s Eye and Peace N Glory will relish the turf, and the distance will bring out the best of them. However, at the handicap, Magical Victory, who is rated 82, is only handing out four kilos to both runners; Tiger’s Eye and Peace N Glory, rated 45 and 55, respectively, and so seems poorly handicapped.
At the weights, Magical Victory (53 kilos) and Academy Award (51) should be the ones battling out the finish, with Bigman In Town if he takes to the surface.
If this race turns into a speed battle with Magical Victory and Bigman In Town, then Academy Award, who should be stalking the pace, will be perfectly poised along with closers Tiger’s Eye and Peace N Glory, who could be the best value in the race.
The third race on the card, for three-year-old maidens, has brought out some interesting unraced runners. They are Heart And Soul, who will only race on the main track and Jamaica-bred City Of Gold, State Of Grace and Gold N’ Brown. However, they will have to get by Gold Express who was the 5/2 choice in the SFA Trial Stakes on New Year’s Day.
He is coming up against lesser lights and should turn-in his maiden certificate at the expense of Gold N’ Brown. First post is noon.