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Navajojoe fancied to win feature
Orville Clarke, Gleaner Writer
Nine bottom-of-the-barrel claimers are slated to contest today's feature race at Caymanas Park for the Dr. David 'Jack' Radix Memorial Cup over 1820 metres.
Included in the line-up is the down-in-class NAVAJOJOE, who has already won twice over the distance this season, March 18, on a $315,000 claiming tag.
Trained by Barrington Rambally, NAVAJOJOE is down to be ridden by leading jockey Dane Nelson, under top weight of 57.0kg.
His last race over 1500 metres, on April 29 was below par, in that he finished 22 lengths sixth in muddy conditions to MEDICAL ACCOUNT in Race No. 4 of the CTL Claiming Series.
However, NAVAJOJOE reports in good condition and now dropped in class, the eight-year-old gelding will prove hard to beat, even though giving away weight all around.
A cut above
The fact is that NAVAJOJOE is basically a cut above this level and, despite the claims of SIMPLY AWESOME, MAMBO, FOX MAN and EL PEQUENO, he looks the right choice.
Still, SIMPLY AWESOME has been so consistent that this eight-year-old mare should ensure he is extended.
Trained by Lazel Khwalsingh, SIMPLY AWESOME beat all barring CHINA TOWN over this trip on April 22 and, prior to that, won easily over 1600 metres from SONNY 'B' GOOD and FOX MAN.
But it all comes back to NAVAJOJOE, who has beaten better in the not-too-distant past.
Meanwhile, the 2009 Jockeys' School trainees, who are scheduled to graduate as apprentice riders in late July, will be introduced to the racing public today in two special races over 1200 metres for maiden four-year-olds and up (whips allowed).
The Jamaica Racing Commission's Jockeys Training School Race has been divided into two divisions with eight starters declared for Division I and nine the next.
The first section should come down to a three-cornered tussle among EL, the mount of the stylish Doushane Gordon, who has won two races for exercise riders with MOST WANTED in recent months; the consistent REGAL DELIGHT (knocking at the door) with Robert Hallendeen aboard; and ROLL THE DICE with lone female rider, Georgina Sergeon, in the saddle.
Although not as advanced as her colleagues, having broken her arm in March and was sidelined for weeks as a result, Sergeon has a very good mount in the Fitzgerald Richards-trained ROLL THE DICE, who has finished second in two of her last three races and could well start favourite.
Preference, however, is for the Stedman Curtis-trained REGAL DELIGHT, who is not only well drawn on the outside, but ran well when second to DIXIE CHICK over the distance on May 13.
I also like the consistent MISS PAM AND ME to win Division II, GUAN YU in the third, SERGURO ORO in the fourth, DA GLITTERMAN in the sixth and COLUMBUS over PAT ON CALL in the closing race, the Track Price Plus Dig Out Handicap.