THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 22 April 2009, Wednesday
After suffering successive losses to fellow imports Miss Elliott and Syrinx in regular races, Lim Expensive Toys redeemed himself in last Sunday’s Philippine Racing Commission Diamond Stakes I held at the Philippine Racing Club’s Santa Ana Park in Naic, Cavite.
At the break, Fierce Fighter (#3, extreme left) reared in the gate, unseating rider Patricio Dilema.
In the lead for most of the mile race was minor stakes winner Joshua’s Laughter. Lim Expensive Toys and Tiwi Magic ran off the pace until the far turn, when the two contenders, first and second favorites respectively, raced neck and neck against each other until the wire. Lim Expensive Toys held on to a slight lead to win by half a length over Tiwi Magic.
Fifty meters from the wire, it’s Lim Expensive Toys (front right) against Tiwi Magic (front left).
Miss Elliott checked in third and Midnight King fourth, followed by the spent Joshua’s Laughter and Ziraz. Fierce Fighter’s rider, Patricio R. Dilema, was unseated at the jumpout. The final time for the race was 1:43.
At the awarding ceremony: PRC EVP-COO Atty. Ramon Ereñeta Jr., trainer Lito Tornandizo, Philracom commissioner Eduardo Domingo Jr., Jolet Tornandizo, jockey John Alvin Guce, and Philracom consultant Dr. Romy Buencamino.
Roland Lim’s Lim Expensive Toys (Giant’s Causeway – Prophet’s Kiss), a 4YO chestnut colt, was purchased at the Magic Millions thoroughbred auction in Australia two years ago. The majority of imported racehorses are sourced from Down Under, where there is a wide range of prices and shipping is more affordable than from the United States.
While some will contend, and rightly so, as proven by time records, that the best lineages for dirt runners come from the US, Australian nurseries also offer stock bearing American pedigrees as well as their own champion bloodlines.
The Diamond stakes series continues this weekend. It’s time for 3YO Philippine-bred horses to shine in two 1,500-meter Philracom-sponsored stakes races at the Manila Jockey Club’s San Lazaro Leisure Park in Carmona, Cavite.
The Diamond II Stakes features colts to carry 54 kg- C & H Enterprises’ Action Sailor, Bernard Rivera’s Batangas Baron, Boni Mantilla’s Boni’s Gem, Rodolfo Pineda’s Creation, Raul Monasterio’s Dancing Storm, Herminio Esguerra’s Go Army and Go Navy, Rita Pilapil’s Lively Dude, and Christian Reyes’ Oko Boy.
Go Army will likely be sent off as the outstanding favorite. Valedictorian of his juvenile batch, he sustained two losses not long ago under the guidance of suspended jockey Jonathan Hernandez. The change of rider to Patricio Dilema is expected to have a positive result. Go Navy, Go Army’s stablemate, is on hand to act as a “rabbit” for Go Army, strengthening the latter’s chances. Boni’s Gem is another to consider in this race.
The Diamond III stakes is for fillies who will be carrying 52 kg – Jose Quiros’ April Rose, Herminio Esguerra’s Blue Ocean and Eternal Flame, Aristeo Puyat’s Boudica, Rita Pilapil’s Heaven Sent, Honorato Neri’s La Huerta, Sandy Javier and Rodolfo Pineda’s Primera Klasse, and Alvin Ferreras’ State Witness.
Blue Ocean has a good chance, especially with stablemate Eternal Flame as rabbit. Boudica and Heaven Sent will put up a good fight.
These races are tune-ups for the Philracom Triple Crown championships for local 3YO. The first leg is set for May 17 at Santa Ana Park, with a total purse of P3 million (for first to fourth place). Its complementary race, the Hopeful stakes, has a total purse of P1 million. Both races are to be run over a mile.
The outcome of these two stakes races will set the tone for the Triple Crown series. Expectations will be set, favorites chosen, sides taken. This early, Go Army is considered to have the best chance to cop top Triple Crown honors. Yet he is not undefeated. In the absence of a contender of extraordinary talent, this series is wide-open – and thus even more exciting. ***