THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 14 April 2010, Wednesday
Ibarra Favored in 15th PCSO Silver Cup
“It’s a no-brainer – Ibarra is it for this year’s Silver Cup!”
After having won his last two races in easy fashion – one a stakes, the other a regular race – railbirds point to track icon Ibarra as heavily favored to win the 15th PCSO Silver Cup on Sunday at San Lazaro Leisure Park.
The 2,000-meter ordeal, which attracted an all-male cast, includes Jade Bros. Farm’s Alamid, a 4YO colt, to be ridden by jockey Andreu Villegas with a handicap weight of 55 kgs; Joseph Dyhengco’s Ididitmyway, 6YO, with Rodeo Fernandez, 56 kgs.; Tony Tan’s Shining Fame, 5YO, John Alvin Guce, 55.5 kgs.; Eduardo Gonzalez’s Hieroglyphics, 5YO, Kelvin Abobo, 55.5 kgs.; and Herminio Esguerra’s Go Army, 4YO, Jeffril Zarate, 55 kgs. The 6YO Ibarra, owned by Mandaluyong mayor Benhur Abalos, will be ridden by Jesse Guce carrying 56 kgs.
Another factor that will work to Ibarra’s advantage in this race is the lack of a competitor of his caliber. With arch-rival Don Enrico on a spell after a dismal loss in a regular race at Santa Ana Park two weeks ago, Ibarra is likely to dominate the field, barring unforeseen circumstances or occurrences.
Handicapping for the PCSO Silver Cup is weight-for-age. Prizes are hefty, with P1.1 million for the winner, P350,000 for the second-placer, P175,000 for third, and P85,000 for fourth. The winning breeder will receive P40,000. In addition, trophies will be awarded to the winning owner, trainer, jockey, and breeder.
PCSO chairman Sergio O. Valencia confirmed his agency’s support for the race, saying, “We are pleased at the interest shown by the race participants and the public in the fifteenth staging of this classic horseracing event, which PCSO supports as part of its mandate to help uplift the sport by providing a venue for competition and generous prizes as incentives for further improvement.”
Philippine Racing Commission chairman lawyer Jose Ferdinand M. Rojas II thanked PCSO for its unwavering commitment to racing. “Among the most prestigious and historic races on the calendar,” he said, “are those sponsored by the PCSO. We thank Chairman Valencia, the PCSO Board, and the PCSO Committee on Races for their unfailing efforts in ensuring that the Silver Cup and other PCSO races always push through.”
Don Enrico’s four-length loss to Batang Tundo was so disappointing that malicious news about his alleged death spread throughout the racing fans community the day after the race. “Don Enrico is dead!” said some fans. “We extend our condolences to his connections,” replied others.
Jockey Fernando Raquel Jr., Don Enrico’s regular rider and the one who rode him that sad night, dispelled the rumors in an announcement on the racing broadcast last Sunday. “Don Enrico is alive. He was severely affected by the heat, which is why he did not do well in his last race.“ Raquel added that the son of Philippine champion Wind Blown will be “sent to the ranch for a three-month spell, or longer.”
“Don Enrico will not join the Silver Cup,” added Raquel. “Ibarra would just play with him. We’ll bring him back to the track in time for the PCSO Presidential Gold Cup at the end of the year.” ***