THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 24 November 2010, Wednesday
MARHO Kinse This Week
With the arrival of cooler weather and humongous traffic snarls this November comes the biggest horseracing festival of the year – the action-packed San Miguel Beer-MARHO Cup Championships this week at the Philippine Racing Club’s Santa Ana Park.
Established by Metropolitan Association of Race Horse Owners chairman Leonardo Javier Jr. and president emeritus Aristeo Puyat in 1996, the event is now on its 15th running, hence the event tagline “MARHO Kinse”.
Its six championship races are open only to elite-class Philippine-bred horses, MARHO’s way of supporting the local Thoroughbred breeding industry, and is a testament to the excellence of the mostly Batangas-born runners that compete on the country’s two racetracks.
However, in recognition of the massive contribution of imports to the improvement of the local bloodline, over forty trophy races have also been prepared by the MARHO, some of these races being open to imports and island-born horses (foals born from pregnant imported mares).
One of the staunchest and most generous supporters of the MARHO Cup is San Miguel Corporation. Its chairman and CEO, former ambassador Eduardo Cojuangco Jr., is the founding chairman of MARHO and has backed the event since its inception. The event itself and the main race, the Classic, are consistently branded “San Miguel Beer”.
The brand was also applied to this year’s 3YO Colt Mile.
The other championship races this Kinse year are the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Filly Mile; the Philippine Racing Commission Juvenile Colts and Juvenile Fillies stakes; and the Santa Ana Park Sprint.
Philracom has always supported the MARHO, as has PRC, owner and operator of Santa Ana Park, MARHO’s home track, which provides logistical and financial assistance. PCSO’s support as one of the main sponsors once again is much welcomed.
The 15th anniversary is termed “crystal”, and it is clear from the lineup of runners that this festival is going to be extra special.
Classic (2,000 meters): Rita Pilapil’s Heaven Sent, with jockey RG Fernandez, carrying 55kgs, coupled with Joshua’s Laughter, JPA Guce, 57; Herminio Esguerra’s Go Army, JB Hernandez, 57; Benhur Abalos’ Schadow Strafze, KB Abobo, 57; Tony Tan’s Native Land, JA Guce, 57, coupled with Shining Fame, JB Guce, 57; and Juan Molina Jr.’s Defiant, JT Zarate, 55.
Colt Mile (all imposts 56kgs): Wilbert Tan’s Thoti’s Best, Dan L. Camañero; Francis Lim’s Yes Pogi, FM Raquel; Aristeo Puyat’s Flair Bottoms, AB Alcasid Jr.; Herminio Esguerra’s Gastambide, JPA Guce; and Joseph Dyhengco’s Darleb, JT Zarate.
Filly Mile (all 54 kgs): Leonora Pasion’s My Sweet Leonora, JG Tinte; Rona Yanagizawa’s Woodsy Ribbon, RG Fernandez; Benhur Abalos’ Redemption, JB Guce; Francisco Maristela’s May Bukas Pa, JT Zarate; Aristeo Puyat’s Apo Bell, AB Alcasid Jr.; and C & H Enterprises’Westerly Wind, KB Abobo.
Juvenile Colts (mile, all 54kgs): Emmanuel King’s Hi-Money, Pat Dilema; Jeci Lapus’ Beyond Good, JG Tinte; Benhur Abalos’ Barkley, JB Guce; Rita Bustamante’s Lexibonn, JPA Guce; Sta. Clara Stockfarm’s Lord of War, JB Hernandez; and Ralph Javier’s Arvin Dugo, FM Raquel Jr.
Juvenile Fillies (mile, all 54kgs): Manny Santos’ Seeds of Wisdom, AF Sullano; Sixto Esquivias’ Antoine Dugo, 54; Wilbert Tan’s Gandang Pinay, JB Guce; Bienvenido Niles Jr.’s Homerun Queen, JT Zarate; Benhur Abalos’ Elusive Wind, AM Tancioco; Enrique Javier’s Immaculate, PR Dilema; Herminio Esguerra’s Dimasalang, JB Hernandez; and Honorato Neri’s Kitty West, AB Alcasid Jr.
Sprint (1,000 meters): Bienvenido Niles Jr.’s Bumble Bee, JT Zarate, 57; Rita Pilapil’s Lively Dude, JAA Guce, 57; Cesar Castro’s EJ’s Magic, FM Raquel Jr., 57; Napoleon Chua’s Music King, PR Dilema, 57; Herminio Esguerra’s Eternal Flame, JB Guce, 55.
Meanwhile, last Sunday at the Manila Jockey Club’s San Lazaro Leisure Park, Philracom’s biggest race of the year, the Eduardo Cojuangco Jr. Cup, was won by the far second choice, Herminio Esguerra’s Multiply. The imported 4YO colt guided by Jeffril Zarate scored a decisive upset over the outstanding favorite, Benhur Abalos’ island-born Ibarra, winning by eight lengths. The time was a quick 2:06 over 2,000 meters, with splits of 24’-23-26-25-27’.
Railbirds opined that Ibarra had been let loose too soon and consequently took the second quarter at a fast 23”, which could have been cause for Ibarra to lose steam in later stages of the race. Multiply, which ran off the pace, took the lead at the far turn and hit the wire with plenty to spare. ***