THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 14 November 2012, Wednesday
Magna Carta vs. Hagdang Bato in PCSO Presidential Gold Cup
Ask any racegoer and they’ll tell you that one of the most awaited annual racing events is the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Presidential Gold Cup.
It is the most prestigious race in the land that features only the very best runners currently competing, and is the longest-running race continually held by the same sponsor under this same style and nomenclature.
Racing fans will witness its 40th edition at Santa Ana Park on December 9. This year’s race will be particularly exciting because it will feature the best local horse – 3YO Hagdang Bato – and best island-born – veteran Magna Carta – in a royal showdown to determine the true king of the track.
PCSO Committee on Races Chairman lawyer Jose Malang and Draw and Races Department Manager Carlos Castillo recently announced the eight colts entered in the Ruby Anniversary Presidential Gold Cup, which is open to all except imports and will be run over the longest Philippine race distance, 2,000 meters:
Herminio Esguerra’s Purple Ribbon, to carry 54.5 kgs and be ridden by jockey Val Dilema; Michael Dragon Javier’s Magna Carta (58, Jesse Guce), Benhur Abalos’s Hagdang Bato (54.5, Jonathan Hernandez), Divina Dy’s Pleasantly Perfect (54.5, Patricio Dilema), Felizardo Sevilla Jr.’s Tensile Strength (55, Jeffril Zarate), Wilfredo Yason’s Chevrome (54.5, John Alvin Guce), Pierre Niles’s Steel Creation (54.5, Mark Alvarez), and Nathaniel Velasco’s Cinderella Kid (54.5, Fernando Raquel Jr.).
For many, this will be a match race between last year’s juvenile champion and this year’s Triple Crown sweeper Hagdang Bato, and last year’s Gold Cup and this year’s PCSO Silver Cup winner Magna Carta.
There is only a one-year age difference between the two, but Magna Carta has snapped up the last two PCSO major awards and is gunning for a third, something that Hagdang Bato will try to deny him in a bid to establish himself as the next track idol.
This is an event that racing fans should not miss!
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My deepest sympathies to MST sports editor Riera Mallari and family on the recent passing of his mother, Mrs. Corazon Mallari.
“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.” (Thomas Campbell) ***