THE HOARSE WHISPERER By Jenny Ortuoste for Manila Standard-Today, 28 November 2012, Wednesday
MARHO Daisy-siete a Success
One of the most-awaited racing festivals of the year – the San Miguel Beer-MARHO Cup Championships – culminated in a successful night of racing last Sunday at Santa Ana Park.
This year marked the 17th running of the event, titled “MARHO Daisy-siete: Racing is Blooming,” and is the longest sustained racing festival of the sport.
Founded and organized by the Metropolitan Association of Race Horse Owners, the event is always held at the Philippine Racing Club’s track.
This year, a new batch of MARHO champions were crowned, most of them longshots trained by veteran trainer Ruben Tupas.
In the Santa Ana Park-MARHO Cup Sprint (1,000 meters), favorite Fierce and Fiery won by a length-and-a-half with a time of 1:01.6 (12’-22-27). The 4YO bay filly owned by Leandro Naval was ridden by Daniel Camañero and trained by Tupas.
Tupas scored again in the Philippine Racing Commission – MARHO Cup Juvenile Fillies with longshot Five Star, who flashed past another dark horse, Congregation, to stun racing fans and participants alike. Owned by Antonio Tan and steered by Jesse Guce, the filly posted a time of 1:46.6 for the mile (26’-25’-26-28’).
Another lightly-regarded horse, Spinning Ridge, grabbed the win in the Philracom – MARHO Cup Juvenile Colts. This one is trained by Nestor Manalang and owned by Sta. Clara Stockfarm (also the breeder of the colt). Spinning Ridge posted 1:45 for the mile (27’-26-25-26’).
The rain of longshots and the Tupas winning streak was extended by Sea Princess in the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office- MARHO Cup Filly Mile. Guided by Patricio Dilema, the Herminio Esguerra-owned-and-bred filly beat Cheese Blanca, favorite Cat’s Diamond, and Jahan, in that order, clocking 1:45.8 (27’-26-24’-27’).
In the San Miguel Beer-MARHO Cup Colt Mile, Mandaluyong Mayor Benhur Abalos’s Hagdang Bato, the outstanding favorite, won wire to wire with Jonathan Hernandez aboard. The duo beat Penrith, Purple Ribbon, Golden Empire, and Yes I’m The One in that order.
Last year’s juvenile champion and this year’s 3YO star, Hagdang Bato, bred by Abalos, posted a time of 1:43.6 (26’-25-24’-27). And yet again, this one’s trained by Tupas.
It was longshot time again the million-peso San Miguel Beer-MARHO Cup Classic, with Lucban Mayor Marvin Loui Villaseñor’s Gastambide taking top honors. Ridden by John Paolo Guce, the 5YO horse is trained by Dave de la Cruz and was bred by Esguerra on his Herma Farm & Stud facility in Batangas.
Prime Rate came in second, Barkley took third, and the favorite Lord of War fourth.
A touching moment occurred when MARHO president emeritus Aristeo Puyat’s Paris Melody won the Andok’s Litson Corporation- MARHO Trophy race. Puyat received his award from Andok’s owner and MARHO chairman, Mayor Leonardo Javier. The two horseowners and breeders founded the MARHO Cup championships seventeen years ago and still contribute their efforts every year to ensure the success of the event.
Among the visitors that day were two Australians – Mark Dodemaid from William Inglis & Son, thoroughbred auctioneers, and racecaller Peter Morrison, who has been invited to call championship races in the Philippines many times over the past four decades.
MARHO Vice-President Antonio de Ubago thanked the sponsors and racing fans for supporting the festival, making special mention of San Miguel Corporation, PCSO, Philracom, PRCI, Andok’s, Solaire Resort and Casino, Waterfront Hotel and Casino, Resorts World, Casino Filipino, ESICOR Inc., Ciara Marie Abalos Foundation, Crystal Shipping, Jade Bros. Freight, FR Sevilla Industrial and Development Corp., and Norkis Trading.
MARHO Vice-President and Corporate Secretary lawyer Ramon S. Bagatsing Jr. added that success of the event shows the sustainability of the sport in the face of global economic challenges.
“Our group will certainly do its best,” Bagatsing said, “to continue staging the MARHO Cup every year, to promote the thoroughbred racing and breeding industry and bring exciting action to racing fans.”
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Speaking of sustainability, a new chapter in Philippine racing begins next year
with the formal entry of Metro Manila Turf Club, Inc.’s into the fray with the opening of its track in Batangas.
Philracom sent me a copy of the racing calendar and stakes race calendar for 2013. Raceweeks are still six days, Monday the day off.
What’s interesting is that there will be days on which two tracks will be conducting races, with twenty minutes’ interval between their races – in effect, it’s simulcasting.
The technical difficulty this involves is staggering and I wish the best of luck to the broadcast teams that will have to deal with this. ***