Six starters have been declared for today’s open-allowance feature over 1400 metres for the Gladiator Trophy, including super fit CAMPESINO, who faces two tough opponents in PHINEAS and LONG RUNNING TRAIN.Significantly, all three were prepared for the December 5 Diamond Mile, but none managed to get into the race, having failed to secure the necessary earnings to make the top 16. They were placed on the reserve list instead, and with the first 16 entries standing their ground, CAMPESINO, in particular, at number one on the reserve list, failed to squeeze into the race, much to the displeasure of his owner Howard Hamilton.Today, CAMPESINO has a glorious opportunity to resume winning ways with outgoing champion jockey Dane Nelson riding for 14-time champion trainer Philip Feanny.CAMPESINO is still in fine fettle following his good second to the progressive POKER STAR in the fast-run Glen Mills Caribbean Sprint on November 14.In this small field, the five-year-old son of Campadre-Yaella should get first run on the recent Coca Cola Invitational Mile winner PHINEAS from the Andrew McDonald stables and Harry Parsard’s 3-y-o filly LONG RUNNING TRAIN, now bidding for a hat-trick, into the straight. And this should prove a decisive factor in CAMPESINO’S winning bid.PHINEAS beat him by 13/4 lengths when they last met over this trip back in June and went on to beat none other than subsequent Diamond Mile winner SEEKING MY DREAM by a head in the Invitational Mile. But CAMPESINO enjoys a 4.5 kg swing in the scales today, and, if anything, is a better horse now. He thus gets my vote.The day’s supporting feature for the War Zone Sprint Trophy has attracted 12 starters, including top contenders ROYAL ASSAULT, with Shane Ellis riding for trainer Anthony Nunes and recent winner FEARLESS FURY, who is unbeaten in two starts. The latter will be ridden by promising 4.0 kg claiming apprentice Dane Dawkins for trainer Fitzroy Glispie, and the fact that he is set to receive 7.0 kg from the speedy ROYAL ASSAULT, tilts the balance in his favour.I also like ELVIRA in the second race; JAMAI RAJA in the third for maiden two-year-olds; as well as down-in-class RAGING PROSPECT IN The fifth; YOGA in the sixth; and the recently disqualified winner, PRINCE O’SHAUN, in the 12th and final.
Edwin Allen claimed their third successive Girls Championship title and their fourth overall after tallying 329.5 points, finishing well clear of Hydel High (263) and St Jago High (241.5) at the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA)/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletic Championships at the National Stadium last week. Their head coach, Michael Clarke, revealed that the reason for this trend is because they have developed a habit of winning and work for nothing less each year. “It (winning) has become a part of us and they say winning will become a habit and it is pretty much a habit for us at this point in time. I think it would have been very devastating had we lost the championship because the girls have worked very hard, along with the coaching staff, management, everybody. We put our all into it and we’ve got the just rewards,” Dyke said. He also disclosed that their initiation to the Edwin Allen culture starts from the moment they walk through the gates of the Frankfield-based institution and even though they won by 66 points, Dyke thought it was a far from perfect championship for them. “As they get into the programme we teach them the sort of discipline we instil in the girls, so they pretty much learn from the seniors very quickly and knowing that we are a winning team, a champion team, as they enter their blood becomes blue and they are ready to start the role,” he continued. “We had disappointments throughout the championship, but in the end we are very happy. It doesn’t matter the margin (of victory), what is important is that we are still the champions, we are the 2016 champions. We did very well in the sprints and middle distances, but our throws were not what we anticipated. But we were able to pull it off, so it’s for us to look at where our strength and weaknesses lies and build on our weaknesses going forward,” he said. With the winning mentality and culture firmly laid at the Clarendon school, Dyke is confident they can go for a four-peat in 2017. “We take it in stride year by year. I am not going to put my head on the block, but we will be working hard to retain our title next year,” he added.
Emerging Jamaica all-rounder Rovman Powell led the University of The West Indies (UWI) to a first-innings victory over Kensington in quarter-final action of the Jamaica Cricket Association Senior Cup at the Sir Frank Worrell Oval yesterday.The 22-year-old Powell, who played one match for Jamaica in the recently concluded WICB First-Class Championship and was surprisingly drafted by Jamaica Tallawahs for the upcoming Caribbean Premier League, scored 80 before returning to claim four for 20 in the drawn affair.In another quarter-final match yesterday, Kingston, with half-centuries from all-rounder Derval Green and Brandon King, and fourwickets from left-arm spinner Patrick Harty, got the better of St Catherine CC at Chedwin Park.At the Sir Frank Worrell Oval, the UWI first made 250 with Powell getting support from Javaughn Buchanan, 49, and Mark Parchment, 33.OUTSTANDING BOWLERSOff-spinner Shamar Anderson, four for 59, fast bowler Nicholson Gordon, three for 23, and left-arm spinner, Ryan Francis two for 56, claimed most wickets.Kensington, in reply, were bowled out for 137 thanks to Powell and Horace Linton, who took four for 37. Anderson 23, David Bernard Jr, 21 not out, and Horace Miller, 20, made most runs.Batting a second time, the UWI closed on 105 for three with Jamaica captain Paul Palmer Jr, ending on 32 not out, and Powell, 18, not out.”It was a good result, one that we wanted and needed,” said UWI coach, Robert Samuels. “On day one, I thought we batted well under trying circumstances given the Kensington bowling attack.”They were then 60-odd for three overnight, and we returned bowled well and got the job done. Credit must also be given to Powell and the way he played.”At Chedwin Park, Green hit 86, King 50 and Aaron Johnson gathered 38 in Kingston’s first innings total of 244. Odean Brown, three for 58, and Stephan Casey, three for 54, and fast bowler, Brian Buchanan, three for 59, were the top wicket takers.St Catherine were dismissed for 99 with Harty four for 24, and fellow left-armer Paul Harrison, three for 13, claiming most victims. Mariano Dixon made a topscore of 40 with former national captain Tamar Lambert making 10 and Danza Hyatt, four.The UWI and Kingston have now joined Melbourne and St Thomas in the semi-finals, which are scheduled to be played next weekend.