Mystic Pearl looking to prove Kempton gem

By Sports Desk April 05, 2024

William Haggas’ Mystic Pearl has another Listed strike in her sights in the Snowdrop Fillies’ Stakes at Kempton.

The four-year-old was a winner at this level in the Coral Distaff at Sandown last year and after a Group Three placing in the Prix de Lieurey at Deauville, she headed out to Dubai for the winter.

There she was sixth in the Cape Verdi and fourth in the Balanchine, both at Group Two level, and now she steps back down in grade to start her domestic campaign on the all-weather.

“She’s back in a Listed race, like the one she won at Sandown,” said Philip Robinson, assistant racing manager for owner Sheikh Juma Dalmook Al Maktoum.

“The two races she ran in out in Meydan were both Group Twos, so we’re dropping back down in class. She worked very nicely last week, so we’re very hopeful.

“She will give a good account of herself I think, and they don’t always act when they go out there (Dubai), they either do or they don’t. I don’t think she was at her best out there, but she worked nicely the other morning anyway.”

James Ferguson’s Many Tears makes a first start for her new stable in the contest after leaving Ger Lyons on a high note.

For Lyons, she was a Listed winner at Dundalk in November when taking the Cooley Fillies Stakes, a victory that leaves her shouldering a penalty at Kempton.

Ferguson said: “She’s in great form and won a Listed race with Ger Lyons, so carries a penalty, but she seems to be training well and this is only the start of her year, so we’re hoping she runs big and we have then got the whole year ahead of us.

“She’s a nice filly and was bought by the Cunninghams to try and get some more black type in Europe, with the eventual plan to maybe be covered and then go down to Australia.”

Ferguson has another contender in the race in Mother Mary, whereas the only Irish challenger is the Joseph O’Brien-trained Adelaise.

Only beaten three-quarters of a length in the Prix Dahlia at Saint-Cloud and then two lengths in the Prix Casimir Delamarre at Longchamp, both Listed races, Adelaise is looking to gain some black type form in the Snowdrop.

O’Brien said: “She’s been a progressive filly for us last season and she has stayed in training with the hope of achieving some black type. This looks a logical starting point for her.”

Simon and Ed Crisford run Choisya in the race, a Night Of Thunder filly last seen winning over course and distance in a handicap ahead of Roger Varian’s Julia Augusta, who reopposes.

Philip McBride’s Zouky, David Menuisier’s Mysterious Love, Gemma Tutty’s in-form Enola Grey and Ed Walker’s Rose Prick complete the field of 10.

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    In a press conference on Monday addressing the abandoned races, SVREL Executive Chairman Solomon Sharpe expressed frustration with the rule, highlighting its potential impact on the racing industry.

    "This rule, unique to Jamaica, imposes a strict five-minute limit after the published post time for races at Caymanas Park," Sharpe stated. "It fails to account for various factors that can delay race starts and penalizes all stakeholders when races are abandoned, affecting punters, jockeys, grooms, trainers, owners, promoters, and the government."

    Last year, Caymanas Park contributed over $260 million in combined taxes to the government's coffers. Sharpe urged the JRC to engage SVREL in discussions on Rule 44, emphasizing the need for constructive dialogue to address the rule's impact.

    "We were not consulted during the initial discussions on this rule, and now, with two races abandoned in a single race day, our concerns have materialized," Sharpe explained. "SVREL is open to collaborating with the JRC to review and refine this amended rule."

    Representatives from the Grooms Association, Jockeys Association, and the United Racehorse Trainers Association echoed SVREL's concerns and supported the call for a review of Rule 44.

    Sharpe concluded by appealing to regulators, stakeholders, and the public to support the growth of the horseracing industry in Jamaica. "Horseracing has immense potential in Jamaica and can become a significant foreign exchange earner. Realizing this potential requires collaboration among all stakeholders."

    SVREL has been operating Caymanas Park since March 2017 after the government divested the property. With investments exceeding J$4 billion in product enhancements and innovations like the Mouttet Mile, which boasts the largest purse in the English-speaking Caribbean, SVREL remains committed to advancing the horseracing experience in Jamaica.

  • Supreme Ventures Racing regrets abandonment of two races at Caymanas Park on Saturday Supreme Ventures Racing regrets abandonment of two races at Caymanas Park on Saturday

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    The decision to abandon these races, SVREL said, was made in compliance with regulations set forth by the Jamaica Racing Commission (JRC), leading to the refund of all related pools according to SVREL's Pari-mutuel rules.

    According to the statement released by SVREL late Saturday, the abandonment of races number one and six, respectively, was declared by the stewards of the Jamaica Racing Commission (JRC) due to delays that exceeded the permitted time frame as stipulated by Rule 44(iii).

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    Similarly, race number six, slated for 3:10 pm, was delayed due to a horse running loose, ultimately leading to its abandonment by the stewards of the JRC.

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    Kitty’s Light is taking aim at his usual season finisher in the bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown.

    The gelding has been a star for trainer Christian Williams, winning big handicap events like the Eider Chase and the Scottish Grand National and going close in the Charlie Hall and the Coral Trophy.

    He has particularly good record in the bet365 Gold Cup on the final day of the season, missing out only due to interference when second in 2021 and coming home third in 2022.

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    “We were thrilled, the horse tried his best and we were very, very proud of horse and jockey.

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