Devil’s Point takes Djebel test on seasonal bow

By Sports Desk April 08, 2024

David Menuisier’s Devil’s Point will take the first step in his three-year-old campaign in the Prix Djebel at Deauville on Tuesday.

The colt enjoyed a successful juvenile season, winning a Ffos Las maiden and then placing third and fourth respectively in the Solario Stakes and the Prix Thomas Bryon.

He then ended his year at Group One level in the Futurity Trophy at Doncaster, finishing second to Godolphin’s Ancient Wisdom over a mile.

He will now begin 2024 over a lesser trip of seven furlongs when he contests the Prix Djebel, a Group Three at Deauville where he will face six rivals.

“Devil’s Point seems well, it’s a prep run and the ground will be testing but we know he likes those sorts of conditions,” said Menuisier.

“It’s the first run of the season, he is at 80 per cent but let’s hope it is enough to win tomorrow.

“We will take his races one by one and we feel he might be more efficient over seven furlongs than a mile.

“Depending on how he goes, we can then make a decision on what he does next.”

Jerome Reynier’s unbeaten gelding Lazzat steps up in grade for the contest after striking three times in three runs so far this term.

All of those performances were at Cagnes-Sur-Mer, where he won the Listed Prix de la Californie on heavy ground in February.

“He is unbeaten in three starts, he won his maiden, a class one and a Listed race – all at Cagnes-Sur-Mer in testing ground,” said Reynier.

“Tomorrow will be pretty deep and sticky, he’s running around a straight course for the first time.

“The colt trained by David Menuisier (Devil’s Point) seems to be a good benchmark to compare Lazzat, so we will see how he runs in this one.

“I am very happy with Lazzat, he looks good, has been training very well and I’m very enthusiastic about him.

“It’s going to be a good test tomorrow, it’s very exciting to run an unbeaten three-year-old so fingers crossed.”

On the same card there is another Group Three in the Prix Imprudence, a fillies’ race run over seven furlongs for which a field of seven has assembled.

Christopher Head’s highly promising Ramatuelle makes her seasonal debut in the race after a juvenile term than included successes in the Prix du Bois and the Prix Robert Papin and a second-placed run at Group One level behind the impressive Vandeek in the Prix Morny.

Charlie Appleby’s Romantic Style also kicks off her campaign in the race after wrapping up last year with a Listed victory in the six-furlong Bosra Sham at Newmarket, where she beat Cammidge Trophy fourth and subsequent Bath winner Adaay In Devon.

“We have been very pleased with how Romantic Style has done through the winter,” Appleby said via the Godolphin website.

“She won the Bosra Sham Stakes on testing ground, so similar conditions shouldn’t be an issue, but the step up to seven furlongs is the slight question mark.”

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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

    Supreme Ventures Racing & Entertainment Limited (SVREL) has expressed regret and disappointment following the abandonment of two races during the Saturday, April 27 race day at Caymanas Park in St Catherine, Jamaica.

    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).

    Specifically, in race number one, scheduled to commence at 12:00 pm, a saddling issue with horse number five and a mandatory veterinary check for horse number eight, which reared and fell after exiting the saddling barn, resulted in delays beyond the allowable limit.

    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.

    SVREL explained that the recent amendments to Rule 44(iii), which came into effect from April 1, 2024, mandate strict adherence to race start times with a maximum allowance of five minutes after the published post time. SVREL noted that Jamaica is unique in enforcing such a rule without prior consultation with the sole promoter of horseracing in Jamaica.

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    Despite the challenges faced, the race meet resumed with race number seven at approximately 4:00 pm, SVREL noted.

    SVREL has now issued a sincere apology to valued customers and stakeholders for the inconvenience caused by the abandonment of races one and six by the JRC. SVREL also emphasized its readiness for open dialogue with the JRC and all impacted stakeholders to ensure the continued success and integrity of the horseracing industry.

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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.

    Last year he was completed the set of podium finishes when winning by two and a half lengths under usual jockey Jack Tudor.

    The two are well acquainted and teamed up for Kitty’s Light’s Grand National bid at Aintree earlier in the month, where he ran a valiant race to finish fifth behind four Grade-One winning Irish chasers.

    Williams was incredibly proud of his stable star and is now hoping the gelding can shine again in the Sandown contest he has found to be lucrative in the past.

    “It was wonderful, we trained him to win the race and we thought he could, but you couldn’t be disappointed with what he did,” Williams said of the National performance.

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

    “He’s come out of it very well, if the race was run today even then he’d be running, he’s in good form.

    “He loves it at Sandown with the big fences, his jumping has come on now but even as a five-year-old he nearly won the race.

    “He was third the year after that, it really seems to suit him.

    “I think he likes going right-handed, he hangs a little bit right at home and he seems to really enjoy it there.

    “We’re taking our chance anyway, he seems well and we’ll hope for the best.”

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