P W D L GF GA GD PtsLeicester 16 10 5 1 34 22 12 35Arsenal 16 10 3 3 29 13 16 33Man City 16 10 2 4 32 17 15 32Man United 16 8 5 3 21 12 9 29Tottenham 16 6 8 2 26 14 12 26Crystal P 16 8 2 6 21 15 6 26Watford 16 7 4 5 18 16 2 25West Ham 16 6 6 4 25 21 4 24Liverpool 16 6 6 4 20 19 1 24Everton 16 5 8 3 29 21 8 23 P W D L GF GA GD PtsStoke City 16 6 5 5 13 14 -1 23Southampton 16 5 6 5 21 19 2 21West Brom 16 5 5 6 16 21 -5 20Bournemouth 16 4 4 8 20 31 -11 16Newcastle 16 4 4 8 18 31 -13 16Chelsea 16 4 3 9 18 26 -8 15Swansea City 16 3 5 8 15 24 -9 14Norwich City 16 3 5 8 18 28 -10 14Sunderland 16 3 3 10 17 30 -13 12Aston Villa 16 1 3 12 13 30 -17 6
The $11.5 million Supreme Ventures Two-Year-Old Triple Crown Series will conclude at Caymanas Park today with a maximum field of 16 native breds down to contest the 104th running of the Jamaica 2-Y-O Stakes over a mile, and what a race it promises to be. At stake is a whopping purse of $4 million and a chance to be crowned Champion 2-Y-O. The race has attracted the cream of the crop, including the Wayne DaCosta-trained DREAMLINER, who won the first race in the series, the $2.95 million Cash Pot ‘Only One For Me’ Trophy over 1200 metres on October 19, and Philip Feanny’s SORRENTINO’S STAR, winner of the $3.6 million Pick-3 Super Challenge Trophy over 1400 metres on November 28, a race in which DREAMLINER finished three lengths fourth. Other top contenders are FUTURE KING, who was a fast-finishing second to SORRENTINO’S STAR in the Pick-3 Super Challenge, ZUGULU from the Richard Azan stables, as well as DREAMING THE CODE, who made an auspicious fast-time debut over 1100 metres in maiden company on October 31, the Anthony ‘Baba’ Nunes-trained BIGDADDY KOOL, who romped the recent Andrew H.B. Aguilar Memorial Cup over the distance and not least, Gary Subratie’s NUCLEAR AFFAIR, who was a strong second to DREAMLINER in the Cash Pot Trophy. Although soon to be crowned 15-time champion trainer Wayne DaCosta holds a good hand with FUTURE KING (Robert Halledeen) and DREAMLINER (Omar Walker), a more interesting entry is the Carl Anderson owned and trained DREAMING THE CODE, who made all to win in the smart time of 1:06.0 in early November. Anderson, who is also the breeder of this promising filly by Coded Warning out of Sea of Dreams, took the decision to bypass the Pick-3 Challenge, saying she needed a bit more working on physically, but he’s upbeat about her chances even in this tough field. “I really have high hopes for her … . She’s looking better and better at exercise as the race approaches, galloping six furlongs in 1:14.0, easily, the other morning. More importantly, she is bred to stay a mile, and all that is left for her to do is execute on the day,” said Anderson, owner and breeder of the 2001 derby, 1000 Guineas and Oaks winner AWESOME POWER. Subratie, who watched his filly NUCLEAR AFFAIR finished a good second in the Cash Pot Trophy, but missed the Pick-3 Super Challenge six weeks later, is beaming with confidence ahead of the race. “She was injured in a fall after the Cash Pot and I decided not to run her in the Pick-3 Super Challenge”, explains the second-generation trainer. But he was quick to add that she has impressed with her preparation. “She looked real sharp when blazing six furlongs in 1:13.1 at exercise a week ago, and with a mile just perfect, can definitely go one better,” Subratie added. She had subsequent Pick-3 winner SORRENTINO’S STAR just behind in the Cash Pot Trophy when administered Lasix for the first time, and now a better filly since that race in mid-October, she is coming to run a big race with Aaron Chatrie aboard. While it could be said that the race has an open look about it and will be closely contested, the one I like best is SORRENTINO’S STAR, who had no luck in running (hindered furlong out) when finishing a close fourth in the Cash Pot Trophy, but easily made amends in the Pick-3 Challenge, with Dane Nelson aboard, to release her maiden certificate. There was a lot to like about the manner in which she disposed of the leader and 6-5 favourite ZUGULU approaching the distance to win, going away in the good time of 1:26.3. With the outgoing champion jockey sticking with the ride and 14-time champion Philip Feanny having her in good nick, I fancy her chances over the additional 200 metres of this race. The bay filly by Sorrentino out of Santa Baby packs a good turn of foot and this should serve her well in this quality field. FUTURE KING and NUCLEAR AFFAIR are twin dangers. The traditional Boxing Day co-feature for the Harry Jackson Memorial over 2400 metres will be contested by a small field of six, among arch rivals TRYPEWRITER and PEREFECT NEIGHBOUR, the top-two distance horses in the country. The Wayne DaCosta-trained PERFECT NEIGHBOUR humbled the then favourite TYPEWRITER to win this race by a wide margin last year, and although the Spencer Chung-trained TYPEWRITER finished second to SEEKING MY DREAM in the recent Diamond Mile having PERFECT NEIGHBOUR behind in third, the latter has been the more consistent and thus gets the vote.
The rumblings have once again started over the availability and access to the most precious commodity in Jamaican sports: grandstand tickets for the final day of Boys and Girls’ Championships. The discourse has now reached ridiculous proportions with the recent proposal by the past student bodies of top high schools – Calabar, Kingston College, and Jamaica College – launching a formal lobby for a bigger portion of the premium, final-day grandstand tickets to be made available to them. This, to my mind, is a most obnoxious, contentious, and unprincipled proposal. Equity and fairness have been thrown into the garbage, as KC, Calabar, and JC typically seek to feather their own selfish nests. The so-called ‘three the hard way’ are trying to make the case that they spend a combined total of over $40 million in preparing their teams for the marquee event, which, invariably, is won by one of the big three, thus their claim of entitlement for preferential treatment. The arrogance went up a notch with the sly reminder by the ‘cartel’ that Champs would not be the same without Calabar, KC, and JC – with no regard for the fundamental fact that Champs is still a national amateur high-school event. The situation is what it is as it relates to the overwhelming demand for grandstand final-day Champs tickets, and that situation will not change anytime soon. The capacity of the grandstand is less than 5,000, with approximately half of those seats allocated to sponsors, special guests, media, etc. So, in reality, there will be tens of thousands of people chasing less than 3,000 premier grandstand Super Saturday tickets. Certainly, allocating more of those limited tickets to ‘select schools’ cannot be the way to go for the Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA). Outside of allowing the overwhelming demand to dictate the price of the grandstand tickets, which would probably push the price up to an exorbitant level, ISSA must remain cognisant of the fact that Champs remains a mere high-school event. Under the less-than-perfect circumstances, the limited tickets should continue to be allocated on a first-come first-serve basis. That is simply the fairest method of allocation. WHAT NEXT? Following the principle of the ‘three the hard way’ proposal to its logical conclusion, it would not be long before the suggestion comes that only past or current students of the top contenders and the big spenders and recent Champs, winners KC, Calabar, and JC will be welcome inside the grandstand and eventually inside the entire stadium. I suspect that the erudite and principled leadership of ISSA will pay very scant regard to the proposal of what must now be more appropriately known as ‘three the snobbish and arrogant way’. The sending of the right messages of fairness, justice, equality, and transparency must be of utmost importance as it relates to a high-school event. The principle must remain where no students or past students of any particular school should be more entitled to a seat in the grandstand on the final day of Champs than the students or past students of any other school. I sincerely hope that after burning in the fields for so long in order to build Boys and Girls’ Champs into an international spectacle of the highest reputation, that on this particular issue of principle, ISSA will neither fall nor yield.
It was records galore on Thursday at the Digicel Anthrick Corporate Area Development Track and Field meet at the UWI-Usain Bolt Stadium, where some 30 new marks were achieved as Kingston College and Wolmer’s Girls walked away with top prize of $250,000 for being the top boys and girls school.Despite top boys team Calabar being absent and several top names from Kingston College, including the likes of Akeem Bloomfield, Jhevaugn Mattherson, Nathaniel Bann and Dontre Williams also not present, this did not take anything away as athletes from the respective schools warmed up for next month’s ISSA-GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Championships, with good performances, while gaining crucial points for next week’s Digicel Grand Prix finale at G.C. Foster College, where the top two teams from each region will advance.Kingston College topped the male section with 397 points, ahead of Jamaica College – second on 166, andExcelsior High in third with 164 points.Individually, on the male side, it was Kingston College’s Class Two athlete Zico Cambell, who stole the show.Campbell, who transferred from Glenmuir High last September and who is not eligible to compete at Champs this year, captured the shot put in a new record of 16.92m to erase Calabar’s Andre Chin’s two-year record of 15.32m. He returned to keep his lead in the Grand Prix discus after another record of 49.32m.After playing second fiddle to Calabar’s sprinters all season, Kingston College’s Yashawn Hamilton took the opportunity to take the lead in the Under-18 Boy’s 100m Grand Prix after clocking a fast 10.79 seconds to erase Calabar’s Daniel Bogle’s two years old record of 10.98 in winning the Class Two event, ahead of teammate Akeem Cargill, who finished second in 11.01, and Excelsior’s Craig Campbell coming in third in 11.05.The photo finish camera could not decide the winner of the Boy’s Class Two 110m hurdles as Kingston College’s Phillip Beckford and Orlando Smith both touched the finishing line together in a new record of 14.02 seconds.Other record breakers from Kingston College included Shane Buchanan (15:30.00) in the 5000m Open, and Marco Doodnauthsing (48.36) in the Class I boy’s 400m.MORE UPSETSExcelsior’s Nathan Brown led the way for the Mountain View-based team among the males as he clocked 1:53.95 in winning the Class One boy’s 800m in a record time, getting the better of Kingston College’s Lerone Bowden (1:55.14) and his teammate Shemar Hylton, third in 1:55.78.Jamaica College’s Detroy Stewart was an impressive winner in the Boy’s Class Two 1500m as he rushed to a new record of 4:14.55 in winning the event, ahead of his teammate, Rackeem Ricketts, second in 4:24.45 with Billy Watson of Kingston College taking third in 4:36.44.Despite a low-keyed season so far, Wolmer’s Girls showed that they will not give up their Corporate Area title that easily at “Champs” this year as they staved off a strong challenge from Excelsior to cop the female overall title with 359 points ahead of their main rival on 324 points.They dominated the sprints in Class One and Two as Trudyann Williams captured the Class One 100m in 12.00, edging out Camperdown’s Rushelle Burton, who finished second in 12.01 with third going to her teammate, Trishawana Crawford, in 12.23.