'Load ZUGULU first'
CAYMANAS Park's two leading trainers, Wayne DaCosta and Philip Feanny, both 14-time champions, have expressed concerns about the effect any possible delay to the start of Saturday's Pick-3 Super Challenge could have on their horses should Richard Azan's roguish ZUGULU be loaded last.
A talented but high-strung colt, ZUGULU is unbeaten in two outings. He held up the start for almost 10 minutes on November 14, before finally being blindfolded and coaxed into the gate for his second victory.
DaCosta, whose DREAMLINER is hunting back-to-back victories in the Supreme Ventures Limited Two-Year-Old Series, after landing last month's Cash Pot Trophy race in which ZUGULU was loaded first, but had reared in the gate and was scratched by the vet, said it would be unfair for the other runners to be standing around in the gate for a prolonged time.
"It is unfair for a horse, who gives trouble to enter the gate, to go in last," DaCosta said.
Meanwhile, Feanny, who will have two runners in Saturday's $3.6m race - Cash Pot fourth-place SORRENTINO'S STAR and SIMPLY THE BEST, said he has no intentions to sit and watch his horses stand in the gate while ZUGULU his up to his regular antics.
"I won't have my horse in the gate, waiting 10 minutes for ZUGULU to load. If a horse gives trouble to load, he must be loaded first. You can't expect horses to sit waiting on you for 10 minutes," he said.
Meanwhile, Azan said it will be up to the starter to decide when ZUGULU is loaded.
Responding to concerns that ZUGULU could put horses standing around in the gate at a disadvantage should he be loaded last, Azan said the reverse was attempted in the Cash Pot Trophy.
"There is some credence to that, but the last time he was put in early, he ended up as a non-starter. He reared up and hurt himself," he said.
Opinions on loading ZUGULU, last, he said, depended on differing positions.
"This last time was the only time he held up the race for a while. To just eliminate the horse is knocking the horse. I can't say it's reasonable or unreasonable," he added.
"It's the discretion of the starter. They are interested in the horse running, so I think they take that into consideration and were a little more patient. They know we take him to the gate. We spend a long time there. We do all sorts of things," he said.