Country Train to capture Grooms Trophy feature

first_imgThe consistent COUNTRY TRAIN should lead home ROCK UNION in the annual renewal of the Grooms’ Association Trophy race over the straight-five course at Caymanas Park today.Confined to horses from the $350,000-$300,000 claiming spread, the race originally had 13 nominees at the overnight stage on Wednesday, but 12 will now face the starter after one of the top contenders, EL PODEROSO, drowned at sea on Thursday morning.COUNTRY TRAIN and ROCK UNION, both winners last time out, have the best form to recommend and should take it down to the wire.The five-year-old gelding ROCK UNION has won his last two races over the straight, leading home subsequent winner AUNT HILDA by just over two lengths on June 13. He was claimed out of that race from trainer Anthony ‘Baba’ Nunes by Colin Ferguson and although stepping up in class today, this will not deter him.Prior to his last race, he beat $350,000 claimers over the course on May 23 in a sub-minute time and reporting in good nick for this race, can prove equal to the task with the sparingly used but experienced jockey Paul Ramsay aboard.MUCH IMPROVEDDespite his strong claims, preference is for the Stedman Curtis-trained COUNTRY TRAIN, who has won three of her last four races.The five-year-old mare by Image Maker out of Storm Within looked much improved when slamming subsequent winner NEW KINGSTON by almost five lengths over the course on May 6, this on a $400,000 claiming tag in the good time of 1:00.0. And last time out she was at it again, winning by five lengths over the round-five course on July 8 when claimed by Stedman Curtis.She reports in fine fettle in a bid for this trophy and with title-chasing jockey Robert Halledeen taking the ride from one of his favourite trainers, she will not be easily denied.COUNTRY TRAIN has good speed and in light of this, should gallop on to the main track ahead of AUNT HILDA, SMOKIN MAN and ROCK UNION, keeping on strongly to beat the latter in decisive fashion.Also, on the 10-race programme is a highly-competitive open allowance race over a mile which brings together the down in class horses PETE’SWILDONE and ALL CORRECT, as well as the recent winners TIMFORARMS, PHINEAS, FRANFIELD and MILITARY MOVE in a field of nine.One of the down in class horses should capture this event and I select ALL CORRECT to get the better of PETE’SWILDONE.last_img read more

Summer of 69: India’s top show in Asiad promises bright future

first_imgBy Amanpreet Singh Jakarta, Sep 2 (PTI) Achievements over the past two weeks, in the world’s second biggest multi-sport event, matched India’s aspirations and set the country on a road that appears far more promising than the path it has been on for decades. The best-ever medal haul at the 2018 Asian Games is a leap forward for India sport after the Commonwealth Games medal spurt. In pursuit for success in the sporting arena and creating a niche for itself, India never had it so good in the continental showpiece that is considered next only to the Olympic Games. Even as the medallists come back with a feeling of accomplishment from Jakarta and Palembang, the surge in podium finishes could trigger new passion for Olympic sports in a country so obsessed with cricket. From teenager Saurabh Chaudhary to 60-year-old Pranab Bardhan, an assortment of athletes combined to produce a top show even as the country endured shocking results in kabaddi and hockey. With 15 gold, 24 silver and 30 bronze, India’s medal tally stood at 69, a step up from Incheon four years ago when they won 65. India equalled the 15-gold tally of the 1951 inaugural Games but the country had never won 24 silvers before. Overall, India maintained its top-10 rank by finishing eighth yet again. Every multi-sporting event has witnessed controversies and it was no different this time too. However, once the action began, it was only the athletes and their performances that took centre stage. The track and field remained the most productive area for India as seven of the 15 gold came from the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium.advertisement It was the burly Tejinder Pal Singh Toor, who delivered the first athletics gold with a record-breaking throw of 20.75m and later 12-toed Swapna Barman entered the history books by becoming the country’s first heptathlete to grab a yellow metal at the Games. Dutee Chand returned to the track with a bang. Running as if there was no tomorrow, she ended up blazing the track for two silver medals, the one in 100m being India’s first in 20 years. If it was not for superior Africa-origin athletes, representing countries such as Qatar and Bahrain on track, India’s gold count would have been bigger. It was purely for this reason that Hima Das had to be content with a silver in the 200m as she ran alongside Nigerian-born Salwa Eid Naser. Neeraj Chopra expectedly achieved a super result by becoming the first Indian to win a gold in javelin throw and sprinters Manjit Singh and Jinson Johnson too changed a few statistics with their courageous show. India’s badminton queens Saina Nehwal and P V Sindhu continued to deliver the goods and ensured that the country’s 36-year-old wait for an individual medal ends. Sindhu’s silver and Saina’s bronze were among the highlights of India’s campaign along with the table tennis players’ two historic bronze in team events. Manika Batra was without doubt the biggest star of India’s CWG show at the Gold Coast but in Jakarta, winning two bronze in team events by competing against powerhouses like China and Japan is no mean feat. Batra, Sharath Kamal, G Sathian and Harmeet Desai deserve an applause for their effort. In Palembang, 16-year-old Chaudhary and 15-year old Shardul Vihan showed that India has no dearth of talent even as the other youngsters Manu Bhaker and Anish Bhanwala must be disappointed for not winning a medal. Saurabh was one of the two gold medallists along with Rani Sarnobat while Shardul won a silver. Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat performed as if they owned the mat, winning gold medals with sheer domination. But veteran Sushil Kumar and Salshi Malik suffered disappointments. While there were many moments to rejoice, India’s performance in kabaddi and hockey disappointed the fans. Bridge buddies Bardhan and Shibnath Dey Sarkar won gold in men’s pairs and urged fans to not equate their sport with gambling, saying it’s a game of intellect. A gritty Amit Panghal ensured that a medal — gold — came from the boxing arena too, the Army man swelling India’s tally with a stunning win over reigning Olympic champion on the last penultimate day of the competition. The recurve archers disappointed with their lacklustre show but their compound teammates made sure that the contingent does nor return empty-handed. In kabaddi, Iran jolted India twice by taking both and men’s and women’s top prize. It came as a rude shock as India went into the Games as the continent’s powerhouse, having all nine gold medals in the past.advertisement The men’s and women’s hockey teams being the top-ranked in Asia were also expected to stand on top of the podium but a silver and bronze was all they could manage. By scoring more than 70 goals in the pool games, India’s men’s hockey team looked unstoppable before they were halted by Malaysia. The defence choked in the crucial last two minutes and they eventually lost it in sudden death. The team took a bronze by beating Pakistan. The women’s team lost in the final to Japan, who claimed both the gold medals. The positives far outweigh the disappointments in few events, and the many firsts and many national records that were broken during the Games provide hope for a bright future. PTI AT AHlast_img read more

Inner-City Communities to Benefit from Launch of DYC Project

first_img Already, some eight communities have been earmarked to benefit from the project. Story Highlights The Executive Director pointed out that they will continue to encourage Jamaicans overseas who want to contribute to local community development. The DYC initiative seeks to leverage human and financial resources that are located in the Diaspora to strengthen the capacity and entrepreneural skills in a number of inner-city communities. Jamaica’s Diaspora movement will take another leap on October 17, with the launch of the Diaspora Youth Connect (DYC) Project, slated for the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), in Kingston.The Jamaica Diaspora Institute, the operating arm of the Jamaica Diaspora Foundation, is overseeing the DYC initiative, which seeks to leverage human and financial resources that are located in the  Diaspora to strengthen the capacity, the entrepreneurial and business management skills, community development skills, youth empowerment/mobilization skills, and Information Communication Technology (ICT)  skills in a number of inner-city communities.Already, some eight communities have been earmarked to benefit from the project – August Town, Trench Town, Mountain View, Flanker, Granville, Fletcher’s Land, Tower Hill and Parade Gardens. Volunteers have done asset mapping exercise, which sought to gather information on the assets of the communities that will benefit from the initiative.Speaking at a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) ‘Think Tank’,  on October 8, at the agency’s head office in Kingston, Executive Director of the Jamaica Diaspora Institute, Professor Neville Ying, outlined that the DYC has sought to forge sustainable partnerships with community-based and youth empowerment organizations within the eight selected communities.“We have laid the platform for a very exciting project going forward, and we want to maximize the use of partnerships that is very key to the success of the programme. We want to further test the models that we have come upon, and make sure that we refine them, so that they can be replicated to be used in a variety of communities across Jamaica,” he said.The Executive Director pointed out that they will continue to encourage Jamaicans overseas who want to contribute to local community development. “We see this as another important means of them supporting Jamaica. Once you have something that sounds meaningful and impactful, the Diaspora gets very excited, and want to help,” Mr. Ying added.Representatives from the Government officials,  several overseas agencies, as well as the two main partners, the PIOJ and Cuso International will participate in the launch.The DYC project was highlighted at the recently held 5th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference, in Montego Bay.last_img read more