More than just glory up for grabs in finale
Silverware, prize money and bragging rights will be up for grabs during the season-ending Bermuda Worldwide Shipping Champion of Champions harness races at the Bermuda Equestrian Centre this weekend.
Nine of the island’s fastest racing ponies will battle it out for the spoils on offer as the 2018-19 campaign draws to an exciting close.
The field includes Google Me (Tyler Lopes), Simsfield Hardtimes (Simsfield Stable), Cherokee’s Ironman (Arnold Manders), Custard The Dragon (Andy Stoneham), Reel Patrol (J. & A. Peniston), Pocket De Gold (Tanglewood Stables), Itsallaboutme (Graceland Stables), Inwood’s Realist (Inwood Stables) and Thisbabyrocks (Tanglewood Stables).
“I’m expecting very fast times and it’s going to be close,” Charles Whited Jr, the Driving Horse and Pony Club president, said. “There are no clear favourites and everyone that has entered has every chance of walking away with that trophy and winner’s purse.
“The sponsorship has been filled, and so it will be a very good purse.”
Geldings War Machine and Gold n Glory, the fastest two ponies this season, are not among the Champion of Champions field.
War Machine, owned by Random Stables, set a new overall track and gelding’s record (1:01/2) and was crowned overall winner of the Boxing Day stakes races before sitting out the remainder of the season to avoid aggravating a pre-existing injury.
Gold n Glory, owned by Whited, broke his own three-year-old record after posting a 1:01/3 before also sitting out the remainder of the season.
“It’s always a bonus when they are there,” Whited said. “But things happen throughout the course of the season where horses pick up injuries, etc, and that’s horse racing.”
Champion of Champions qualifying races will be held today with the four fastest ponies on average time advancing through to tomorrow’s Final Dash.
The draw to determine track positions for today’s qualifying races was scheduled to take place at last night’s Calcutta Dinner at Vasco da Gama Club with another draw to be held during the driver’s meeting prior to tomorrow’s Final Dash.
“A lot of it will boil down to luck of the draw for post position, and that’s what makes it even more fun,” Whited said.
Regular time bar races will be held alongside the Champion of Champions races. Racing commence over both days at 1pm.