Owner Ken Ramsey out to spoil Dorsett and Darryll Holland's party in Gold Cup
Preview: Barbados, Saturday
Garrison Savannah: Sandy Lane Barbados Gold Cup | Grade 1 local | 1m1f | 3yo+
Shining Copper, winner of the Grade 2 Ft Lauderdale Stakes at Gulfstream Park on turf in January, is hot favourite to provide Ken Ramsey, the prominent Kentucky-based owner/breeder, with a third victory in the 37th running of the Sandy Lane Barbados Gold Cup on Saturday.
Ramsey hopes the Michael Maker-trained eight-year-old, the mount of Rafael Hernandez, can follow in the footsteps of Major Marvel and Sayler’s Creek, winners of the eastern Caribbean’s richest and most prestigious race in 2014 and 2015.
Sir Dudley Digges, the mount of former Barbadian champion jockey Jalon Samuel, will also represent the Ramsey/Maker combination in the eight-runner field.
This five-year-old’s finest hour came when he triumphed in the 2016 Queen’s Plate, first leg of the Canadian Triple Crown at Woodbine.
Ramsey said: “Shining Copper is by far and away the best horse we have sent to Barbados for the Gold Cup.
"We have high aspirations for him later this year. He could even go to Hong Kong for the Champions Mile and to Royal Ascot for the Queen Anne Stakes."
He added: "Whatever happens in the Gold Cup, we’re going to have a great day. I simply love the atmosphere at Garrison Savannah. The pre-race parade is magic and the Barbadian racing community make us feel so welcome.”
Local hero seeks hat-trick
The American raiders will face a fierce rival in the shape of locally-trained Dorsett, under Darryll Holland. The eight-year-old will be seeking a Gold Cup hat-trick for trainer Robert Peirce, a former protege of the late Bill Marshall.
Peirce said: “Bill was the only trainer to capture three successive Gold Cups with the same horse, Blast Of Storm, and it would mean a lot to me to emulate the great man.
"I have never had Dorsett in such sparkling form as he is now and we have flown Darryll in especially for the ride.”
Members can read the latest exclusive interviews, news analysis and comment available from 6pm daily on racingpost.com