The open allowance race for the St Catherine Cup takes the spotlight at Caymanas Park today with six to face the starter over 1100 metres.Two of the top emerging sprinters of the past year POKER STAR and CAMPESINO first and second, respectively in the Glen Mills Caribbean Sprint Championship over 1200 metres on November 14 will clash again.The Wayne DaCosta-trained POKER STAR turned in a superlative performance to beat CAMPESINO by three lengths that day, covering the distance in the smart time of 1:11.0 behind splits of 22.3 and 45.1 for the half mile.POKER STAR, with Robert Halledeen again in the saddle, shoulders topweight of 57.0kg and renews rivalry on 3.0kg worse terms with the Philip Feanny-trained CAMPESINO under newly crowned champion jockey Shane Ellis, but this will not deter him.Both have looked razor sharp at exercise coming into this race although CAMPESINO will prove a lot tougher, following his close second to PHINEAS over 1400 metres in the fast-run Gladiator Trophy on December 19. POKER STAR, however, ought to be followed as he’s a class act.With greater scope for improvement, the 4-y-o son of Liquidity – Buyabook – gets the nod over the Feanny pair of CAMPESINO and the speedy BUZZ NIGHTMARE, who was also beaten in the Caribbean Sprint.Other firm fancies on the card are PROUD PRESIDENT (Ellis up) to go one better in the second race for native-bred three-year-olds, BIG GEORGE to rebound under four-time champion jockey Omar Walker in the third over 1200 metres, as well as DI COBRE to repeat ahead of ROCKETEER in the seventh, SMOKIN PRINCESS in the eighth over 1300 metres and improving EAZY STEPPING to win the closing race over 1300 metres for five-year-olds and up.
MUMBAI, India (CMC):India plan to specifically target explosive opener Chris Gayle in today’s semi-final of the Twenty20 World Cup, team director Ravi Shastri said yesterday.”Bring it on. All our bowlers will target him,” Shastri warned.”I have said this at the beginning. They are probably one of the most dangerous sides in this format,” Shastri said.The left-handed Gayle heads a list of big-hitters in the West Indies side, with the likes of Marlon Samuels, Andre Russell, captain Darren Sammy and Dwayne Bravo all capable of match-winning innings.”They have got explosive players, match-winners. We know what we are up against and we are up and ready as well. This is not a knockout game for us. The knockout was the last game. That was the quarter-final. This is the semi-final.”I still believe we have played only 70 per cent to our abilities in this tournament. There are still areas where we can improve. Let’s hope it happens tomorrow,” said Shastri.”In a semi-final you got to get your ‘A’ game in. You can’t depend on one or two players, you need six, seven players to step up to the plate. It has not happened so far in this tournament. Let’s hope it happens.”