Yesterday I talked about the track clinic that I just attended in Indianapolis. Some of you will remember Jon Saner who ran hurdles for me while attending Batesville High School. Jon, of course, was not blind but had very limited vision. Everyone was amazed that Jon picked hurdles as his event. I did not suggest Jon try hurdles. However, I mentioned before one practice that I needed a volunteer to try hurdles and Jon was the first in line. Not only did he volunteer to do this difficult event, but he excelled in it with that limited sight.At the conference, Purdue University’s field event coach, Chris Huffins, talked about his totally sightless female pole vaulter. He emphasized several times that the only thing she sees is dark. The amazing thing is that she is not only doing this event, but she has more than adequate ability. When most people close their eyes and try to walk they have trouble with balance. This young lady goes down the runway on her own at top speed, finds the box, and vaults. Amazing!
(1) BERRANCA/POLLY B (2) SONADOR EXPRESSS /IDON’TKNOW (3) AGAKHAN/PIZARRO (4) LEGAL ARENA /TWILIGHT CITIZEN (5) RAISING THE BAR /GOLD MEMBER (6) RUNAWAY GIRL/KING D Both Super-6s start anew on tomorrow’s Win Dem Wheelz Grooms’ Appreciation Day 11-race programme at Caymanas Park, the first of these commencing in the first race over 1300 metres, where the recent winner, BERRANCA, and POLLY B should have a battle royal for top honours in a field of eight. POLLY B, who has been knocking a the door in recent weeks, boasts superior speed and will, no doubt, set off in front with ZUGULU and RALLY BABY in hot pursuit. But the Anthony Nunes-trained filly BERRANCA won’t be far away and, coming off a recent fast-time win with top apprentice Linton Steadman again in the saddle, should catch and beat POLLY B from the convenient mark of 51.0kg. The second race over 1600 metres for maiden four-year-olds and up looks tailored for the lightly raced SANADOR EXPRESS, with the improving 4.0kg claiming apprentice Andre Powell aboard. Trained by Clifford Atkinson Jr, the 4-y-o filly by Camadon out of Fireontheocean caught the eye on her debut last Saturday, finishing two lengths third (staying on) to PRINCESS STATISTIC over 1200 metres, despite being slowly into stride. Now better for the experience and a mile more suitable, SONADOR EXPRESS should win from MR TOPPER TOP MAN and IDON’TKNOW in a field of 10. AGAKHAN, with smart apprentice Bebeto Harvey in the saddle, should be rewarded for his consistency in the third race for $450,000 – $400,000 claimers over 1100 metres. The trip is ideal in a small field of seven. PIZARRO and the speedy GAGA LADY are twin dangers. The improving LEGAL ARENA won by all of 10 lengths in maiden company last Saturday and is tipped to repeat in the fourth race over 1300 metres for non-winners of two. Champion jockey Shane Ellis has retained the ride aboard LEGAL ARENA, who should lead home stable-companions TRADITIONAL STORM and TWILIGHT CITIZEN. The last two races in the first Super-6 should be won by the fleet-footed RAISING THE BAR (Halledeen up) and RUNAWAY GIRL under title chasing jockey Omar Walker. Their respective dangers are GOLD MEMBER in the fifth over the straight and KING D in the sixth. FIRST SUPER-6 FANCIES
Veteran all-rounder Azhar Mahmood grabbed five wickets and struck a blistering half-century as Auckland Aces thrashed Hampshire by 8 wickets to qualify for the main draw of the Champions League Twenty20 tournament here today.Mahmood made inroads into the Hampshire top-order as Auckland bundled out the English county team for a modest 121 in the stipulated 20 overs.Mahmood then smashed an unbeaten 31-ball-55 to steer his side to a comfortable win with 33 balls to spare. The Pakistan discard hit five sixes and four boundaries during his innings.Mahmood, who is now a British passport holder, ripped apart the Hampshire top-order when he removed James Vince (11) and Jimmy Adams (0) in a space of four balls.Auckland thus became the first team to qualify for the main draw of the tournament that starts Saturday. The New Zealand T20 champions have won both their qualifying matches, having beaten Sialkot Stallions in the first game on Tuesday.Two teams — one each from Pool 1 and 2 of the qualifying rounds — will join the other eight teams in the main competition.The result of today’s match means the final game of Pool 1 between Sialkot Stallions and Hampshire has been reduced to a dead rubber, with both teams already out contention.