The 41st Sandy Lane Gold Cup was arguably the best attended with huge crowds, especially inside the perimeter with a plethora of stalls, refreshments, music and an innovative Village culture for locals and visitors. This is the second year for the Gold Cup Village, situated next to the Barbados Rugby Club. This exclusive venue promised luxury and the best time at the races and it delivered! Bubbles, tasty food, betting facilities, top music, security, air con bathrooms and right next to the track combined with a great atmosphere to make the Gold Cup Village a hit. Don’t miss it next year!
The Gold Cup race proved to be exceptional with jockeys Antonio Bishop (Portfolio Company) and Rasheed Hughes (Cash Equity) vying right to the finish line. Bishop won by a head and a victory for Mrs. Gay Smith, the fourth  Gold Cup for the Smith stable. Third was Pat’s Sewing Machine and fifth was also from Smith’s stablemate Jerry the Nipper, the hot favourite at 4/5. It was a huge disappointment for thousands of punters as iconic Pat Husbands was in the saddle, but he was well behind in the final furlongs. Pat later said there was nothing left in the tank!
The winner was trained by Edward Walcott and the breeder was Kenneth and Sarah Ramsay. The Ramseys had two horses in the race but had to settle for second place after Bishop’s epic run in the final stages. This was the second time Bishop has won the Gold Cup, having won it in 2011 on Zoom after the winner was disqualified.
There were ten races and although the day started at 1pm the Gold Cup started at 6-30 and there were two races after. Thank goodness the Barbados Turf Club had the vision to install floodlighting as the festivities continued well into the night.
The Sandy Lane Gold Cup race is now an integral part of Barbados sport. Coverage on racing features all over the world and thousands of visitors now include it in their itinerary on the island. It’s a Who’s Who of celebs and personalities including Her Excellency, the Most Honourable Dame Sandra Mason, Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Ian Gooding-Edghill, business icons Ralph ‘Bizzy’ Williams, Barbados Turf Club President Sir David Seale, legendary former jockey Challenor ‘Chally’ Jones, bodybuilding champion Stevenson Belle, windsurfer champion Brian ‘Irie man’ Talma, former West Indies cricketers  Sir Wesley, Hall, Sir Charles Griffith, Robin Bynoe, Tino Best and current all-rounder Jason Holder.
Racing dates back to 1845 thanks to the work from the British army whose engineers drained the swamplands and transformed  the Garrison Savannah so that today everyone can enjoy racing, rugby, football, basketball, kiting, jogging, running, army activities and ceremonial functions. Sir Garfield Sobers was knighted at the Garrison in 1966 by her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.