Princess Annie to slam rivals

first_imgAt first glance, the Wayne DaCosta-trained three-year-old filly LUANA appears to be a ready-made winner of tomorrow’s second race, the opening event of the Sunrise-6. LUANA won impressively in maiden company on May 26, while clocking 1:23.2 for 1300 metres, and in two subsequent races she was not disgraced behind My Super Girl over 1100 metres on June 2 and Super Sparkle on June 16. However, LUANA failed to complete a June 30 1200-metre race, which was won in a fast 1:10.4 by Hilly’s Halo, and has now been dropped to the lowly $180,000 claiming group. She has done very little on the exercise track since that last race, and it suggests that all is not well with the Casual Trick – Diamondntheruff offspring. SUPER-SELECTIONS The race-fit MR COOKIE is a better bet in this opening race. He has been competing against lesser company but advertised his fitness in his last two starts with strong performances behind LITTLE BIG HORN and PRINCESS CAULA. He finished second by 23 lengths to LITTLE BIG HORN, but the run was much better than the final placing suggests. He chased the winner, now campaigning in $550,000 claiming, for a long way behind splits of 48.1×1:13.1 and is the choice in a field where the majority of the horses have been running well below their best forms. BLOOD SONG, to be ridden by veteran jockey Shane Ellis, is a banker in Race Three for non-winners of two over 1700 metres. He finished fast behind Flowers Thirty in a 1400 metres race on Emancipation Day, and the four-year-old gelding should really appreciate the extra 300 metres. Race Four is a knotty 1000 metres round race for four-year-olds and upwards non-winners of three. ZI BEAST, AMAR, UNCLE FREDDIE, and TOUGH COOKIE have all been showing good form, but my selection is TOOT THE BLUES. The four-year-old filly is a more resolute galloper than all the aforementioned horses and should stay close to the expected pacesetter ZI BEAST before taking charge in the final 200 metres. PRINCESS ANNIE in the fifth for two-year-old maidens over 1000 metres round has classic potential written all over her and should win on a canter. The Wayne DaCosta-trained filly is a half brother to Future King, who won the 2015 Jamaica Two-year-old Stakes in 1:38.4. This filly has been working well and is even more fashionably bred than Future King. Her sire is Northern Giant, a horse who was 12th in the 2010 Preakness Stakes in the United States. The last two Sunrise-6 races should go to PARAJET (knocking at the door) and SUPER SPARKLE. 2. MR COOKIE 3. BLOOD SONG 4. TOOT THE BLUES 5. PRINCESS ANNIE 6. PARAJET 7. SUPER SPARKLE Better Betlast_img read more

Retooling for prosperity

first_imgA half-year ago, repeating the need for a governmental stimulus of the economy, we discussed in this space the latter’s evident choice between “guns and butter”. The phrase “guns or butter” entered the lexicon as a trope for signalling the tendency of some political leaders to focus their energies and their nation’s spending on the military (guns), rather than on the needs of the civilian population (butter). The Nazi-militarised Government was particularly fond of the phrase, as its officials scoffed at the production of “butter”. It entered economics as the classic model of a “production-possibility frontier” of a nation having to choose between two goods.At that time, President Granger announced a “five pillar” plan to reinvigorate the Defence Force versus his studied silence on a plan to stimulate the nose-diving economy. The five pillars of the plan were: personnel, infrastructure, equipment, readiness and morale. The rationale offered by the President for the increased military spending was the threat on our borders posed by Suriname on the east and Venezuela on the west. Yet, the then Chief of Staff of the Guyana Defence Force, Brigadier Mark Philips, had just assured the nation that our present forces were adequate to defend any threats from Venezuela, and had launched in Georgetown an impressive display of our military might.With the GDF then at about half its authorised strength, the plan to bring back the Force to its full capacity plus re-launch the atrophied reserve force which used to be called the People’s Militia and staff it with its full complement will obviously cause the wage bill to rise precipitously. When the equipment needs are factored in, the present annual spending on the entity, estimated at about $600M will have to be at least doubled.When the choice is between guns or butter, a country can end up in a no-win situation. After WWII, the Allied Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower became President of the USA, which had become the greatest power on the planet. Having to deal with that choice, he declared, “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its labourers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.”But the choice does not have to be “guns or butter”; it can be changed to “guns and butter”. While this newspaper is fully supportive of the need to revive and maintain a force that can adequately defend our borders, we have to be realistic to appreciate that even a weakened Venezuela, for instance, can deliver a much bigger bang with their bucks. It therefore becomes even more urgent for our Government to spend a commensurate amount of time to halt the slide of our economy and initiate policies that can create double-digit growth rates to push our surpluses. We would then be in a position to support a larger Defence Force without the strain that would be caused in the present strained circumstances.We note the recent acknowledgement of Finance Minister Winston Jordan of the need for a stimulus package to reverse the slide of the economy, but urge the Government – as we did six months ago – not to focus solely on the expenditure side of the balance sheet. Rather than criticising the business community for not taking risks, Government must use the panoply of tools at its disposal to reduce – or allow the business community to reduce – those risks.The liberalisation of the economy was not meant to be confined to the external trading regime only, but also to the internal investment environment. We repeat our call to the Government: “Work with the business community to collaborate on ways to generate more income for the country. In this way, we can have the safety of a prosperous populace protected by well-paid security personnel.”last_img read more

Where is the vision to lead our country forward?

first_imgDear Editor,Agriculture Minister Noel Holder’s unbelievably frank admission of ignorance made in the media on September 26, 2018, may have shocked many “…so they have now apparently secured some $30 billion bond, which the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) management has not seen, which the Agriculture Minister has not seen, and frankly speaking doesn’t really want to see” but not those who have been paying attention to the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) maladministration of our country.Editor, our nation expends enormous amounts of money and energy to elect an Executive President and his/her Administration; in 2015 we elected Head of State David Granger to serve in this Executive capacity, his first act was to establish a Ministry of the Presidency to handle all the Executive parts of his job. Granger undertook no sector of our economy, social aspect of life or other area as his personal responsibility, he created new Vice Presidents, new Ministries, new Ministers within old Ministries, new departments and chose to chair Cabinet without holding any portfolio.President Granger has effectively assigned himself the role of ‘ceremonial President”; he had tea with the Queen of England, attends heads of anything conferences and of late, is available to cut ribbons locally. The Head ofState also held his third annual press conference where it emerged that he had not read the ExxonMobil Production Sharing Agreement contract as of August 2018, he was “awaiting a briefing next month” – the single most important document to ever affect our nation since independence in 1966 and our President had not read it. Quo Vadis?Editor, the old adage of ‘actions have consequences’ is being borne out three years plus into this maladministration. Ministers ignorant of critical matters under their portfolio is the new norm; the action of hiring a crony to a top position and then hiring an expert to do the crony’s job has now duplicated itself at many Ministries and departments, most recently in the Department of Energy. How much longer can we, the taxpayers, carry this as our burden? This type of bureaucracy come with a hefty price tag, over 60 billion in new revenue collected by the GRA per annum and yet we cannot pay our teachers a much deserved increase in salary or our hard working GuySuCo employees their lawful severance.Editor, President Granger’s only meaningful actions have been his unilateral appointment of a chair for GECOM; his signing of the Cybercrime Bill of 2018 with clause 18.1 intact into law; his selective, costly and mostly unnecessary Commission of Inquiries (CoI); his refusal to hold a necessary CoI into the mysterious operation that led to the death of Guyana Defence Force Officer Pyle, as he chased People’s Progressive Party MP Charles Ramson Jr’s terrified wife through the streets of Georgetown and his policy suggestion that the ‘Carter Formula’ has outlived its usefulness and calling it a “recipe for disaster” – all of these actions point to a care for retention of political power.Editor, I must ask where is the vision to lead our country forward? Where are the policy documents, statements, speeches, indications?When asked about plans for GuySuCo, Minister Holder referred to a State paper presented in Parliament. Editor, this paper is long on rhetoric and bereft of detail, sadly it is a characteristic of all APNU/AFC Ministries and departments. This is no way to run a country.For I would much rather ‘Quo Vadis’ apply to comrade Granger than to our dear land of Guyana.Respectfully,Robin Singhlast_img read more