IT’S holiday racing at Caymanas Park today, with the well-supported nine-race programme featuring the Ash Wednesday Trophy over 1300 metres to be contested by 14 starters.Also on the card is the annual renewal of the $250,000 – $210,000 claiming race over 1200 metres for the Clifford Stewart Memorial Cup. Twelve horses have been declared, including top contenders BARS OF GOLD, CHEERS, ROYAL GIRL, MONEY MOVE and LIGHT BRIGADE, who bids for his fourth consecutive win and could well start favourite.The main focus, however, is on the Ash Wednesday Trophy, which should see the likes of CHACE THE GREAT, PROLIFIC PRINCESS, UNCLE TAF, TALENTED TONY K, down-in-class UPPA TUNE and champion two-year-old SOTOMAYOR making his seasonal debut in preparation for the April 8 2000 Guineas, for which he is the winter book favourite.All of the above should ensure a competitive race, especially with much speed present in TALENTED TONY K, UPPA TUNE and CHACE THE GREAT.I am expecting the Dwight Chen-trained 4-y-o colt CHACE THE GREAT to prove strongest entering the straight from his convenient mark of 53.0kg and former champion jockey Wesley Henry aboard.START FAVOURITEOver this trip, the speedy son of Greatness – Our Miss Ruth should not only start favourite, but justify the support in much the same way he did when notching his last win over the distance on September 25, slamming BERRANCA and BLUE DIXIE in the fairly good time of 1:18.2.Since then, CHACE THE GREAT has run some useful races for the most part. True, he was installed a howling 1-2 favourite to win over the straight-five course on February 11, but could only manage fourth, beaten 13/4 lengths by the much-improved KING D. He was badly drawn on the far side that day, however, and was not really disgraced considering that he drifted out badly after coming on to the main track.Having trained well and the distance now ideal, CHACE THE GREAT should stave off the late-closing grey colt SOTOMAYOR, who will not find the distance too short after winning his last race over a mile, the $4.25-million SVL Jamaica 2-Y-O Stakes, on Boxing Day. CHACE THE GREAT, however, appears that much fitter and is tipped to resume winning ways.BARS OF GOLD, who won decisively over 1200 metres last time out, should give his in-form trainer Gregory Forsyth and jockey Jevanne Erwin yet another winner in the Clifford Stewart Memorial Cup, while other firm fancies are FRANKENSTORM in the opening race over the straight, FEARLESS SAMURAI in the third, and BIG BLACK NATION to stave off PROUD PRESIDENT and FLYING MACHINE in the closing race over 1300 metres.
Election reform public messaging begins in Grand KruBy Shardrick TarwilyThe Center for Media Studies in Liberia (CMSL) brought “good news” to the people of Grand Kru County.The civil society organization on August 15, 2019 began placing billboards in the capital city as part of ongoing nationwide efforts to promote election reform.According to Project Officer Dixon Williams, his organization is invested in CLEAR (Citizens of Liberia Engaged to Advance Electoral Reform) public outreach activities. Billboards are some of the best ways to translate the messages of electoral reform. They visually portray a public agenda in a way that is easily accessible and understandable by more people. As he describes it, the billboards erected in Grand Kru and other parts of Liberia are an effective method to reach the country, spread the news on the campaign for electoral reform, and get people talking.The billboards feature key reform messages such as “Stay out of the rain!”, “Vote in dry Season”, a reflection of one reform proposal to amend the constitution such that elections are rescheduled from October to a new date in dry season. This and other proposed constitutional amendments would mean a vote of the people, or a referendum. Additional reform agenda items to be feature include reducing the tenure or time in office of elected officials, and a special, independent court for election grievances or complaints.The first billboard was constructed in the county administrative seat of Barclayville, at an intersection leading to City Hall and the administration building. The board is well placed, at a location opposite a motorcyclists parking station and a commercial center, where it is sure to capture attention. According to Williams, additional billboards will be erected in three cities of Grand Kru.Barclayville Mayor Benetor Blamo expressed confidence that this public outreach will be instrumental in connecting with “the average Liberian” regarding the ongoing electoral reform campaign, and likely upcoming vote on changes to Liberia’s constitutional electoral laws.She described the regional dialogue conducted by the National Election Commission as another effective way to ensure the involvement of all sectors of society in the discussions of the elections law. That event concluded July 11, with nearly one hundred representatives from the southeastern counties — civil society, local and county authorities, youth and women leaders, people with special needs or disabilities, and the media — coming together to have a closer look at electoral reform.Mayor Blamo said the regional consult afforded regional leaders greater insight into provisions of the laws, reform recommendations, and proposed next steps. The NEC used the opportunity to interpret relevant legal statutes and regulations, and presented a comprehensive report.As Mayor of a key southeastern city, she also made the most of the opportunity, and her platform. “I think the dialogue was fruitful. I personally had the opportunity to raise some strategic issues about women. Especially when it comes to women being more involved in election activities in our city.”“You are aware not too many women around here are encouraged to take part in election processes. So I recommended that, moving forward, there must be targeted lawmaking and activities to encourage more women in the electoral processes of Liberia.”Mayor Blamo is the first woman to become Mayor of Barclayville City since Grand Kru gained county status in 1984.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)