Both the Pick-9 and Super-6s start anew at Caymanas Park tomorrow, the Pick-9 offering a minimum payout of $1 million and the Super-6, $750,000 each.The Pick-9 will embrace races two to 10, the first Super-6 from race one to six, the second Super-6 from race five to 10.We look at the first Super-6 which commences with a 4-y-o and up restricted allowance race (non winners of three) over a mile, to be contested by eight starters.The field includes top contenders BALLON D’OR, to be ridden by champion jockey Shane Ellis for trainer Anthony Nunes and MIND SET, with top apprentice Linton Steadman riding for champion trainer Wayne DaCosta.Indications are that it will come down to these two. BALLON D’OR ran encouragingly behind stable-companion SOUTHERN CRUISE over a mile last Saturday, finishing just over two lengths third. However, three weeks prior to that, he could only manage sixth to DREAMCOMETRUE and MIND SET over 1,500 metres. Hence, MIND SET is given the edge at the revised weights.The speedy CLASSICAL TRAIN, who is coming off a recent course win, is tipped to repeat in the second race over the round five course with apprentice Jerome Innis riding him from the convenient mark of 50.0kg in race two. The Ryan Darby-trained 5-y-o mare looks the speediest in the 10-horse field and will prove hard to catch, despite the obvious claims of FABULOUSCONNECTION who finished a strong second at long odds to EL CLIENTE over 1200 metres last Saturday.The third race over the straight five course for three and four-year-olds should provide the speedy 3-y-o colt DREAMLINER with a decisive victory, following his failed attempt as the favourite behind SHINING LIGHT and BUBBLING KITTEN over 1100 metres on January 16.The small field of six has a competitive look about it with BUBBLING KITTEN returning and recent course winner DWAYNE STAR joining the fray as fit as hands can make him. But the Wayne DaCosta-trained DREAMLINER, who was numbered among the top two-year-olds of last season, should take some catching with four-time champion Omar Walker sticking with the ride.QUEEN OF THE TOWN, who has finished second in her last two races, gets the nod over HE’S A DIAMOND and DEPUTY HEADGIRL in the fourth race over 1200 metres for maiden five-year-olds and up. She has been knocking at the door and with Jevanne Erwin retaining the ride, the Donovan Plummer-trained QUEEN OF THE TOWN should make no mistake.The last two races in the first Super-6 should be won by AGAKHAN (Dane Nelson up), who truly enjoys galloping over the straight, and the well-forward Wayne DaCosta-trained first time runner MY WAY (working brilliantly) in the sixth race over 1200 metres for native bred maiden three-year-olds.FIRST SUPER-6 FANCIES(1) MIND SET/BALLON D’OR(2) CLASSICAL TRAIN(3) DREAMLINER/BUBBLING KITTEN(4) QUEEN OF THE TOWN(5) AGAKHAN(6) MY WAY/LORD EQUUS
KOLKATA, India (AP): Opener Tillakaratne Dilshan struck an unbeaten 83 to help Sri Lanka open their title defence by beating Afghanistan by six wickets in their World Twenty20 Group One game yesterday. Dilshan struck eight fours and three sixes off 56 balls to guide Sri Lanka to 155-4 in reply to Afghanistan’s 153-7. Dilshan and Dinesh Chandimal (18) combined to open with 41 off 5.2 overs, but Sri Lanka struggled to build big partnerships. Having won just four T20s and lost 10 since winning the World Twenty20 at Dhaka two years ago, Sri Lanka could have had a harder time, but Afghanistan conceded some easy runs with misfields. The match seemed poised for a closer end after an off-colour display by the Sri Lanka middle order, but captain Angelo Mathews joined Dilshan and they ensured a smooth ending with seven balls to spare. Mathews struck 21 not out off 10 balls with three fours and one six to give confidence to Dilshan during their unbroken 42-run stand. “They had some quality bowlers, but we managed well in the middle with twos and threes,” Dilshan said. “The senior guys need to stand up and do it for the team. The middle order can bat around us.” Earlier, Afghanistan captain Asghar Stanikzai produced an attractive 47-ball 62 with three fours and four sixes in what was his third T20 half-century and his highest in 33 games. Electing to bat, Afghanistan got off to a sedate start against a disciplined bowling attack and reached only 47-3 in 10 overs. Then Stanikzai broke the shackles. He increased the run rate in the company of Samiullah Shenwari (31) as they added 61 off 5.3 overs for the fifth wicket, with Shenwari striking three fours and two sixes in his 14-ball cameo. Stanikzai, who was dropped by Mathews off Nuwan Kulasekara on 44, hit two consecutive sixes off left-arm spinner Siriwardana over deep midwicket and long on. “The total was good, but Dilshan played really well,” Stanikzai said. “He took responsibility and played well. Our fielding wasn’t good, but we will try our best (in the tournament).” Pace bowler Thisara Perera (3-33) and left-arm spinner Rangana Herath (2-24) were the main wicket-takers for Sri Lanka. West Indies defeated England in the same group on Wednesday and South Africa are yet to get off the mark.