‘Chief’ set for long overdue win

first_imgFormer top-class campaigner COMMANDING CHIEF should score a long overdue win in today’s competitive looking overnight allowance race over 1300 metres to be contested by 13 starters at Caymanas Park.COMMANDING CHIEF last won the grade one Prime Minister’s Stakes in a titanic tussle with PERFECT NEIGHBOUR over 2000 metres on Independence Day 2014 (August 6), and although yet to win another race since, has run some useful races in defeat, even though sparingly raced.When he last competed, in open allowance company on January 23 for new trainer Spencer Chung, the eight-year-old gelding by War Marshall out of She Knows Beau ran a decent race behind the progressive filly LONG RUNNING TRAIN and CAMPESINO over a mile, finishing six lengths sixth after racing prominently in second entering the straight.Having worked well in preparation for today’s encounter and stepping down to overnight company in the process, COMMANDING CHIEF has a glorious chance of reliving past glories.MOST ACCOMPLISHEDHe is easily the most accomplished in the field, following big-race wins in the St Leger and Gold Cup when trained by Everal Francis, and with three-time champion jockey Dane Nelson sticking with the ride, the hint should be taken.Still, it won’t be a walk in the park for the veteran campaigner as he faces some very fit opponents in SHINING LIGHT, MIRACLE STAR, RED FLAG, EDISON and HOVER CRAFT, all ideally suited to the distance.The Wayne DaCosta-trained HOVER CRAFT (Omar Walker up) not only won in grade one company last season, but was second to FRANFIELD in last November’s Superstakes, and with 1300 metres not too sharp for him, is a worthy opponent. The same can be said of the Gary Griffiths-trained SHINING LIGHT, a recent winner who will love every inch of this race.However, COMMANDING CHIEF has never had it this easy in years and thus gets the vote.Other firm fancies on the 10-race programme are SUPERTRONICS (knocking at the door) to go one better in the second race; stable-companion BIG GEORGE to repeat in the third; GOLDEN GLORY in the sixth; down-in-class BOLD AVIATOR in race seven; and the speedy OPTIMUS to finally deliver in the eighth race for maiden four-year-olds and up over 1000 metres round.last_img read more

Troubling revelations

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake Federal law specifically allows for the president to act whenever he deems it necessary and allows up to 72 hours to get retroactive approval from a special court that rarely turns down administration requests. President George W. Bush acknowledged he approved of circumventing the court, and defended his conduct as the proper use of presidential power. He said the spying – which was periodically reviewed by a small circle of his aides – was a vital tool for national security and was only used on those with links to al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations. Bush may well be correct that the spying is necessary in the fight against terror, and even that it holds up to legal and constitutional scrutiny. But his explanation of why he didn’t follow well-established procedures is less than compelling. He has left himself and his administration open to criticism and fueled concerns raised by his opponents that the executive branch is overstepping its authority, brushing aside a system of checks and balances and undermining democracy itself. The Senate will soon hold hearings on the matter, and various aspects of the Bush administration’s conduct will be under attack. If more people become skeptical of the government’s intentions, then the war effort will be undermined. In the wake of the security-shattering terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, terrified Americans willingly, even gladly, conceded some of their privacy rights to help fight terrorism. Air travelers submitted to long lines and numerous inconveniences with little complaint. The people also, for the most part, supported the reallocation of billions of federal funds to fight domestic terrorism and backed the Patriot Act, which significantly increased the government’s ability to investigate – and prevent – terrorists from committing more atrocities on American soil. If that’s what it takes to keep the country safe, then so be it. But the revelations in recent days that the executive branch has been authorizing the National Security Agency to conduct secret wiretappings of Americans, sidestepping procedures set up expressly for the purpose of providing proper oversight, is unsettling. All this was unnecessary since there is every reasonable expectation that the activities authorized by the president could have been carried out within the boundaries of existing law. And if not, the American people and Congress surely would have backed any necessary changes in the law in the wake of 9-11. The government must have the tools to fight against terrorism. But it can’t be at the expense of our country’s fundamental values. By sidestepping the safeguards provided by the U.S. Constitution and federal law, the administration may have done more harm than good.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more