Former 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.
A reliable source in the UP standard bearer’s office has indicated that one of Vice President Joseph N. Boakai’s first priorities if elected in October will be to ensure that anyone who wants to serve in his government will have to relocate their family to Liberia, if he or she resides outside the country.At a political event recently organized by the ‘Friends of Augustine Ngafuan’ (FAN) in Monrovia, the VP said that his officials will be compelled to seek medical attention at home and their children will have to attend local schools.Additionally, when he became Unity Party’s standard bearer at its convention in Gbarnga, Bong County mid-last year, Vice President Boakai said he would make changes in the governance structure of the country.“This in essence means we have to provide the quality that everyone can use as a government. We have to ensure that the country’s services and infrastructure will have to be standardized and equipped for our people. If you cannot ensure these then you cannot serve our people,” the source in the VP’s office said.The source said that the VP plans to address several issues pertinent to the growth and development of the country, with the twin issues of outdated hospitals and a messy school system being two of the many issues he intends to straighten out if he is elected. The country’s health system, dilapidated prior to the Ebola outbreak, still lies in ruins. The school system, on the other hand, continues to be termed ‘a mess’ with students performing below expectations, though the government recently contracted a portion out to private companies through a partnership deal.Capital flight is an issue that many believe continues to undermine the economy of the country as millions of dollars are taken out of a country that already has a high impoverished population.A top executive of FAN, who recently endorsed the presidential bid of the VP, said the group’s decision to join forces with the VP is based upon his commitment to address some of these bottlenecks.Other issues such as the huge salaries of government officials and the purchase of expensive vehicles, according to FAN chairman Ernest Garnark Smith Jr., will also be addressed by the Boakai administration.He told this reporter in a conversation that, “We need money to develop our country and we can’t afford to see a few people enjoy state resources while the majority live in abject poverty. Addressing these national imbalances is why we joined the Boakai movement because we believe he has the passion and willpower to address these things that are serving as impediments to our growth as a country.“We must use our resources to develop our country and not to continue to enrich other countries that are highly developed already. Our officials’ children and families are living luxurious lives in those countries with our meager resources, and yet we expect for Liberia to develop? You must be joking. We don’t need expatriate officials anymore in this country.”Expatriate Liberian and other officials have overwhelmed the government and this is serving as a huge handicap to the country, many critics have said.These are measures that would gain the overwhelming endorsement of the Liberian people, and if well-articulated by the VP during this campaigning period, would lure thousands of Liberians to his camp—eventually landing him the presidency, according to Unity Party insiders.The soft spoken but sagely VP, many are predicting, will loosen his wings and make some hard decisions when he gets into the driver’s seat.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) VP Boakai – Advertisement –