THE Metropolitan Association of Race Horse Owners announced that its 20th MARHO Championships racing festival will be held on Nov. 7 and 8 at the Philippine Racing Club’s Santa Ana Park in Naic, Cavite.
The now-iconic event founded by the organization in 1996 has become an annual tradition eagerly awaited by participants and fans for its hefty purses, prestigious awards, and interesting races.
Formerly having six championship races—the Classic, 3YO Colt Mile, 3YO Filly Mile, Juvenile Colts, Juvenile Fillies, and Sprint—this year’s edition, dubbed MARHO Platinum, has been streamlined to showcase four major races.
These are the MARHO-San Miguel Beer Classic for horses 4YO and older, the MARHO-Philippine Racing Commission 3YO Colt and Filly Mile, the MARHO-Santa Ana Park Juvenile Colts and Fillies, and the MARHO-Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office Sprint.
In other words, the 3YO and 2YO races, formerly segregated as to sex, will now be merged in order for MARHO to provide higher prizes and to ensure larger fields for the races to make them more exciting.
MARHO President Antonio De Ubago Jr. said that a compelling reason for the MARHO Board’s decision to stage the event at Santa Ana Park this year was because it is the venue for the Philippine Racing Commission’s Ambassador Eduardo Cojuangco Jr. Cup, nicknamed the ECJ Cup.
Cojuangco founded both MARHO and PHilracom in 1974.
“It is only fitting,” said de Ubago, “that we hold the MARHO Platinum racing festival on these dates and at this track so that we may also honor our founder, more so because this year marks the 20th anniversary of our racing festival.”
The event was launched two decades ago as a platform to encourage and reward horseowners and breeders of local-bred horses.
Since then, it has become the arena of champions and is deemed the most prestigious of the major racing festivals, also serving as a model to other organizations that later put up similar events.
In addition to the four MARHO championship races and the Philracom ECJ Cup to be held on Nov. 8, that weekend will also showcase 18 trophy races. Among the trophy race sponsors are ESICOR, Hideaway Farm, Jade Bros. Farm, Ciara Marie Foundation, and Andok’s.
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PCSO will be staging a 2YO Open maiden race on Sep. 26 at Santa Ana Park. The trial race was held Sep. 11 and won by lawyer Narciso Morales’s filly Hotdog, followed in order by Rocking Hill, Sky Dancer, Bowties and Charms, Bainbridge, Gintong Yaman, Sharp Return, Constantinople.
With these being juvenile runners still honing their skills, it’s anybody’s race, and that’s what makes 2YO events interesting.
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