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Princess Ella headlines PCSO Derby

Multiple stakes winner Princess Ella leads the lineup of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office National Grand Derby on Aug. 16, Sunday, at the Philippine Racing Club’s Santa Ana Park in Naic, Cavite.

The mile race is open to 3YO who were runners as 2YO in PCSO Maiden races of 2014. Headlining the field of six is Princess Ella, who won the June 13 Philippine Racing Commission Hopeful stakes race also at Santa Ana Park.

Princess Ella, owned by SC Stockfarm, will be paired with regular rider Val Dilema. SC Stockfarm’s coupled entry Rockmyworld will be steered by John Paul Guce. They are competing against Joseph Dyhengco’s Sky Hook, the lone colt in this race (with jockey Pat Dilema), Felipe Vergara’s Driven (Kelvin Abobo), Aurora Sevilla’s Epic (Lester  de Jesus), and Bingson Tecson’s Princess Meili (Fernando Raquel Jr).

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Also on Aug. 16 is a race in honor of the late George Y. Stribling, who founded the Philippine Jockeys Academy.

The New Philippine Jockeys Association, headed by its president Gilbert L. Francisco, requested the Philracom for support. The agency provided P500,000 for the first to fourth placers of the race open to 3YO horses that have not placed in any Philracom or PCSO stakes race.

Stribling was a revered member of the racing community. A jockey and a trainer in his native United States, he came to Manila in the early ‘80s for a vacation and never took a flight back. He made the Philippines his second home, and carved a place for himself as a racing consultant to the industry and mentor to the jockeys.

The Academy offers a two-year apprentice course for riders. High school graduates meeting the physical requirements are guided in riding techniques and principles. Those who successfully complete the training go on to ride professionally, losing their bugboy status after a racking up a certain number of wins.

Stribling, who died in 2012, was instrumental in enhancing the skills of the present generation of jockeys, and was proud of those who found work as professional jockeys and exercise riders in Japan, the Middle East, and North America.

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Nominations for the fifth leg of the Philracom Import/Local Challenge took place yesterday, with entries being accepted up to 5pm, way after presstime. I’ll release the lineup in my column next week. The 2,000-meter race is set for Aug. 23 at the Metroturf racecourse in Malvar, Batangas. 


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