The Sandy Lane Gold Cup is here
Minister Stephen Lashley, Sandy Lane Public Relations Manager, Risha Daniel and General Manager Randall Wilkie with the Gold Cup.
The coveted eight-carat Sandy Lane Gold Cup trophy came into Barbados via British Airways flight BA2155 and today it will be handed over to the winning rider, trainer and horse owner to share.
For the 22nd time, Sandy Lane is sponsoring the most prestigious sporting event in the island.
Receiving the Gold Cup on its arrival just less than a month ago, February 8, was an excited Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley; Sandy Lane General Manager, Randall Wilkie; Barbados Turf Club Director, Kevin Burke and; Sandy Lane Public Relations Manager, Risha Daniel.
Lucky horse racing fans had the opportunity to see the glittering cup on display at Cave Sheperd's Broad Street location.
Speaking to the press at the Grantley Adams Airport when he welcomed the Cup, Lashley expressed his excitement surrounding what he described as an event which puts Barbados on the international stage with live television audiences in the United States and Europe reaching millions of viewers.
"With the history of 37 years, the Sandy Lane Gold Cup is one of the longest running sporting events in Barbados. It is indeed an honour to have the Sandy Lane Hotel as the proud title sponsor of the premier event on the international horse racing calibre. This year 2018 marks Sandy Lane's twenty-second year of sponsorship of what has become one of the most anticipated race days, not only in Barbados but throughout the World.
"Therefore, it certainly helps to reposition Barbados on the international stage particularly when it comes to sports. It is very interesting to note that during the course of Sandy Lane's partnership with the Barbados Turf Club, the Gold Cup has become an event which has been beamed to live television audiences in the United States of America and in the UK of more than 300-million viewers."
Minister Lashley continued to describe the enthusiasm surrounding race day as "impressive", serving as an example that Barbadians really "identify" with the Sandy Lane Gold Cup.
"The excitement surrounding this impressive race day begins of course long before the actual day itself. It begins with so many discussions and arguments amongst the horse pundits as well as the average Barbadian on the street as to which horse will win the Sandy Lane Gold Cup, and of course, which will continue until well after the race has actually concluded. I believe that this attests to how strong Barbadians identify with this esteemed horse race."
Also speaking to the press was Sandy Lane's General Manager Randall Wilkie.
"As a proud Barbadian, I strongly believe it is a collaborative role of us all to promote our country in every regard and the Sandy Lane Barbados Gold Cup provides the opportunity to showcase our island through one of the premier events on the international horse racing calendar, especially in these challenging times.
"At Sandy Lane we have embraced this role and with our partnerships do all we can to enhance the tourism product of Barbados and increase visitor arrivals. The commitment to excellence by our team has resulted in Sandy Lane receiving for yet another year, the prestigious AAA Five Diamond Award and the Forbes Travel Guide 5 Star Award, with Sandy Lane ranked as the #1 hotel brand amongst all Forbes rated hotels in 2017 for the second consecutive year. Speaking of consecutive years, it has also been the second year in a row that Dorsett has kept the Gold Cup at home in Barbados fending off US entrants and we are eager to see who will take home the Cup this year!"
The gold cup was flown in via British Airways for the past 9 years and 13 years before that by the Barbados Concorde.
This year British Airways' Captain Richard Salmon and Nigel Blackett were given the special task.