High-profile owner Winston Kong was over the moon at Caymanas Park yesterday following his filly’s, SHE’S A MANEATER, fast-time win in the 26th running of the Front Runner-sponsored Thornbird Stakes (Guineas trial) over 1400 metres, now feeling pretty confident he can win the 1000 Guineas over a mile in April.Following the disappointment last Boxing Day when beaten for the first and only time by SOTOMAYOR in the Supreme Ventures Jamaica 2-Y-O Stakes over a mile, Kong said he is happy that ‘MANEATER’ has passed this important test to give 16-time champion trainer Wayne DaCosta one of four winners on the card, and reigning champion jockey Omar Walker one of three. Walker and DaCosta also teamed up to win the 26th running of the Prince Consort Stakes for colts and geldings with 4-5 favourite FEARLESS SAMURAI.GRAVE DOUBTSKong, who also bred SHE’S A MANEATER, said: “It wasn’t a case of her winning this race, but the manner in which she achieved the victory. She suffered interference early in the race and was badly placed after the first two furlongs, at which stage I had grave doubts that she could win. But she gradually recovered as Marlene My Love and Money Magnet alternated in the lead, showing me that she had the capacity to motor from off the pace.”She closed rapidly on the rails to overall Money Magnet in deep stretch for the victory.”This was a different side to her … She showed me she can fight and win, and this augurs well for the 1000 Guineas,” he explained. “In six outings, she has never lost to a filly and, knowing this, I feel confident she can win the Guineas and the Oaks in the coming weeks. Given her abundance of class, she could turn out to be good as her mother, Ahwhofah, who, though failing in her bid to win the 1000 Guineas in 2008, the year when Alsafra won the triple crown, distinguished herself in 2009 to be voted ‘Horse of the Year’. She was sired by Natural Selection and definitely has the pedigree to go far,” added the veteran owner.DaCosta was equally impressed by the filly’s performance. “She won in the pretty fast time of 1:25.1 and, in light of this performance, I can say I am super confident about her chances in the Guineas in another three weeks”, said the Hall of Fame trainer who has saddled over 2,000 winners in a long and distinguished career.His other winners on the 11-race programme were the Walker-ridden LITTLE BIG HORN (owned jointly by Kong) at 5-2 in the third race over the straight, the lightly-raced PAPER CHASER at 4-1 with Jevanne Erwin aboard in the sixth, and FEARLESS SAMURAI, a 4-5 favourite with Walker riding for owner Elizabeth DaCosta in the Prince Consort Stakes, a race he won by three lengths from long-time leader WESTERN WARRIOR in a time of 1:26.0.Meanwhile, 29-year-old Nigel Burke, who started training five months ago, saddled his first winner, BRUCE WAYNE (6-1), in the seventh race over 1820 metres for maiden three-year-olds. Burke is the grandson of late Hall of Fame trainer Nigel Nunes and the nephew of topline trainer Anthony ‘Baba’ Nunes.
Flanked by Bruno Leclerc (left) and France Ambassador Terrence Wills, Liberia’s Finance Minister Tweah signs the €5 million financing agreement. The Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Samuel D. Tweah, Jr., on behalf of the Government of Liberia (GoL) and French Ambassador Terrence Wills, along with the Director of the French Development Agency, Bruno Leclerc, both representing the French Government, have signed a €5 million financing agreement that will provide budget support to Liberia.According to a Finance Ministry release, the grant agreement follows the visit of President George M. Weah to France in February this year, when President Weah and President Macron discussed enhancing bilateral relations, particularly in development cooperation and areas of trade.Speaking during the signing ceremony at the Finance Ministry on Tuesday, July 24, the French Ambassador described the February visit of President Weah to Paris, which has led to the signing of the financing agreement as a successful one.Ambassador Wills also disclosed that as part of the French government’s commitment made to President Weah, the French Development Agency will furthermore extend in the coming months its support to youth employment through a €5 million grant by the end of this year and an additional €5 million in 2019.He lauded what he described as a very good collaboration between the French Development Agency and the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, which fast-tracked the process, thereby enabling the signing of the agreement only in five months after President Weah’s visit to France.The French Ambassador then disclosed that also arising out of the discussions between President Weah and President Macron during the visit earlier this year was that Liberia will be considered a “priority partner” as the French government was committed to supporting Liberia’s development efforts.Finance and Development Planning Minister, Hon. Samuel D. Tweah, Jr., conveyed on behalf of President Weah profound gratitude to President Macron and the French government for the grant and assurance of increased support while also describing France as an important player in global affairs.Minister Tweah thanked the French Ambassador for acknowledging that Liberia was faced with enormous macroeconomic challenges, owing to several factors, including the lack of diversification in the economy which has heightened under the collapse of commodity prices. He however assured that the government of President Weah was very determined to address these issues by diversifying the economy and strengthening the private sector as the ultimate engine of productivity and job creation.He said that while government is moving arduously to address the private sector transformation, the budget support by the French and other partners provide much needed short-term critical interventions to make up for the shortfalls in the macro economy.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)