Three gems for Diamond Day

first_imgToday is a massive raceday at Caymanas Park. Millions of dollars are up for grabs – for trainers, owners and other stakeholders at the track.Punters will not want to be left out. Many will be seeking their ‘Christmas money’. With so much at stake, there will be surprises and several ‘value bets’ will be lurking under the radar.Here are three which we think will be worth your while and may even ensure a merry Christmas, 20 days before the big day.Race 1CRUCIAL VALOR: This Carl Anderson-trained three-year-old gelding ran his best race on October 31 when finishing four lengths behind recent upset winner SIR BUDGET over 1000 metres straight.That race appears to have been just a warm-up for today’s big day. On Wednesday, CRUCIAL VALOR showed he is in fine condition by beating stable companion TWILIGHT CITIZEN by a length (35.4 to 36.0) at exercise. TWILIGHT CITIZEN, on September 12, slammed maidens by six lengths and with just 51kg on his back CRUCIAL VALOR is the one to be on in the day’s opener at 10:10 a.m.Race 4BLACK BOY: AWESOME CAT is all the rage in the fourth race, but BLACK BOY will be tough. The latter got off the mark over today’s distance on June 13 and was a winner less than a month later going 1400 metres. He has found the going tough among non-winners of three but today’s distance is just what the doctor ordered.Main rival, AWESOME CAT, was slammed by 13 lengths by SPORTING CLAY on October 31. On November 7, BLACK BOY was just seven lengths behind SPORTING CLAY and with a clear run today should reward backers at a good price.RACE 14CLASSICAL TRAIN: This is the one to be on in the last race. Forget her last two runs in the higher claiming group. The last time she was this low, and over this same distance, she won by a city block behind splits of 23.2×46.3. Nothing in this race can go that fast. Jockey Robert Halledeen rides the highly fancied PERFECT NEIGHBOUR in the Diamond Mile (Race 13) and he should be celebrating a fine double.last_img read more

Worried about sovereign wealth fund management

first_imgDear Editor,Minister of Natural Resources, Raphael Trotman, announced last December that the details of Guyana’s proposed Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) could be released to the public as early as the first quarter of 2018; and as we get closer to the date of disclosure, I am deeply concerned that the details will be poorly designed and badly managed if left in the hands of politicians and their ‘Pet Pigeons.’Although I love my country dearly, it is an undeniable fact that it is a dangerously corrupt nation. My biggest fear is that the political corruption that has plagued Guyana for decades since Independence will infect the SWF and turn it into the biggest corruption scandal in the history of Guyana and maybe the world.Friends and families, I am not being emotional or exaggerating. The proposed SWF will be a vast reservoir of oil revenue, and this will definitely fatten the eyes of every corrupt politician and official. Even those who are not yet corrupt will be exposed to enormous temptation. I wonder how many would be unable to resist. There is an old saying: “the real reason for locks on doors is not to keep thieves out, but to stop honest persons from becoming thieves”. We need to bear that saying in mind when setting up Guyana’s Sovereign Wealth Fund.As a businessman, I see several weaknesses when I look at what undermined these failed or failing SWFs across the world. That is why I urge my fellow citizens to join me in calling on the Government to depoliticize Guyana’s Sovereign Wealth Fund and take its design, implementation and monitoring out of the hands of politicians and put it in the hands of an independent body approved by the citizens of the nation, as well as international anti-corruption agencies. We have to put powerful transparency and accountability mechanisms in place to protect the SWF from being subject to wrongdoing and poor investments. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is urging Guyana to put systems in place to ensure that the fund is not abused. These are my suggestions:1. Members of the SWF Board must not be appointed directly by Government, because this usually results in political favouritism, incompetence, inefficiency and slack oversight. The Board must comprise competent, independent professionals drawn from civic society, or even accomplished professionals from Caricom or elsewhere, to ensure that it is professionally-managed by accountable officials and is managed according to transparent policies.The board can comprise representatives from the private sector; the Chamber of Commerce; an Indo-centric and Afro- centric voted leader; a member from the Inter Religious Organisation of Guyana; a leader of the Universal Peace Federation of Guyana; a representative of Transparency International, and Mr. Christopher Ram. Trust me, the level of accountability will be tremendous. But professional politicians will bawl “Is we time now!!”2. The roles and responsibilities of the Board must be clearly defined and made public.3. There must be clear rules governing domestic/external investment, and these must be made public. Specifically, the Sovereign Wealth Fund must be protected from abuse by diverting funds to currency stabilization, or to do damage control for bad public spending or any political reason.4. There must be a national public information and civic education campaign, so ordinary citizens can understand objectives, checks and balances, and benefits of the SWF.5. There must be clear and harsh penalties for wrongdoing, and a suitable time frame for prosecution must be clearly defined. For example: life imprisonment or death for pilfering with the fund.6. The SWF Board must be made accountable to Parliament, auditors and the media, and the details of this accountability must be clearly defined and made public.I am making these suggestions now because I am worried about Finance Minister Winston Jordan’s implication at a press conference that the Government’s preliminary legislation is being patterned on Uganda’s legislation. Uganda is thought of as a corrupt nation by Transparency International ( To me, Guyana’s SWF cannot succeed without public confidence, and this will not be achieved by modelling it on the SWF of a corrupt nation. That is not the way to go. Our SWF can help generate long-term economic benefits, but it must be well-planned and well-managed.I hope my letter makes other citizens think about what important conditions they would like to see in the SWF in order to produce the intended results. I know politicians as career ones, and dishonest public officials will not appreciate my views and look to hurt me economically or by hiring professional bloggers to defame me, as was done when I led the original protests against VAT on education, which aroused others and was successful, albeit slowly. Parents and students benefit today.People of Guyana, we hire political leaders. They are our servants and are paid handsomely; let them fulfil our needs and our wishes as the people. On the other hand, I encourage this Government which took the seat of power recently after 23 years: Cherish the victory!!! Serve the people well!! Do not think that the people will ever be gullible to politicians ever again (maybe a few). So create history, consult your people at all levels without political or racial rhetoric, and lead as a well-defined Government that we as Guyanese can honour and be proud of for many, many decades.As a patriot, I only want what is for the good of Guyana and for all Guyanese. To those in political control and their henchmen, The Lord my God is my Watcher………Karma!!!!!Sincerely,Roshan Khan Snr,National Patriotlast_img read more

Cross country teams aim for regionals

first_imgCollege of the Canyons’ men’s and women’s cross country teams gave strong performances Tuesday at the Western State Conference Championships at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria, and both teams likely will compete – along with four individuals – at the Southern California regional championships. The women’s team’s top runner, Jessica Gomez, finished second, covering the 5K course in 19 minutes, 30 seconds and winning first-team All-WSC honors. “I think I ran pretty smart,” the Cal State Northridge-bound Gomez said. “I kept my position on that last mile.” Said coach Belinda Kane: “Coming out of our last home meet, I was really impressed with her. She ran flat there, but she came back on this course.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week The women’s team finished eighth out of 11 teams, which normally would be enough to qualify for the postseason. With one conference team not participating, the WSC received only seven automatic berths, and the Cougars must wait for an at-large bid. “I’m 99.9 percent sure we’ll get the bid,” Kane said. “We’re the first team in consideration.” Jana Peterova was the women’s team’s No. 2 runner, finishing 18th (21:04) to qualify for the SoCal meet and claim All-WSC honorable mention. The men’s team qualified with an eighth-place finish. It was led by J.J. Getskow, who missed the season’s first two races because of injury. Getskow was 19th, finishing the 8K course in 22:22, and Salim Benmohammed (22:25) was right behind him, in 20th. Both qualified for the regionals and received All-WSC honorable mention. “We had hoped that (the men’s team) would run that well,” Kane said. “It’s nice to see them all go.” The Nov. 4 regionals in San Diego will be held on a faster, flatter course that could benefit Gomez’s quest to better her third-place time last year. “I’ve been doing some training on my own,” Gomez said. “I’ve been speed training and track training. … The endurance is there, now it’s just the technical stuff.” Continuous improvement: COC’s women’s water polo team needs one more win to post the best record in the program’s five-year history. The Cougars (5-12), led by left-handed freshman Nicole Correa (Hart High), who has 12 goals, has L.A. Valley, Santa Monica, Citrus, Pasadena and San Diego Mesa remaining on their schedule. COC’s best chance will come against Santa Monica on Friday in the Pasadena Tournament. COC has defeated Santa Monica three times this season. It would love to beat L.A. Valley, too. “Valley has beaten us three times this season … but they’re beatable,” coach Diana Stanich said. “If we can counter their speed and play smart, we’ll be OK.” COC has suffered just one major injury, strong-side defender Christine Harrison (rotator cuff). Football honor: The California Community Colleges Commission on Athletics (COA), in partnership with the California Community College Sports Information Association (CCCSIA), selected COC’s Marcel Marquez as its Student-Athlete of the Month for September. Marquez, the starting quarterback for the state’s top-ranked football team, has completed 110 of 177 passes this season for 1,661 yards and 13 touchdowns. He also has rushed for a team-high 310 yards on 88 carries and seven touchdowns. COC is 7-0 overall and 4-0 in WSC play. Nate Brown, (818) 713-3607 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more