Pangalusian Island

Pangalusian Island hopes to join an elite club of back-to-back champions when the

49th edition of the Presidential Gold Cup is held Sunday at the Metro Manila Turf Club in Batangas.

But it won’t be easy.

For one, there are 13 tough challengers in the P10 million event ready to spoil his bid for greatness.

Among the top bets in the race offering P6 million to the champion are Triple Crown winners Nuclear Bomb and War Cannon.

The race put up by the Philippine Racing Commission (Philracom) in coordination with the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) will be contested over a distance of 2,000 meters.

Philracom Chairman Reli De Leon sees a blockbuster affair, saying:  “This will be the crème of the crop. The best of the very best thoroughbreds in the country today gunning for the first prize of P6 million.

 “All of the best horses are in.”

Responding to the superb driving of  Mark Alvarez, Pangalusian Island, owned by Wilbert Tan, overtook Super Swerte in the final 10 meters of the race to win last year’s Gold Cup edition.

Also tipped to figure prominently are Chairman Cup and Sampaguita Stakes winner Sky Shot, Boss Emong, Silver Cup winner Super Swerte, Greatwall, the returning Union Bell, Summer Romance, Obra Maestra, and Stardust.

Completing the field are Gusto Mucho, Isla Puting Bato, and Prosperity.

“This is the biggest race of the year. Pero mas malaki next year kasi golden anniversary (50th) ng Presidential Gold Cup yun,” added De Leon.

The Gold Cup was founded in 1973 through the efforts of late PCSO Chairman Nereo Andolong, with Sun God, owned by Don Pedro Cojuangco, winning the inaugural race.

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