Racing at home in Paradise

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The Independent Online
ON the Caribbean island of Barbados earlier this month, as preparations were underway for the Test between the West Indies and England, thoughts briefly turned away from the batsmens' track to the race-track for the annual running of the Sandy Lane Gold Cup at Garrison Savannah.

Such is the exodus of British racing's finest to Barbados for the winter, the island is nicknamed "Newmarket-on-Sea" and this year's cast list included the trainer Michael Stoute and the jockey Pat Eddery. Sponsored by the hotel Sandy Lane, which is partly-owned by the legendary Irish punter J P McManus, a crowd of 25,000 - 10 per cent of the island's population - cheered home this year's winner, Ferdernico.