“I’ve been in the same position as these boys. You have to take your chance when it comes, I’m sure that’s what Michael is telling them too,” he said. “If they get a chance in the game they’ll need to impress and I hope they do because we haven’t got the resources of other countries who can call on 30 or 40 players in a campaign – we’re looking at 22-23 realistically. “Everyone is willing the young lads to come in and impress and they’ve been welcomed with open arms.” Press Association Norwood won the battle for Cristiano Ronaldo’s shirt when Northern Ireland played Portugal in World Cup qualification and is delighted to be sharing a pitch with more big names in the coming days. “It is exciting, I’ll admit it. I’m still like a kid coming in to the squad and it’s great to play against the likes of Edinson Cavani and Diego Forlan,” he said. “They are top-class players and I want to take as much as I can from this tour and put it back into my own career. “I’ve never played a South American team and it’s an experience I want on my CV. Any time you can put yourself up against top-class opposition can only stand us in good stead for the qualifiers. “Every game in the campaign will be tough, as we found out last time. there will be no easy games and no right to win any given game. “Against the bigger nations we are known for performing a lot better so hopefully we can give another good account of ourselves against Uruguay.” There are five uncapped players in Northern Ireland’s travelling party – Trevor Carson, Luke McCullough, Liam Donnelly, Ryan McLaughlin and James Gray. None may have made the cut had O’Neill had a full panel to select from, but Norwood sees their promotion to the senior ranks as a chance to expand the player pool ahead of Euro 2016 qualification in September. Despite being just 23 the Huddersfield player is actually one of the more established figures in a depleted squad that will take on Uruguay on Friday and then Chile on June 4. He became a regular in Michael O’Neill’s first XI during the previous campaign and was eager to continue his development in South America, while the likes of Gareth McAuley, Chris Brunt, Craig Cathcart, Martin Paterson and Jamie Ward opted against making the trip. Northern Ireland midfielder Oliver Norwood admits he still feels “like a kid” when he reports for international duty.
FRANCIA’S PRIDE will report in good nick, and despite the strong claims of the Anthony Nunes-trained COUNTER ATTACK, she should make amends in a field of seven. TWO STEPS UP, who has been running consistently well, looks the one to beat in the third race 1100 metres for $250,000 – $210,000 claiming horses. She finished a close third to DIFERENTGENERATION and FIERY PATH over this trip in the Millard Ziadie Memorial Cup on February 8, and now dropped in class, should make no mistake in a field of nine. SHE’S A LEGACY, the mount of three-time champion jockey Dane Nelson, should be good enough to win the fourth race over the straight for maiden three-year-olds, following her close second to BILINGUAL over 1100 metres last November. That represents better form than most and although she can expect stiff competition from lightly-raced ZI BEAST and first time runners PAINTTHISTOWNRED and RAGE OF ANGELS, SHE’S A LEGACY is given the edge in a field of 11. The last two races in the first Super-6 should be won by JESSIE JAMES and BALLON D’OR, with top apprentices Bebeto Harvey and Linton Steadman aboard. Their respective dangers are recent winner NATASHADONTPLAY and Nelson’s mount, LAZZA, a recent course winner. RUNNING CONSISTENTLY FIRST SUPER-6 FANCIES With eight favourites having obliged last Saturday, both the Pick-9 and Super-6s were caught by scores of punters and all start anew with guaranteed minimums of $1 million and $750,000, respectively. The Pick 9 will embrace races three to 11, the first Super-6 from race one to six, the late Super-6 from six to 11. We look at the first Super-6, which commences with a three-year-old and up restricted stakes to be contested by seven starters, including hat-trick seeker FEARLESS SAMURAI and recent winner BIRD CATCHER. With 16-time champion trainer Wayne DaCosta ensuring that the race will go through by saddling all of four starters, it will take a brave punter to oppose his impressive 3-y-o colt, FEARLESS SAMURAI, with champion jockey Omar Walker again in the saddle. A winner of his last two races, FEARLESS SAMURAI looked a live classic contender on January 25 when strolling home by 81/2 lengths from LADY FAYE over 1500 metres. And before that, on October 17, he easily accounted for HENRY THE SECOND and subsequent champion, 2-y-o SOTOMAYOR, over 1400 metres, The son of Fearless Vision, Sayur, obviously has a touch of class and, having looked razor sharp at exercise, should lead home BIRD CATCHER, a narrow winner from over 1400 metres on February.4 Trainer Fitzroy Glispie, who conditions BIRD CATCHER, should have better luck with highly-fancied FRANCIA’S PRIDE in the second race over 1820 metres. The 4-y-o filly finished a length third to DANCING QUEEN and ANOTHER FURY over a mile on February 8, but the result would have been different had she not suffered interference from stable-companion, ANOTHER FURY, entering the straight. (1) FEARLESS SAMURAI (2) FRANCIA’S PRIDE/ COUNTER ATTACK (4) TWO STEPS UP/ ABOGADO (5) SHE’S A LEGACY/ ZI BEAST (5) JESSIE JAMES/ NATASHADONTPLAY (6) BALLON D’OR/ LAZZA