BIGMAN IN TOWN was unstoppable at last Friday’s 2013 Jetsam Awards ceremony, held in the Century Ballroom of the Queen’s Park Oval. The Jamaica-bred colt claimed a record six awards at the function, held annually since 1983.
Bigman In Town played an ‘innings’ at the Oval that even former West Indies cricket captain and double world record holder Brian Lara would have been envious of. The chestnut son of Cowtown Cat out of My Morning Prayer won every category he was nominated for, including the prestigious Horse of the Year title.
Owned by Baskaran Bassawh, Bigman In Town’s march to the ‘middle’ commenced halfway through the gala affair that honours equine and human achievements in the local racing industry. His ‘innings’ starting with the award for Champion West Indian-bred three-year-old Sprinter. His main rival was Indian Medicine, who proved no more than a token opponent.
The colt’s next award came in the West Indian-bred three-year-old Stayer division, in which he beat out Republic Bank Gold Cup winner Headline News—who had inflicted upon him his only loss locally, in the Gold Cup—and War Of Words, who he defeated in the Trinidad Derby Stakes on September 24.
The next Award announced was West Indian-bred three-year-old filly, which went to Indian Medicine, who beat out Oaks heroine Perfect Day. The Champion Imported Stayer award went to Gabby’s Gold ahead of Golden Dixieland and Nominee, while Stewards Cup winner Crime Of Passion was voted Champion Sprinter, besting Sacred Trust and Signal Alert.
The next category was West Indian-bred three-year-old colt/gelding, which turned out a formality as Bigman In Town once again topped Headline News and War Of Words. Then came the category for Champion West Indian-bred Sprinter, which he romped away with from Free Passage and One Fortheroad, to notch a beaver-trick of titles in as many divisions.
Next up was Champion West Indian-bred Stayer, in which Galveston was shortlisted alongside Headline News and War Of Words against ‘’Bigman’, who completed the ‘Hi-5. Then came the finale. For the first time in announcing the Horse of the Year title a runner-up was named, and it went to top Sprinter, Crime Of Passion.
And although the MC kept the proceedings lively, while trying to keep the audience in suspense, they sensed it was Bigman In Town’s night. Bigman In Town claimed the accolade, a feat that will be very difficult to surpass and unlikely repeated. In this category, he bested Headline News, Galveston and Crime Of Passion, hitting the ‘ball’ out of the Oval in closing out his innings unbeaten.
There were three special awards for contributions to the sport. The late Justice Wendell Kangaloo, who died last year, was posthumously recognised, with his mother Barbara receiving on his behalf. The doyen of the sport, Dave Lamy, who has been the voice of racing as a commentator since 1970, around the time of the Black Power uprising, was the next recipient. Then the shock of the night came when Anthony Harford was named the third special awardee for his tireless contribution to the sport.
Champion trainer was John O’Brien, who topped that category for the fourth straight year, while owner Shivam Maharaj also completed a beaver-trick, and is now one shy of equalling Maniram “Boboy” Maharaj’s record of five consecutive successes in that category.
In the Jockeys division, it was a tie between Wilmer Galviz and 2012 champion Brian Boodramsingh, while David Butcher copped the title of Champion Apprentice. And Bobby Singh, who cares after Galveston, was named Champion Groom.