THE heavens opened up before the running of the feature event and 4/5 favourite, Holy Man, relished the blessing, scoring easier than the official margin of 1 ¼ lengths in taking yesterday’s showcase 1,200-metre race for three-year-old and over horses rated 100-70 at Santa Rosa Park. But the winning connections and punters who wagered on the favourite had an uneasy time.
An objection was raised against the AGA Stables-owned three-year-old bay son of Saint Anddan/High Wire Girl partnered by apprentice Nigel Flavenney by the connections of fourth-placed finisher Intact, for interference entering the homestretch.
After a couple of agonising minutes, however, the result of Holy Man, Thisonesforron, Red Lace and Intact—who stopped the clock in -1:12—was unchanged, but Flavenney was handed a one-day suspension for improper riding.
Holy Man, fastest out of the gates, was reined in by Flavenney, allowing Harry Could Dance to lead the way from Intact, and the race started to unfold as the horses approached the halfway mark, and that is where Holy Man, travelling like a favourite should, ranged up on the outside of the leader Harry Could Dance, with Intact looking for the room between horses, and Thisonesforron making eye-catching headway to the leaders.
At this point, Flavenney shut the ‘door’ on him by angling his horse’s head inwards entering the homestretch, and Intact’s rider Shawn Samuel was forced to snatch up his mount.
Thisonesforron took up the running from Holy Man, who was made to battle back to regain the lead. He did, and went about his business in style with his rider easing him down close home.
Stablemate, Red Lace ran on late to grab the third-spot ahead of Intact.
And the race for the Trainers Championship is gaining momentum with second-placed challenger, Harold Chadee (24) now five wins behind leading trainer John O’Brien (29).
They both opened their accounts very early on the ten-race card, with Chadee taking the opener with Always Ready, and O’Brien responding with Raroma Stable’s Kidz Ro partnered by Brian Boodramsingh taking the third race over 1,600 metres for horses rated 70 and over on the turf.
Sent off as the 3/5 favourite although Chadee had five runners in the event. Boodramsingh chose a trouble free passage, instead of the shortest way up the rails, switching his mount drawn one to the outside, and watched on as Chadee’s Smart American cut the early fraction of 24.4 for the quarter mile from stablemates Buffalo Soldier on the outside, and King Whistler against the rails, with Plum Plum in fourth tracked by Kidz Ro taking aim.
Nearing the halfway stage in a good 49.1, King Whistler was sent ahead of Buffalo Soldier, with Kidz Ro cruising in third, and still electing to launch his challenge on the outside instead of splitting runners. And when they entered the homestretch, Kidz Ro lengthened her stride for a very comfortable success, scoring by 1 ½ lengths in a time of 1:37.4
Turf racing, which was shifted to the main course last raceday, resumed at Santa Rosa Park yesterday, with the day’s opener for four-year-old and over maidens on the turf getting proceedings underway.
This event went to Chadee’s Always Ready partnered by Ronald Ali.
In the second race which was also on the turf, Rosie Dream trained by Juan Mosca made all the running under Ryan Hasranah to turn back favourite Fire N Faith and second favourite, Unguarded Moment.
The fourth race, also on the turf, went to trainer Harriram “Pepsi” Gobin’s The Tactician, which was Boodramsingh’s second success on the card.
The Jamaica-bred was unleashed entering the homestretch, and when switched to the rails by Boodramsingh, lengthened his stride in good style, coming home by three lengths from Caro’s Legacy and U Crazy Diamond.
The other six races were all ran off on the main track, and in the fifth race three-year-old Dark Treasure sent off as the odds-on favourite, was caught close home by second favourite, Edmundo partnered by Ryan Thomas, and went on to get an early Father’s Day gift with maiden Tonithetiger making all the running in the eight race to turn in his maiden certificate.
Racing action continues on Friday, Labour Day with the staging of the 1,800-metre ARC Cup and the in augural running of the 1,350-metre Carnival Messiah Stakes.