THE LAST, it is said, shall become the first. This became a reality for three-kilo apprentices Daniel Gopie and Steve Jadoo after the first raceday of the Arima Race Club's 2013 season on New Year's Day at Santa Rosa Park.
Last year, Jadoo was winless from nine rides, while Gopie only recorded one win from 165 attempts. However, they are now heading the apprentice standings along with champion apprentice Dillon Khelawan.
Jadoo's first win of his career came in the second race, which was his first ride of the season, aboard Wildwildwes for trainer Kurt De Freitas and owner Ramesh Ramroop. And Gopie got his second-ever win when he took the day's opener aboard 30/1 outsider King Of Siberia for trainer Jules Miller and owner Charles James. Khelawan joined Jadoo and Gopie as early apprentice leaders when he recorded his first victory of the season aboard owner/trainer David Ojar's Lang Amour in the fourth race.
The Arima Race Club (ARC) also had an outstanding start to the year when it set a new record for New Year's Day with the betting handle reaching the $2 million mark for the first time since centralisation of the sport at Santa Rosa Park in February, 1994.
Meanwhile, the first nominations for the 1,300-metre Royal Colours event for native bred three-year-olds were accepted yesterday by the ARC, along with the first nominations for the 1,800-metre ARC Cup and the 1,800-metre Caribbean Turf Championship.
In the Royal Colours, a full field of 16 T&T-bred horses was nominated for the February 23 race, including St Ann's Stakes runner-up Heidi's Tzippi, and Gold Rush, runaway winner of Tuesday's 1,350-metre First Citizens Stud Farm Association Trial Stakes.
In the 1,800-metre ARC Cup, Strikes Not Spares and Boogie Blues--who finished second and third to last year's winner, Montejo (dead)--have been nominated for the two-turn trip, along with Republic Bank Gold Cup winner Mobthewarrior. A full field of 16 horses was also nominated for this event which also includes last year's Trinidad Derby Stakes winner Free Passage and Gold Cup runner-up Galveston.
And both Galveston and Free Passage were also nominated for the 1,800-metre Caribbean Turf Championship along with Oaks heroine The Big Squeeze. They are among 15 nominees for the January 19 turf event.
Here are the nominees for the 1,300-metre Royal Colours, the 1,800-metre ARC Cup and the 1,800-metre Caribbean Turf Championship:
ROYAL COLOURS -- OPEN TO NATIVE BRED THREE-YEAR-OLDS -- 1,300 Metres - $125,000 - February 23.
Always A Princess, Big Man, Black Pepper, Central Square, Gold Rush, Heidi's Tzippi, Hyat Princess, Iconic, Pot Of Gold, Release D Beast, Right To Rule, Run Ron, Secret Circle, Something Black, Uncle Max, Zun Zum.
ARIMA RACE CLUB CUP (GR 11) -- 1,800 Metres-- February 23.
Blackstone Street (USA), Boogie Blues (USA), Buffalo Soldier (USA), Free Passage (Jam), Gabby's Gold (USA), Galveston, Golden Dixieland (USA), Just Call Me Roger (USA), Lang Amour (USA), Mobthewarrior (Can), Readbetweendlines (USA), Skyline Pigeon, Strikes Not Spares (USA), Toro Rosso (USA), Youaresobad (USA).
CARIBBEAN TURF CHAMPIONSHIP (GR 111R) -- 1,800 Metres(TURF) -- January 19.
Bears And Bulls (Jam), Believe It Or Not, Blame It On Me, Edmundo (Jam), Esquire (Jam), Free Passage (Jam), Galveston, Island Star (Bar), Oasis (Jam), Odin (Jam), Perfection Plus, Red Cloud, The Big Squeeze, The Red Skull (Jam), Young Dinaro