EARLY MORNING rain ensured that the inaugural running of the 1,100-metre Chanticleer Classic had to be moved from the turf to the main track, and John O’Brien’s Gold Rush cashed in to take the feature event.
But the day belonged to champion rider, Brian Boodramsingh, who partnered the colt to success. Boodramsingh, who was six winners behind leader, Wilmer Galviz heading into yesterday nine-race card, needed something special to keep alive his chances of defending his title. The 22-year-old’s maturity paid dividends.
Boodramsingh’s five-timer at Santa Rosa Park, Arima, yesterday elevated him to within two wins of Galviz. He started the “Hi-5” with three-year-old Gold Rush in the Chanticleer Classic, producing him up the straight with a sustained run, to get the better of little fancied Indian Medicine, who would have been a short-priced favourite if the $150,000 feature was run off on the turf.
Sent off as the 3/1 third favourite, the Roma Sagan Maraj-owned son of Big Country/Bag Woman got home by 1 ½ lengths from Indian Medicine, Pot Of Gold and Zorro in a time of 1:06.53 on a sloppy main track.
Zinging out from her outside gate in the five-horse contest, Indian Medicine had the other four runners in early trouble, as they were unable to go the early pace.
The main contenders, favourite Central Square and second favourite, Pot of Gold were several lengths adrift, and making no headway. It was only halfway up the homestretch that Gold Rush, who was closest to the leader, collared the long time frontrunner, to give Boodramsingh a needed success, with second favourite, Pot of Gold finishing third, and odds-on favourite, Central Square finishing a disappointing fifth.
The fourth race, also written for the turf, was moved to the main track very early.
In this event oldstager Edmundo gave young apprentice Steve Jadoo his second career success.
And the favourite for the St Ann’s Stakes—which will be run off on Boxing Day—was seen out yesterday. Jamaica-bred, filly, Soca Rhapsody, who made an auspicious start to her local racing career with a comprehensive gate-to-wire success in the five-horse day’s opener. That win moved Galviz to 51 wins in the Jockeys’ Standings, with Boodramsingh starting the day on 44.
Smartly away from her outside gate, the Anthony Nunes-trained chestnut daughter of Market Rally/Soca Dancer, owned by Lester Moore, got some company from Justcallmebas on her inside.
But the latter could not keep up to the rhythm of Soca Rhapsody, who sprinted away for a very comfortable success, by 14 ½ lengths in a time of 1:09.12. That time was faster than that of importation Thisonesforrun, whose 1:09.37 allowed a 2 ¼ lengths victory. She was later escorted into the winner’s enclosure by pannist extraordinaire, Ray Holman and the very outspoken, Anthony “Edo” Hatt, a stylish footballer during his high school days.
An early double on the card for Boodramsingh gave him a shot at the Jockeys Championship title. He followed up his win aboard Gold Rush in the feature with another on Chase The Dragon in the fourth race, coming home unchallenged.
More was on the card as Boodramsingh scored a quick hat-trick by coming from a long way off with 7/1 choice, Prado’s Princess, to touch off odds-on favourite Messi very close home in the fifth race.
He did not stop there, completing the beaver-trick with newcomer Thisonesforrun to give O’Brien a third winner on the card, and in the process sealing up the Trainers Championship for O’Brien.
This colt won the 1,150-metre event in a time of 1:09.37 driven out.
And the showdown is now on December 26, as racing takes a break this Saturday.
On Boxing Day Galviz, who leads the standings, could get the premium ride on Bigman In Town in the Gold Cup and Soca Rhapsody in the St Ann’s Stakes, while Boodramsingh, who won with Momentum, could team up with the same mount in the St James Stakes, and with Headline News in the Gold Cup. Galviz, who rode runaway winner Dark Treasure to success for Glenn Mendez, could retain that ride in the St James Stakes.
It will be an interesting ride to the finish in the Jockeys Championship on the final raceday of the 2013 season between both riders.
The domination of the day’s card by Galviz and Boodramsingh was stopped in the seventh race, with trainer Douglas Bennett’s Against The Odds slamming his field with apprentice Dillon Khelawan aboard.
In this event Soca Train, sent off as the 9/5 favourite with Galviz aboard, finished fifth.
In the penultimate event on the card, Galviz came close to getting another win, but could not peg back the frontrunning El Bandido De Oro, who was kept up to his work to hold off the challenge of unplaced Stewards Cup runners King Whistler and Galviz and leading apprentice David Butcher aboard Wild Shuffle.
Boodramsingh fittingly brought down the curtain aboard 4/5 favourite Galadriel, trained by Harriram ‘Pepsi’ Gobin, setting up a mouth-watering showdown with Galviz on Boxing Day.