TIGER'S SHADOW made all the running in yesterday's penultimate event – the 1,100-metre race for horses rated 70-55 on the turf – and came away a very easy winner to give apprentice Nigel Flavenney a double on the eight-race card at Santa Rosa Park.
The Maniram 'Boboy' Maharaj-owned/trained five-year-old dark/bay gelding scored by three lengths at odds of 14/1 from Away Johannesburg, Undulation and Oro De Cordoba in a good 1:04.28.
But supporters of the gelding had some anxious moments as an objection lodged against the winner took several minutes before the protest for interference coming out of the gates was overruled.
Shooting clear of his field very early, Tiger's Shadow was tracked by Oro De Cordoba. with Undulation tapped for early speed along with the rest of the field. Passing the halfway stage Tiger's Shadow wasn't stopping and evens favourite Undulation failed to progress to a winning position. Away Johannesburg, in his first start since October, closed in on the leaders from mid-pack, but he was battling for the runner-up slot with Undulation and secured that easily in the end.
The feature event – the second race – a 1,100-metre event for horses rated 90-70, was reduced to four runners as Rewardsinhaven was withdrawn after going down to post. This race saw the first of Emile Ramsammy's three winning rides of six on the card.
Riding second choice Intact for veteran trainer Jules Miller on a sunny, breezy afternoon, the four runners were sent on their way, but Intact wasn't too alertly away. This minor disadvantage, though, quickly became an advantage as Ramsammy recognised that Wilmer Galviz's favourite King Whistler and Ricky Jadoo on third choice Officer Ike were holding up their mounts, neither eager to head the field. He shot past them from his outside draw and opened up a five-length lead, catching his opponents flat-footed, and when King Whistler did give chase the early move proved decisive as he held on by a length.
In the day's opener trainer John O'Brien's odds-on favourite Lady Angelica was made to battle by importation Burst Of Energy, but came out on top by a neck in the 1,750-metre event.
The Jamaica-bred filly took up the running nearing the 600m pole, but her move was shadowed by Burst of Energy on the outside when early leader Fleet Admiral dropped away. Sam's Selection momentarily joined the front bunch but could not go on, leaving Lady Angelica with a slender lead heading into the straight.
And Ramsammy completed a quick double by steering the Douglas Bennett-trained and owned Afterthebooks to a comfortable success in the 1,100-metre event for three-year-old maidens on the turf – the third race on the eight-race card. Afterthebooks scored by two lengths from stablemate Diamond Queen, literally making all the running.
Returning trainer Jimmy Rampersad recorded his first success of the season with four-year-old maiden Young Dinaro, who took up the running before the halfway stage, and was driven out to scored readily by 5 ¾ lengths from favourite Casino Host.
Ramsammy's dominance continued in the fifth race aboard owner/trainer Shaffique Khan's Thisisit, who scored easily by 6 ¼ lengths from Precious Diamond, The Conqueror and Prado's Princess.
In the sixth race trainer John O'Brien's Precise Rule, owned by Diane Scott, made every metre in the 1,100-metre turf event a winning one under champion apprentice Dillon Khelawan. Precise Rule scored by three-quarter length from Zipitup and Prados Wells, on whom Ramsammy was bidding for his fourth success on the card.
And trainer Irvin Hay's Painted Buddha came out on top in the curtain event under apprentice Romario Hernandez when getting the better of the pacesetting Pacman. The grey, owned by his wife Deokee Bholasingh-Hay, gave Hay his first success of the season, with Super Sonic third, Classic Material fourth and Asia fifth.
Racing action continues on Saturday with the running of the 1,350-metre Starlight Stakes for locally bred four-year-old and over horses. In this event last year's Trinidad Derby Stakes winner Free Passage will clash with last year's Midsummer Classic winner, Onetokeep and last year's champion sprinter Nettoyer.