BUFFALO SOLDIER made every step of yesterday's 1,750-metre opener for horses rated 85-65 a winning one under multiple Canadian-based champion jockey Emile Ramsammy, to start Day six proceedings at Santa Rosa Park.
The four-year-old dark/bay son of Sharp Humor/Quarteria, owned by Merlin Samlalsingh and trained by Derick Mosca, scored by 4 ¾ lengths from Pistons And Rings, Wild Shuffle and Becquerel in a good 1:53.3.
With none of the other runners choosing to make the running, Ramsammy sent the 1/5 favourite to the front from his one-gate draw, dictating the pace tracked by Oasis and Becquerel, with Pistons And Rings and Wild Shuffle completing the field. Onefortheroad did not take part.
Positions up front remained unchanged, but at the back, Pistons And Rings started closing in on the leaders as they headed towards the 1,000-metre pole. Ramsammy quickened the pace a bit, dropping Oasis, but did not allow his mount to move too early, restraining him for any challenge up the homestretch. While none came, he kept the gelding up to his work to score unchallenged in the end.
Ramsammy completed an early double in almost similar fashion aboard the unraced maiden, Messi, trained by John O'Brien and owned by Roger Hadeed, son of former trainer Joe Hadeed for whom Ramsammy rode several years ago, before leaving for Canada.
Ramsammy nursed the gelding throughout the 1,100-metre contest on the turf, and repelled the late challenge from Café Marque, Salome and Galadriel to score by one length.
Escorted back into the winner's enclosure by son Roger and father Joe, nostalgia pervaded Santa Rosa Park, as those who reminisced on the those 'golden' racing days, remembered the joy and excitement Hadeed and Ramsammy brought to them.
In the third race on the card, trainer Sharon Ferreira's roan grey gelding Sam's Selection, who was last for the early part of the race, came alive at the halfway stage of the contest under Prayven Badrie, although fellow grey Thisisit looked home and hosed, as he took over the running heading towards the 900-metre pole, opening up a sizeable lead as the horses approached the hometurn.
However, he went for home too early and paid the price as his mount began to one-pace entering the homestretch, and was a spent force when Sam's Selection challenged for the lead midway up the stretch.
Ramsammy completed an early hat-trick on Schylers Gold. This ride was an education for young riders and even budding champions. Locked for the lead between runners, and looked held entering the homestretch when dropping back into third, Ramsammy switched his mount to the outside, and under his trademark strong drive, got the better of Satya Treasure metres to the wire. It was one of Ramsammy's best ride since his arrival last December.
The tutor of the Jockeys School could use this video as an example during classes.
Meanwhile, Lady Angelica turned yesterday's fifth race into a procession, taking up the running very early and lengthening her stride to score unchallenged by a widening 7 ¾ lengths in a very good 1:53.65, which was a shade slower than the time returned by Buffalo Soldier in the opener.
In the penultimate race on the card, Roman Anthem made all the running to come home a very easy winner for jockey Nicholas Patrick and owner Juan Navarro. The Mosca-trained importation shot out of the gates in what looked like a false start, as the other runners slept away leaving the gates. It appeared momentarily that Patrick was waiting on the other runners and then allowed his mount to stride ahead. Ramsammy, on runner-up The Right Time, tried to launch a challenge but Roman Anthem, who has been competing at a higher level, did not waste the opportunity.
Racing action continues on Saturday with the running of the 1,800-metre ARC Cup in which last December's Republic Bank Gold Cup winner, Mobthewarrior will take on all challengers.