"SPEECHLESS" is how Shivananda Parbhoo, trainer of World Championships Breeders' Cup winner Trinniberg described his moment of joy when it was announced on Saturday night that the horse owned by his daughter Sherry was named champion male sprinter, beating out Shackleford 233 to 11 at the prestigious Eclipse Awards ceremony held at Gulfstream Park, Hallandale, Florida.
"It's unbelievable, it's really big, I am speechless" Parbhoo told the Express yesterday morning. "We got only 60 seconds on the podium, and I did say what I had to say for Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and the people of Trinidad and Tobago and the rest of my guys who made it possible. It is super good, everything was really amazing. I dedicate this award to the Prime Minister and the people of Trinidad and Tobago."
"It is still unbelievable, its really big. I am speechless" said Parbhoo, whose family unfurled the T&T flag when Trinniberg won the 1,200-metre Xpressbet Breeders Cup Sprint last year. They did so again on the stage on Eclipse Awards night when they went to receive the trophy.
"It is a wild ride from place to place the whole year. He won at different tracks and you are not home. So it was like a wild ride and we held on" said Parbhoo, who bought the colt for US$21,000 after going to buy some supplies for his horses. He got there too early and was advised by an attendant that there was a sale (Ocala Breeze-up sale) going on across from the store. As it turned out, Trinniberg--unnamed at the time--came before the auctioneer and Parbhoo fell in love with the colt and bought it.
Comparing the joy of winning the Breeders Cup with the Eclipse Awards, Parbhoo said, "Breeders Cup, it was first time we went there, it was super, super good. Winning this means everything to us. It is like the Olympics in racing, there is no other level you could (go). The only thing to do now is winning the US$5 million Breeders Cup Classic....The best horse in the country is Fort Larned, having won the best race (Breeders Cup Classic), and he did not get an Eclipse Award and it is part of the game.
"So you could imagine the joy of winning this award, coming from a small island like Trinidad and Tobago against such top owners and trainers. It means a lot for us and our country" Parbhoo pointed out.
And with the value of the colt sure to increase by more than 50 per cent, Parbhoo was asked if he had received any calls to purchase Trinniberg. But he said: "It is too early. Everybody is still waking up from partying. The stud value will be put on hold because he is coming back this year, and everyone knows that."
About the real star, Parbhoo said: "My focus is now Trinniberg. He goes on the track in the morning, and we are going to prepare him, but do not know where I will run him. I am not going to push him the wrong way."
Asked about Dubai races in March, Parbhoo said: "I went there already. If it was local I would go. If he trains up to it, there is a good chance we might go."
Parbhoo has been invited by the Arima Race Club to be the feature speaker at the Jetsam Awards ceremony which will be held in the Century Ballroom, Queen's Park Oval on February 1.