EMILE RAMSAMMY struck gold in yesterday's First Citizens-sponsored New Year's Day card with back-to-back successes—copping two of the three feature (eight and nine) events on the ten-race holiday card at Santa Rosa Park.
He took the main event—the 1,100-metre First Citizens Sian's Gold Sprint on the turf aboard owner Zanim Meah-John's Sacred Trust for trainer Jose William-Samaroo, scoring by one length from Secret American, Just Call Me Roger and Fly Junior in a time of 1:03.75 on a firm grass track in the $150,000 event.
The Canadian-based Ramsammy, who brings out throngs of supporters, had the dark/bay daughter of Petionville/Discreet Account settled in third from the off, with Secret American leading the way from 4/5 favourite Fly Junior in the eight-horse Grade Two contest. Treasure Each Day, making a return to racing after a year, was not too far away, with Just Call Me Roger one from last and Signal Alert remaining indoors.
Approaching the hometurn, Ramsammy made his move on the outside, leaving Fly Junior against the rails in third. Entering the turn Secret American, taking the shortest way home—the rails—appeared to have stolen a march on his pursuer, but Ramsammy set down his mare for the drive, and she responded gamely to go by the long time leader halfway up the homestretch. In the end the win was cosy, with Just Call Me Roger, who had no luck in running, staying on late to get third ahead of Fly Junior.
This success could not compensate for the loss owner Meah-John and trainer Samaroo suffered when Gold Cup favourite, Montejo fractured his right hind leg mere days before the big event and had to be euthanised.
In the first of Ramsammy's two 'big' wins, he literally had a romp in the 1,350-metre First Citizens Stud Farm Association Trial Stakes for native bred (eight race) three-year-old maidens, who were bought at the annual Yearling sale with Gold Rush.
Ramsammy, who rode on Boxing Day and will be staying on until Carnival, had the evens favourite Gold Rush, owned by Roma Sagan Maraj and trained by John O'Brien, in second on the outside of his stablemate Hyat Princess for most of the journey.
They separated themselves from the rest of field, who were struggling very early to go with them. Nearing the halfway stage Ramsammy sent Gold Rush ahead, and she then turned the $75,000 maiden event into a procession lengthening her stride, and going further and further away to score unchallenged by 9 ½ lengths from Hyat Princess, Heidi's Tzippi, Uncle Max and Release D Beast in a good 1:23.66.
And once again No Just Cause brought down the curtain in the finale to give owner Rhanie Mohammed back-to-back successes after a similar win on Boxing Day. Unfortunately, in this event former shock Easter Guineas winner Santa Rosa Boy, partnered by Ramsammy, broke his foreleg and had to be euthanised.
Racing action continues on January 12 with a possible ten-race card.