MOBTHEWARRIOR gave trainer Stephen Jardim the third Gold Cup win of his career in yesterday's showcase 2,000-metre Republic Bank feature on the Arima Race Club's ten-race Boxing Day card at Santa Rosa Park, Arima.
The five-year-old Canadian-bred son of Mobil/Little Warrior, owned by Fredericks Stud Farm Limited and ridden by Brian Boodramsingh, scored by 1 ¼ lengths from creole Galveston, Strikes Not Spares and Bruceontheloose in a good 2:08.1 to take the $300,000 first prize. Jardim's two other Gold Cup wins were with Sian's Gold in the 1994 and 1995 editions.
Yesterday, Mobthewarrior settled in third behind Strikes Not Spares and Readbetweendlines with evens favourite Bruceotheloose in midpack leaving the start gate. Moving up the back, Readbetweendlines, Strikes Not Spares and Mobthewarrior continued to lead the way. But heading towards the 800-metre pole, Mobthewarrior took up the running with 800 metres to race.
Asked later if he felt he had taken up the running too early, Boodramsingh agreed.
"I thought so," he said. "But the trainer told me he will stay and let him bowl along, and I rode to instructions."
A grateful Jardim thanked Boodramsingh for listening to him and also praised his staff for the job they did.
Derick Mosca, whose runner Galveston came very late on the scene to get the runner-up slot said, "the draw (one) beat us. He ran a very big race."
And jockey Nobel Abrego, who rode Bruceontheloose, which finished fourth said his mount, "made a good run at the leaders, but did not pull out anything entering the homestretch."
The horse's trainer O'Brien in turn added: "The distance is always a concern in this company. He came with a good run but he just did not see out the trip."
Elsewhere, it was a bittersweet afternoon for retiring jockey Brian Harding, who piloted over 1,000 winners in his 30-year career. His only wish was to win one more race on his final day of racing. But it was not fulfilled.
He finished second on two occasions in his four rides--in the fifth and sixth races--and in the Gold Cup, the 11-time champion rider, piloting Secret American in his final ride, ended last in the nine-horse contest. However, he was still upbeat afterwards, thanking followers of the sport for their support throughout his career. Harding will now turn to training horses and will be assistant trainer to Harriram "Pepsi" Gobin from next year.
And in the curtain event, Abrego came from a long way off to win aboard No Just Cause for owner Rhanie Mohammed, preventing another Mosca win on the card.
Harold Chadee was the most successful trainer on the day, recording a double. But O'Brien emerged the champion trainer of the season (51 wins) with his stable jockey Boodramsingh the champion jockey (45 wins).
Shivam Maharaj was the top owner with 39 winners and apprentice Dillon Khelawan was named champion apprentice with 20 wins.
Racing action continues on New Year's Day with the 1,200-metre First Sprint for Imported three-year-olds, the 1,100-metre Sian's Gold Sprint on the turf and the 1,350-metre SFA Trial Stakes for three-year-old maidens that passed through the sale ring.