KINGSTON, Jamaica – ABIGAIL Able, in a competent performance, rode 6/1 chance Top Gear to victory for trainer Welsh Soutar in the opening event.
This was a second win for her on consecutive race days and is proof the young reinswoman is improving as a rider, which is important in terms of going some way to justify the licensing of females by the Jamaica Racing Commission as the fact of the matter is that, none of the six female graduates in two and a half decades have managed to establish viable careers.
Hakeem Pottinger does not get nearly enough rides these days to show how good he can be. It was therefore heartening to see him in the winners’ enclosure with Sweet Renisha, conditioned by Richard Todd, following victory in the day’s second.
Todd, a second-generation conditioner and formerly a consistent top 10 performer, ceded the stage to son Steven but re-emerged last year and is slowly but surely finding the winners.
Conceding many lengths with a poor start, favourite Celebration (Roger Hewitt) made a gift of the third event to old rival Gimmipalinka which was collected quite happily by jockey Kiaman McGregor on behalf of trainer Patrick “Wacky” Lynch.
Odds-on favourite Johncrowjeff gave joint provisional 2020 champion Anthony Thomas the first of two wins on the day when he brought the Wayne DaCosta-schooled colt with a strong delayed run on the far rails to secure the fourth. This big colt, although it may be a challenge to keep him fit, is likely to be more effective when given the opportunity to race over a distance of ground.
Cold Pursuit’s (Reyan Lewis) flying late run to win the fifth was the best performance of the day as the rider won the first of his two races on the day. The gelding, trained by Ryan Darby, showed noticeable improvement and has now won two of his last three races.
Acquired by trainer Gregory Forsyth in early September and starting a third time for the stable, the favourably handicapped Diosa De Ora was a winner by over six lengths in the sixth to confirm Thomas’s second win. The seven-year-old mare ran for a tag of $350,000, which is $100,000 less than what was paid by owner Morris Myrie.
Starting at odds of 1/5 in the afternoon’s seventh, Formal Gladiator (Oshane Nugent) won but had to work harder than expected by backers in getting home by only three parts of a length for trainer Anthony Nunes to win his first of two on the card.
Predictably, Prince Charles’ fairly close fourth-place finish in his previous race was form-convincing enough. The five-year-old gelding came home well for Nunes to secure his second along with Lewis to get their 2021 season underway.
Gary Subratie’s hard-knocking four-year-old colt Big Big Daddy made all to win the eighth and give Dane Dawkins his first of a double. An hour later the rider piloted the Ian Parsard-trained mare Blind Faith to a near 10-length triumph in the nightcap.
The Training Feat Award is presented to Ryan Darby for the improvement in the form of Cold Pursuit. The colt’s performance is undoubtedly the Best Winning Gallop and Reyan Lewis gets the Jockeyship Award for another superbly timed winning run to score by a short head in the final stride.