KINGSTON, Jamaica – Trainer Gary Subtraie said that even without Nipster suffering interference in deep stretch, he strongly believes that his St Leger winner would have easily won the top-rated Open Allowance/Graded Stakes over 7 1/2 furlongs (1,500m) on Saturday, November 28 at Caymanas Park.
Nipster, ridden by Christopher Mamdeen, came from well behind the leaders, darting to his beloved inside rails but was squeezed for space at the half-furlong (100m) pole by Sir Alton (Anthony Thomas).
Sir Alton went on to win by 2 ¾ lengths. After a steward’s inquiry and a jockey’s objection, quickly lodged by Mamdeen, Sir Alton was disqualified and the race was awarded to Nipster.
“He [Nipster] surely would have won the race. The momentum he had would have taken him to victory by 1 ½ lengths. It was both obstruction and intimidation,” Subratie said.
Nipster was unable to go with the early pace and sat with the backmarkers for the first part of the race as Father Patrick (Natalie Berger) and Sir Alton matched strides up front.
The leaders continued to alternate on the front end with Nipster still trailing the pack down the backstretch before he began his run approaching the half-mile (800m) turn. Father Patrick gave up in deep stretch with Sir Alton taking the advantage and Nipster while searching for the run on the inside rails got shut out, finishing second behind Sir Alton. Then the stewards intervened. Father Patrick was third.
The final time was clocked at 1:30.1, which was four-fifths of a second outside of the 1:29.2 track record set by Sky Train in 1983.
COMMENTS – OWNER MICHAEL BERNARD
“Many would not have noticed that Nipster entered this race with the best clocking this year at the distance, so I was not surprised at all the way he ran and won in the end. Nipster has now proven to all that he is from the top draw and if he stays sound and well, he will continue to give a lot of joy by winning more top-class races. A good run, a good ride allied with good training and good grooming. I as the owner and breeder am really proud of Nipster’s achievements.”
The fact that the three-year-olds led by Nipster are now coming to the fore late in the season is a good sign that the top category will have horses to fill races in the future. Note that other three-year-olds, Sir Alton, a foreigner, was second and Derby winner King Arthur was sixth.
Nipster’s development over the last three months has been phenomenal. After the many defeats suffered at the hoofs of his stable companion Wow Wow, Nipster has now emerged as the top three-year-old and is certainly a strong contender for Horse of the Year honours.
There is no question that jockey Anthony Thomas is talented but he has to control his habit of moving towards the inside rails when challenged in the stretch run. If he does not quell this untidy habit, further disqualifications will follow.
Top-rated horse Toona Ciliata was a complete no-show in this event.
This has happened to Toona Ciliata before and he had rebounded. More than likely the same will happen again as he is a talented horse who is also blessed with a lot of courage and determination.