KINGSTON, Jamaica – IN the opening event five-year-old maiden Doom Patrol (Orlando Foster), having only his second start, justified the patience of trainer Spencer Chung with a 13-length runaway at long odds-on.
Half an hour later the odds-on favourite, big, far-striding four-year-old colt Alamdullilah (Christopher Mamdeen), who impressed in his race prior, found the turns of the circular and extended 1820-metre course too challenging and was outstayed by Robert Pearson’s Fresh Cash (Omar Walker).
Owner/trainer Gary Griffiths posted inconsistent five-year-old gelding Flying Bullet (Matthew Bennett) in condition good enough to hold on for an unconvincing half-length victory in the day’s third.
This was followed in the fourth by an impressive seven-length victory by O’Neil Markland’s Kaka My Love to give Anthony Thomas his first of two winners.
Champion conditioner Anthony Nunes brought Universal Boss to the track in tip-top shape but the victory in the fifth was accomplished by the exceptional skill of former three-time champion and current leader Dane Nelson.
From the highly unfavourable number one post position in a fairly strong field, Nelson was able to manoeuvre the gelding to track centre and eke out a hard-fought victory by half a length.
Following his winning mount in the second, former six-time champion reinsman Omar Walker had a very interesting remainder of the day.
Walker, aboard Shauna Cruise, established a good home-strength lead in the sixth but was collared close to home by trainer Steven Todd’s Bigman Union to give Thomas his second winner.
Having delivered at the distance what appeared to be a likely successful and well-timed challenge aboard Coralando in the seventh, Walker endured further frustration as his mount failed to repel the renewed challenge of Nunes’ second winner Graydon, who was well-ridden by Robert Halledeen.
The eighth was won by mild 7/1 upsetter Freight Train (Youville Pinnock) for trainer David Lee Sin.
Walker therefore had an hour before the ninth to think and plan his strategy for his last two rides.
As things turned, not much strategising was required by Walker as Renex Burrell’s speedy filly Fearless Abi led and held on well.
In the nightcap, Richard Azan posted Shepanza in such great condition that she was always clear to score by over three lengths and cemented Walker’s triple.
The Training Feat Award is presented to Anthony Nunes for the performance of Universal Boss, and the colt gets the Best Winning Gallop accolade due to the degree of difficulty he overcame in running from the worst-possible post position. Dane Nelson takes yet another Jockeyship Award for his perfect, tactical handling of Universal Boss.