KINGSTON, Jamaica – In the absence of spectators, including owners, there is a stark reality that something is terribly amiss in terms of the current lack of atmosphere as the second day of spectator-less races under anti-coronavirus restrictions unfolded.
Odds-on favourite Alex’s Star (Dane Nelson) thought to be invincible was anything but, as after turning for home in front, was worn down by old rival Justsaytheword (Andre Martin) for veteran trainer Randolph Scott to win the opener and achieve his second success of the season.
Nelson suffered a similar experience in the day’s second when odds-on favourite Dee Danger led until caught and pressured into defeat by a head. Improving apprentice Youville Pinnock did an admirable job aboard Dennis Pryce’s old battler Talented Tony K as he relished the challenge of outriding Nelson, the former three-time champion and leading 2020 reinsman.
The misery of Nelson was extended into the third as after being engaged in a battle with Paul Francis on Big Bang, he failed by three parts of a length to outstay Anthony Nunes’ charge with Robert Pearson’s Purple Wayne.Nunes added a second when Universal Boss (Simon Husbands) delivered a dazzling five-length display ahead of Nelson’s mount Baltusrol in the afternoon’s fifth.
Husbands had his second when his well-timed late challenge on the Edward Stanberry-trained Shauna’s Choice secured the major slice of the purse money by a neck in the sixth.
Winner of the fourth Native Gold turned out with the following changes of equipment, cheek-pieces on, visor off, and figure-eight off. Different also was a change of owners and trainer with rider Omar Walker retained. Trained before by Ryan Darby and Robert Pearson for her first eight starts, the filly showed speed in her six initial races but was slowly into stride on the last two. No rival got close on the day as Native Gold was always clear winning by over four lengths to land the first of a double for conditioner Ian Parsard.
For Parsard’s second trip to the winners’ enclosure, it was an excellent display of sprinting by his Harry’s Train (Dane Dawkins) in the ninth.
Having her field in trouble before completing 200 metres, the USA-bred five-year-old mare sprinted clear in the upper stretch. Although shortening strides 50 metres out, she had the momentum to last by three parts of a length under the enterprising riding tactic.
Declared on nine mounts, Nelson had his earlier frustrations mitigated when odds-on favourite Classy Miss, owned and trained by Norman Rose, outsprinted 10 rivals and even gave Nelson the luxury of many sympathetic glances behind and easing down significantly in winning the seventh by just under two lengths.
Journeyman reinsman, Delroy Beharie, was in the right place at the right time as in the absence of the declared apprentice Anthony Allen, trainer Patrick Lynch gifted the experienced but seldom engaged rider a strangely named filly Gimmipalinka who went clear from early in the homestretch to coast home effortlessly in the closing event.