KINGSTON, Jamaica – Having secured his first win as the conditioner of Duke on Saturday (June 20), trainer Gary Subratie is quietly confident about the prospects of his new charge.
Subratie, who got Duke in March just before the shutdown of racing, expressed delight after the four-year-old grey colt’s 4 ½ lengths victory in a Restricted Allowance event coming down the five straight (1,000m) course.
“I got this horse before the shutdown, and he has been good at exercise. He has trained well and is a happy camper.
“I think that is the key to this one. Duke is not a horse that you have to be too concerned about, because he does everything you ask of him,” Subratie explained.
That commanding effort, with Robert Halledeen aboard, was Duke’s first win from four starts this year and third in his 20-race career.
Subratie is of the view that the three-month break from racing did Duke, owned by leading owner Michros, a world of good, though he entered the contest with little to fear from his 12 rivals.
Running from the number five draw, Duke, the 7-5 favourite, broke well and briskly moved to the front end of the pack where Halledeen kept him straight while biding his time.
Approaching the final quarter, Mystic Mama (Javaniel Patterson) and Action Run (Calvin Bailey) made telling moves, but when the question was asked by Halledeen, Duke shifted gears and sprinted away for a comfortable win.
Duke completed the journey in 1:00.1, behind splits of 22.4 and 46.1 seconds.
Action Run stayed on for second by a nose ahead of the fast-finishing Enuffisenuff (Christopher Mamdeen).
“I think the time I got with him to refresh him a bit was the key because, as you can see, he has tremendous potential to do well in sprints and middle-distance events,” Subratie reasoned.
“As I said, I have nothing to be too concerned about with him, I just want to continue taking my time with Duke, keeping him happy, and see what happens in future events,” he added.
Subratie, who is currently third in the trainers’ standings, welcomed the return of racing.
“It is good to be here; it is good that everybody got everything together; thanks to Supreme Ventures and all the parties involved in making this possible.
“I am pleased to see racing going again; we are going to have rough days, but we had to get it going and build back up to where it was, and the sales I am sure will go back up and everything will be fine,” Subratie ended.