KINGSTON, Jamaica - Blue Vinyl (1-2), winner of the 2022 Jamaica St Leger and 2000 Guineas, was surprisingly declared for the featured Kenneth Mattis Memorial Trophy eighth event by trainer Alford Brown.
Clearly, there was more than a mere difference of opinion between popular owners M.N.M. Racing Stable and trainer Patrick Lynch to end a hugely successful long-standing partnership.
Cantering to lead 700 metres out Blue Vinyl (Javaniel Patterson), presented with a gift won far more easily than the margin of three and a half lengths suggested.
The opening event of nine, on an eerily quiet early Sunday afternoon, was won by 6/5 favourite Kingswood. Saddled by veteran conditioner Errol Waugh, the lightly raced eight-year-old grey horse ridden by four-kilogramme claiming jockey Richard Henry, galloped in front to be all of 14 lengths superior to the closest of his 10 rivals over 1200 metres.
Half an hour later in race two, Henry presented with a vastly different requirement in what was effectively a match between 1-9 favourite Money Market and his mount Sensational Move, found the experience of senior reinsman Paul Francis a difficult challenge. Both horses matched strides for most of the 400-metre stretch run in the 1100-metre gallop, but the Ryan Darby conditioned Money Market was a half a length to the good at the line.
The next hour on the card for races three and four belonged to champion reinsman Dane Dawkins as he secured two of his four successes on the day.
Partnering 3-5 favourite Cookie Day N Night over the 1000-metre straight course, Dawkins’ effort was minimal as the maiden colt was on the bridle and 10 lengths in front at the winning post.
Recently licensed trainer Marlon Pusey had his personal unforgettable experience of visiting the winners’ enclosure for the first time.
Winning race four aboard 4-5 favourite Norblar for trainer Gresford Smith required far more of any rider’s skill set. Held up on the heels of the leaders Dawkins, made a decisive inside move to strike to lead in the upper stretch and from there-on Norblar ran well inside the last 300 of the 1400 metres to score by a length and a half.
In race five, run at 1400 metres, 2-5 favourite Bern Notice, partnered by Raddesh Roman for the first of his riding double, was not particularly convincing but did well enough to score by two lengths and a quarter. It therefore became the turn of trainer Donovan Clarke, another graduate of the class of the 2023 Jamaica Racing Commission licensees, to have his personal unforgettable moment in the winners’ enclosure.
Race six had a 1-5 favourite in the form of Unruly Dude, a four-year-colt who was unraced since last March but looked the best prepared as the runners paraded. The well-bred lightly raced bay confirmed that fact by sprinting to victory by over four lengths. Saddled by Oral Hayden, champion Dawkins was confident he had the best mount and was always in control of the pace over the 1200-metre gallop to confirm the third of his riding winning streak adding to a double 24 hours earlier.
Saddled by Fitzgerald Richards, Buff Bay (7-2) led and was well rated over the 1400 metres of race seven for Raddesh Roman to secure his second riding success of the afternoon.
In the closing event it was time for Dawkins to confirm his four-timer. Consistent four-year-old grey filly Airstream (2-1), tuned by Robert Pearson enhanced her reputation for gameness to score by a length over another hard-knocking filly Xceptional Babz bet at as the 6-5 favourite.