KINGSTON, Jamaica - The feature event was another renewal of the Gold Cup; a trophy designated traditional event having had its inauguration in 1967. Conceptually, once sponsorship deal was inked with Carreras Jamaica Limited the distance of 1400 metres was thought to be ideal since it offered the prospect of middle-distance performers or outright sprinters winning. The cigarette manufacturing entity determined that the brand to be promoted was Benson & Hedges.
Based on their exploits as juveniles, the field included two horses, namely None Such, two years prior, and Rameses, in the year of the race, both having the rare distinction of being promoted to the top class. Interestingly, England-bred Kilowatt, who beat Rameses to win this first staging, won again victorious in 1968 and then was a late scratch the following year but repeated Gold Cup success in 1970. Kilowatt was trained by Valbert Marlowe, father of current practitioner Michael.
This year’s event, programmed as the eighth on the nine-race card, had an instant transformation of its likely competitiveness when it was confirmed as more than a rumour that at post time the top handicapper and ante-post favourite Mahogany would still be in his stall at the Ian Parsard stable.
Unsuccessful 2021 Triple Crown aspirant Further and Beyond (3rd 2000 Guineas, 2nd St Leger, 3rd Derby) was defeated for the third time in succession by Calculus but in extraordinary circumstances on this occasion.
Ridden to lead by 2019 champion Christopher Mamdeen, Further and Beyond, in spite of the rider unable to assist fully having lost his right stirrup iron over 1000 metres out, was only overtaken by winner Calculus (Paul Francis) inside the last 150 metres.
Trained by Gary Subratie and starting at odds of 14/1, Calculus won by over three lengths and, in addition to his St Leger and Derby victories, has now increased this year’s bankroll to over $8.0 million.
It was double success for the Subratie outfit with Sweet N Smart (2/1) scoring narrowly in the 1600-metre nightcap with jockey Robert Halledeen adding his second on the day having piloted Mirabilis (7/2) to victory for the Dale Murphy barn in the 1300-metre third event.
The opening event was won by Patrick Fong’s Flying Bullet (26/1) with Ruja Lahoe in the saddle.
Half an hour later it was an opportunity for trainer Anthony Subratie to improve his 2021 strike rate to 12 wins from 29 starts and Linton Steadman made sure that Night Light (1/5) was in front at the end of the 1600-metre gallop of the day’s second.
Trained by Steven Todd, despite running closer to the stand-side rails inside the last 200 metres, 2/5 favourite Sir Arjun Babu gave joint champion and current leading reinsman Anthony Thomas his 95th win of the season in the third event run over 1300 metres.
With a 174 starts this season, busy Gary Griffiths saddled his seventh winner this year with Letters of Gold (Hakeem Pottinger) scoring at odds of 8/1 the fifth event run over 1100 metres for maidens.
Conditioned by Vincent Atkinson, highly touted Wifey Sez So (Javaniel Patterson) was a ten-length winner of the day’s sixth landing the gamble at odds of 8/5.
The 1000-metre straight seventh race gallop was duly won by the Ian Parsard trained 1/5 favourite USA import Jordon Reign’s (Omar Walker) with the impressively conformed colt scoring by nearly seven lengths on his highly anticipated debut.
The Training Feat Award is presented to Gary Subratie for the return to form of double Classic hero Calculus, whose below par performances in his next subsequent races over two turns behind stayers King Arthur and Hover Craft following his Derby triumph was cause for concern. The Best Winning Gallop was the perfect display by Jordon Reign’s and unusually the Jockeyship Award is for Christopher Mamdeen whose tremendous effort to keep Further and Beyond competitive in the circumstances is highly commendable.