KINGSTON, Jamaica - It can now be confirmed that six-time champion jockey Omar Walker is going to be jockey on board Sentient in Saturday’s (July 27) running of the Jamaica St Leger.
This year’s St Leger takes on added significance as the Anthony Nunes trained Supreme Soul goes for the biggest prize of all, the Triple Crown. The Triple Crown is comprised of three races, the 1000/2000 Guineas (one mile), the Jamaica Derby (12 furlongs) and the Jamaica St Leger (10 furlongs).
If Supreme Soul is successful, he will become the 12th horse since racing started inn 1959 at Caymanas Park to take home the Triple Crown.
Sentient finished third in the 2000 Guineas on April 14 behind winner Supreme Soul ridden by Shane Ellis and Toona Ciliata with Robert Halledeen aboard, the latter also trained by Nunes. In the 2000 Guineas, Sentient trained by Gary Subratie was ridden by Dane Nelson.
In the Jamaica Derby, Sentient gave a brave performance, losing no marks in defeat, but again he perished at the hoofs of Supreme Soul and the wily hands of Ellis. In the Derby, Sentient was ridden by apprentice and leading rider at the moment, Christopher Mamdeen.
“Yes, the change has been made and Omar Walker will be riding Sentient in the Derby,” Subratie told this publication.
However, when asked about the reasons for the switch from Mamdeen to Walker, Subratie did not respond.
It has been quite obvious that a change was coming and that the highly competent Walker with several Classic victories already notched on his silks would be aboard Sentient based on morning exercise.
Walker has been seen working Sentient (Strikewhileitshot – Lady Geetado) for just about the last two weeks.
Mamdeen on the other hand has set his St Leger fortunes on the late blooming Crimson.
It was Mamdeen who was atop Crimson on Saturday, July 13, when the gelded offspring of Nuclear Wayne – Sarah Barracuda romped to victory in a three-year-old (non-winners of two) event run over the same distance of the St Leger, 10 furlongs.
Subratie also confirmed to the Supreme Racing Guide that Mamdeen will be riding the Michros owned Crimson in the St Leger.
As for Supreme Soul, Ellis once again rides but trainer Nunes has four other runners in the event, Toona Ciliata, Princess Ava, Tricky One, and Earn Your Stripes.
It is understood that Nunes and his team have chosen Linton Steadman to ride Toona Ciliata while Anthony Thomas gets the leg-up on Tricky One.
Apprentice Reyan Lewis is down to mount-up on Princess Ava with Robert Halledeen getting the ride on Earn Your Stripes.
Champion trainer Wayne DaCosta also has to make a riding change on his only possible starter in the St Leger, Oak winner, Princess Annie.
Jockey Phillip Parchment who has become a part of Princess Annie and who was aboard when the filly triumphed in the Oaks injured one of his fingers on the exercise track recently and will be out of the saddle until he is mended.
Princess Annie is to be ridden by Oneil Mullings in the St Leger.