KINGSTON, Jamaica - If ever Raddesh Roman required a source of inspiration going forward in his career he would have drawn it from his battle with veteran rider Trevor “Slicer” Simpson on Saturday, January 28.
The two engaged in an exhilarating duel in a three-year-old and upwards Restricted Stakes event for non-winners of four races and imported non-winners of three races travelling 5 1/2 furlongs (1,100m).
In the end, Roman, aboard Gary Subratie’s American-bred filly Sistren Treasure, out muscled his more experienced counterpart aboard Jason DaCosta’s-importee Luksol to win by a short head.
For Roman, bettering the decorated five-time champion jockey in such a manner definitely provided an extra bit of motivation for the remainder of the year and beyond, and it was clear for all to see.
“This was the second time I was passing the post ahead of him. Obviously, it’s a great feeling to win the race like that because, as you know, we are all working, but at the end of the day you know respect is due all the same,” a beaming Roman told this publication as he relived the moment via replay.
Simpson’s legacy at Caymanas Park stretches beyond his multiple jockeys’ championship honours, is close to 1,500 career wins, and even his record for most wins in a season, which stands at 171 races. He continues to champion young jockeys and serves as a source of hope and inspiration for many.
“For sure he is a veteran in the business and we continue to learn from him. He inspires a lot of us, so we have to give respect where it is due after the race. I have certainly learnt a lot from him and he is just a big role model,” Roman added.
With Luksol being the first and only ride on the day for Simpson, who is on break from his stint in Canada, many anticipated something special from the veteran jockey, who turns 54 in a few weeks.
However, Roman and Sistren Treasure, who sat close as Luksol and Talona (Anthony Thomas) tussled for the lead leaving the half-mile, had other ideas.
When they left the three-furlong mark and approached the home stretch, Simpson had Luksol comfortably tucked on the inside rails, while Roman was busy asking Sistren Treasure to hit top stride.
In the stretch run, both shook off the attention of the tiring Talona and later locked horns at the furlong pole from where it was anybody’s guess which one would finish tops.
Both waved away with the right hand stick, asking their respective charges to dig into their reserves, and it was literally at the last bob of heads that Roman and The Success Farm-owned Sistren Treasure gained the ascendancy.
Fred The Great (Robert Halledeen) was third, with Talona staying on to complete the frame.
Sistren Treasure (Brethren –Katira) won in a time of 1:07.4. The splits were 24.2 and 47.4 seconds.
While he wasn’t sure how the race would have turned out, Roman said he anticipated that Sistren Treasure’s late turn of foot could come into play.
“I work her in the morning so I know she has a lot of potential and would have been the better finisher. So the plan coming in was to sit and watch them and then make my move when it was time to do that,” he said.
“Honestly, I didn’t expect the race to turn out like that, where me and Mr Simpson would be battling it out at the end, but it was really exciting and I was able to maintain my composure through it.
“So I am very proud of myself, but again, no love or respect lost for Mr Simpson, at his age he continues to prove a strong contender in the saddle, and like I said, we all continue to learn from him,” Roman ended.
Well said young man. Continue to be humble and focus at all times. All the best going forward. Welcome Slicer good to see you at wor k