KINGSTON, Jamaica - Thoroughly inconsistent four-year filly Traditional Lady (Javaniel Patterson), having her 19th career start, won the 1400-metre opener at odds of 3-1. Saddled by Patrick Lynch, this was the first of two successes for the top-10 conditioner on the programme of 10 events. Lynch’s double was later confirmed in race nine, run at 1,100 metres.
Former three-time titlist Anthony Thomas, for the first of a riding double, was the pilot on even money favourite Joyful to outsprint the opposition by nearly five lengths. Thomas had his double secured when 9-2 chance Essential Quality ran gamely to score by a head for trainer Oral Hayden to enjoy his third success from the first 13 declarations of his career.
Race two, over 1,300 metres, ended a frustrating run of placed finishes by Magic Bullet for trainer Ryan Williams and connections, with a strong late run to return odds of 7-2. Ridden by Roger Hewitt, the five-year-old mare made the frame in either second or third on seven consecutive occasions.
Speaking of the end of frustration with placed finishes, for the first of his three winners on today’s card, leading and reigning champion Jason DaCosta would have sentiments similar to that of Williams’, with the five-and-a-half-length victory of 6-5 bet Tekapunt in race five run at 1,300 metres. The four-year-old gelding had racked up six seconds and a third position finish in his last eight appearances.
Ridden by Reyan Lewis, Tekapunt was the first of his four successes and also the opener of DaCosta’s triple on the card.
The most potent trainer/jockey combination revisited the winners’ enclosure with maiden MPRS Links (5-1), scoring narrowly in the 1,400-metre contest of race six. The pair’s third trip to the hollowed space was confirmed by She’s My Destiny (1-5), scoring comfortably in the 1,100-metre featured SVL 22nd Anniversary Trophy.
DaCosta, who has won nearly 400 races in a continuing 14-year career span in the United States, has now chalked up 201 successes locally since he opened his Jamaican account in March 2021. This is a remarkable achievement of historic proportions, in terms of the short time frame in which the son of the late 18-time champion trainer Wayne DaCosta surpassed this milestone.
Lewis, odds-on favourite to lift his first jockey’s title this season, coaxed 11-year-old Ras Emanuel (7-1) to demonstrate his long-held winning ability over the 1,100 metres of race seven for trainer Gregg Fennell’s second career success. In leading the current standings, Lewis has now ridden 54 winners this year.
Back now to race three, in which 4-5 favourite Schlesinger was just over one length in front at the end of the 600-metre straight dash for four-kilo claiming rider Oshadane Robinson to ride the first career winner for recently licensed conditioner Lesra Thompson, while race four, contested over the full 1,000 metres of the straight course, was won by Sir Kel (7-2), saddled by Ryan Darby for a near eight-length runaway with two-kilo claiming reinsman Matthew Bennett doing the riding honours.
The Training Feat Award is presented to Gregg Fennell for presenting the ageing Ras Emanuel to display the Best Winning Gallop and to Lewis goes the Jockeyship Award for his patience and decisive tactics in anticipating an opening on the far rails approaching the final 200 metres.