KINGSTON, Jamaica - Former jockey and now a perennial top-10 conditioner Patrick “Wacky” Lynch throughout his career has had many Classic aspirants doing well in the trials. His stable hit the jackpot in 2018 with victories by Disability Charm and Drone Strike in the 1000 Guineas and Jamaica Derby, respectively, and there could be further success in his future.
It is therefore hardly surprising that Blue Vinyl, his 2022 Classic contender in the races where colts and geldings are eligible, won the featured first renewal of The Kingston Grade II Classic Trial event in some style. Staged as the final event on the nine-race programme, Blue Vinyl (4/1) was well ridden by Raddesh Roman to score by just over three lengths.
In his post-race interview Lynch revealed he has a high opinion of the chestnut progeny of the already hugely successful young stallion Bern Identity. Blue Vinyl now has a 2000 Guineas engagement in less than a month as the next challenge. Interestingly, in response to a question on tactics, Roman disclosed in his post-race analysis he was instructed to relax the colt in any comfortable position and ask for the winning effort from the top of the home stretch.
It was a pre-race plan executed perfectly with Blue Vinyl (4-1) racing from mid-pack and challenging successfully for the lead halfway up the 400 metres of the home straight before sprinting to a clear lead for the remainder of the race.
An interesting talking point has emerged with the equivalent Trial for fillies The Portmore won by Atomica, the now undefeated four-time winner in a Stakes record of 1:32.3 which is a fifth of second faster than the Blue Vinyl time only toting 52 kilos. Conversely the flying filly coasted in by over 12 lengths burdened by 57 kilos to lay claim to being the best of either sex at this stage.
Phillip Parchment rode the winner of the opening event for trainer Gary Griffiths’ gelding Diligent obliging at 5-1. Half an hour later, the day’s second, contested over 1,300 metres, went to Donovan Plummer’s eight-year-old mare Killer Bee (2-1) with Jordan Barrett at the reins.
Race three gave an opportunity to leading reinsman Dane Dawkins to improve on his four-timer 24 hours earlier with 1-5 favourite Dodge This Link, trained by Ian Parsard who saddled three winners in the two-day meet, outsprinting rivals over 1,100 metres.
Dawkins’ form got boosted to six wins for the weekend with the fourth event going to Gary Subratie’s cutely named filly Itiz What Itiz (10-1) staying best over the 1,600-metre trip.
In race five, 3-5 favourite Goliath The Great (Dick Cardenas) led on the bridle for 800 of the 1,000 metres and held on to win but ran as though something was amiss over the last 200. The concern for trainer Robert Pearson is that the burly grey colt bled profusely with this severe episode of exercise induced pulmonary haemorrhage as evidenced by the extensive red decolouration of the animal’s coat around its chest.
Lightly raced seven-year-old horse Lightning MacQueen (8-1), under the care of trainer Nicholas Smith, returned from a near seven-month hiatus to blind 14 opponents with speed. This even surprised experienced reinsman Paul “Country” Francis, who in his post-race interview admitted he had no expectation of a performance of this nature was possible with his mount going well clear early and having all in trouble fully 700 metres from the finish of the 1,000 metres straight of the event.
Clearly one of the best-bred horses imported in utero, consistent four-year-old Mister Mandate (7-2) under Javaneil Patterson, who is developing a reputation of deploying frontrunning tactics successfully, impressed once again as he paced the gelding in the requisite fractions to score at the first time of asking over 1,500 metres. One feels sure conditioner Dennis Pryce is very appreciative of the skills of the ever-improving rider.
Tevin Foster also enjoyed success over the 24 hours of the weekend meet with a third winner in the form of maiden Slam (12-1), a former inmate of Philip Feanny, delivering a winning first effort over 1600 metres immediately following transfer to the barn of Ryan Darby.
The Training Feat Award is presented to Pryce for his insightful decision to afford Mister Mandate the opportunity to compete over a longer trip with the gelding gamely displaying the Best Winning Gallop with Patterson being rewarded with his second Jockeyship Award in succeeding months for yet another sublime display of “waiting-in-front” the English description of the tactical ride.