Racing Year 2022 done and dusted
Peking Cruz wins first race in 2022
Peking Cruz, trained by Gregory Forsyth and ridden by Tevin Foster, had the distinction of winning the first race of the new year when he led home rivals in a three-year-old and upwards Claiming ($1 million - $800,000) over 5 ½ furlongs (1,100m).
Peking Cruz had no problems at the start of the race as the seven-year-old chestnut gelding sat in second place just behind leader Deep Blue Sea (Matthew Bennett). Navigating the half-mile turn, Peking Cruz went by Deep Blue Sea who had a mishap and then faded through the field.
Peking Cruz reached the wire three lengths ahead of Crafty and Ready (Omar Walker) in second place, who was also three lengths ahead of Rohan Kabir (Robert Halledeen) in the third slot. The final time for the event was 1:06.4.
Kholbear’s consistency pays off
Kholbear, who finished second and third three times each from 15 starts in 2021, finally came good in his first effort of the new year when he held off rivals in a native-bred five-year-old and upwards Restricted Allowance (non-winners of three races) event at seven furlongs (1,400m).
With Matthew Bennett riding for trainer Colin Ferguson, Kholbear was the first to show on the headlines when the gates opened, but Chennai Express (Robert Halledeen) went by and assumed a slim lead passing the 6-furlong (1,200m) point.
Navigating the half-mile turn, Kholbear regained the lead and took the field into the straight. In deep stretch, Kholbear powered home to score by a length and a quarter ahead of My Time Now (Tevin Foster) and Chennai Express. The final time was recorded at 1:28.1.
Traditional Boy a winner after 21 starts
After 21 career starts including three-second place finishes, the Gary Subratie-conditioned Traditional Boy found himself in front when the winning post arrived with a come from behind win in a native-bred four-year-old and upwards maiden condition race going 6 furlongs.
Traditional Boy was unable to go with the early pace but going into the half-mile turn, jockey Dane Dawkins urged his mount to go into third place behind Silver Fox (Daniel Thompson) and Fearless Man (Chris Mamdeen).
Still occupying third place turning for home, Traditional Boy got going late and then produced a strong run inside the last furlong to win by 2 lengths.
Also producing a late run was Victoriasmedallion (Roger Hewitt), who got up for second place ahead of Fearless Man in third place. The final time for the event was 1:16.1.
General Mubaraak upsets in McKay Security Limited Trophy
Sent off at odds of 15-1, eight-year-old bay gelding General Mubaraak produced a strong run in deep stretch to upset rivals in the $1-million McKay Security Limited Trophy over nine furlongs and 25 yards (1,820m).
Trained by Steven Todd and ridden by Matthew Bennett, General Mubaraak settled in third place behind Storm Valley (Javaniel Patterson) and Sir Arjun Babu (Robert Halledeen) around the clubhouse turn and onto the main track.
The top three maintained their gallops well down the backstretch before Sir Ajun Babu took over with four furlongs to go. With Sir Arjun Babu drifting out to be almost touching the outside rails, Bennett, who went to the inside rails, produced General Mubaraak for a final effort, to get up in time for the win.
General Mubaraak defeated Sir Arjun Babu by a head in a time of 2:01.0. Storm Valley was third.
Eight horses claimed
In the first race, Ryan Darby claimed Rohan Kabir for owner True Friends for $1 million from Marlon Anderson.
Byron Davis claimed Special Prosecutor for owner Samora Clarke for $180,000 from Steven Todd, while David Powell claimed El Maestro for owner Everton Rose, also for $180,000, from Alford Brown from the sixth race.
In the seventh race, Ian Roberts claimed Ridewiththemob for owner Nadon from Lawrence Freemantle; Shaun Williams claimed winner General Mubaraak for owner Sheldon Taylor from Steven Todd; Dennis Thwaites claimed Sir Arjun Babu for himself from Delroy Waugh; Marlon Anderson claimed Storm Valley for owner Yehert Miller from Patrick Taylor; and Edward Walker claimed Whatever for himself from Waugh. All horses from the seventh event were claimed at a price of $250,000 each.