The Analysis – Review – for Saturday, December 7, 2019

Sports

The Analysis – Review – for Saturday, December 7, 2019

New apprentices start their racing careers — are there too many?

BY WES MARTIN
Observer contributor

Friday, December 13, 2019

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The opening event was won in a driving finish by Two Steps Up ridden by the much-underrated Linton Steadman for trainer Randolph Scott.

Twenty-one apprentice jockeys were licenced effective September 29, 2018, to commence life as practicing professionals and this race offered the first opportunity for another 21 to have the possibility of a viable future in economic terms operating in one of the world's most uncertain endeavours.

On November 23, 2019, the top eight of the 2018 batch had won 465 of the 737 races contested up to this date.

Christopher Mamdeen 103, Reyan Lewis 77, Kiaman McGregor 46, Tevin Foster 44, Raddesh Roman 36, Daniel Satchell 25 and Roger Hewitt 13 were the only ones to surpass single digits.

The remaining 14 only won a total of 38 races between them, of which three failed to secure a winning mount. With 80 race days annually with an average of 10 races per meet there has to be a legitimate question as to the frequency with which this number of permits is being issued.

However, there is one important fact which cannot be discounted in that these licences have automatic international legitimacy in jurisdictions where the Jamaica Racing Commission has affiliation.

Marshall Porter's career was off to a promising start with a justifiable promotion to first after finishing second despite encountering interference aboard trainer Michael Thomas' Mount Zion King at a crucial point by Struck by Grace (Christopher Mamdeen) , who was in front at the winning post.

Half-an-hour later, Porter was back in the winners' enclosure after guiding 39/1 shot Freedom For Eds, conditioned by Anthony Ferguson, to victory in the third.

Speaking of apprentices, Samantha Fletcher made full use of the chance to demonstrate she is improving when she induced the consistent, Dennis Lee-trained Eye Candy to hold on by a neck to score in the fourth.

Race five went to Neive Graham's Breaking Storm (Phillip Parchment) by nearly six lengths. In race six, the modern, sophisticated photo-finish apparatus deemed Fiery Path (Omar Simpson), owned and trained by Raymond Townsend, and Fortuneonehundred (Prince Holder) saddled by Adin Williams finished in a dead heat.

Despite the odds of 11/1 against Exhilarate (Aaron Chatrie), her gate to wire victory was predictable to the more discerning analysts in that being a sprinter fully effective over 1,200 metres, she would have the momentum 100 metres out to last ahead of her middle-distance rivals in the 1,400-metre trip of the seventh event for leading trainer Anthony Nunes to land the feature Gladiator Trophy.

Former champion Trevor Simpson had to utilise his wide experience to keep favourite, Hecandance running on true line for the first 600 metres of the 1000-metre eighth event for maidens.

This win enabled SVREL's Chairman Solomon Sharpe to visit the winners' enclosure in a unique capacity as joint/breeder and part/owner of the winner.

The ninth, in which there was a four-horse spill, the Wayne DaCosta-schooled My Time Now (Omar Walker) duly won the traditional Andrew H B Aguilar Trophy outstaying rivals by two-and-a-half lengths.

Fortunately, there were no injuries to the riders involved in the spill. In the nightcap, O'Neil Mulling, although shaken by being involved in the spill halfan- hour earlier, showed no ill-effects and was at his experienced best in coaxing a victory by a neck out of Philip Feanny's game filly Cryptocurrency under top weight in the hugely competitive gallop.

THE AWARDS

The Training Feat Award is presented to Philip Feanny for the conditioning of Cryptocurrency. The filly takes The Best Winning Gallop in a field where the top three finishers were only separated by a half-a-length.

The Jockeyship Award to Mullings for yet another skillful display following his smart tactical strategy in winning on a week ago over a distance beyond her previous best.


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