Commanding Chief takes command in Viceroy Trophy
MOMENTS after returning from Trinidad and Tobago where he rode a three-timer, champion jockey Dane Nelson wasted no time as he steered Commanding Chief to a commanding victory in The Viceroy Trophy at Caymanas Park yesterday.
Trained by Everal Francis, the six-year-old chestnut gelding by War Marshal-She Knows Beau by Beau Genius was sent off at 5-2 in the 1,800-metre event.
Commanding Chief got off to his usual brilliant start and was held in third position by Nelson behind the leaders Amicable (Kerry Robinson up) and Uppa Tune (the mount of Percy Williams) with Pete'swildone settled in fourth position.
As the six runners sorted themselves out, Uppa Tune picked up the lead as Commanding Chief drew alongside Amicable at the six-furlong point, with the 2013 Derby winner Perfect Neighbour (Dick Cardenas in the saddle) looking a threat in fourth. Nelson then urged this mount to go and Commanding Chief responded well and chased Uppa Tune approaching the home bend.
Turning for home some three lengths in second, Nelson then produced his charge on the outside and the Paul Chen-bred Commanding Chief then drew away from the field to win by a comfortable three-and-a-quarter lengths over Typewriter (Shane Ellis doing duties) with the fast-finishing Pete'swildone another one-and-a-quarter lengths in third, and Perfect Neighbour was a disappointed fourth.
Owned by Doks Stables, Commanding Chief covered the distance in 1:51:4 minutes behind splits 22:4, 45:1, 1:09:3 and 1:36:4.
"The plan was to test the leaders but they were travelling too quickly, so I decided to hold up my horse a bit, and around the two-furlong point my horse had a ton in him and just rode him in the last 300 metres and we eventually won the race," Nelson explained.
"I believe that this horse (Commanding Chief) has a live shot to win this year's Superstakes going 2,000 metres," Nelson added.
Meanwhile, in a driving finish Tatty's Bad Gal, with Chalrick Budhai riding for Devon Vanriel, got the better of Allisonbee (Oneil Mullings up) by a nose in the co-feature, the Drumbeat Trophy.
Tatty's Bad Gal ran the 1,000-metre event in 1:00:4 minutes to record her third victory for the season.
Racing continues next Saturday.