Minnie Sunshine, with sustained early speed, outsped recently promoted and fellow maiden native-bred three-year-olds going 1,000 metres straight to win the $715,000 Eight Thirty Sprint feature by 1 3/4 lengths at Caymanas Park yesterday.
Owned by WB Racing and ridden by jockey Andre Martin for trainer Gary Subratie, Minnie Sunshine, up with the leaders from the off, ran 1,000 metres straight in a time of 1:00.2 minutes as a 5-2 bet to open her winning account the second time of asking.
Trainer Subratie, who has high expectations for Minnie Sunshine, said the victory "was a stepping stone" for the filly, whom he anticipates "will improve and is going to get better". "This she showed by carrying 54.0kg that I thought was a little heavy.
"Nonetheless we will be using races to bring her on and I think this race will bring her on for the Hotline Stakes," Subratie added.
Hot 4-5 favourite Rhea's A Superstar matched strides with Minnie Sunshine from the off under champion jockey Dane Nelson, but although travelling well, never really looked as though she had the legs to persevere after 800 metres. At this stage Minnie Sunshine lengthened her strides to go on to open her winning account. Rhea's A Superstar, however, had enough running remaining to stave off a late rush for second from Twinkling Rose, the 9-5 second favourite ridden by claiming apprentice Jemar Jackson.
It was then left for Western Rose, stablemate of the winner, to complete the frame under Omar Walker at odds of 25-1 in the field of eight, with the highly fancied Cataleya standing up in the gates and taking no part.
Trainer Wayne DaCosta was again the leading trainer with two wins, while former champion jockey Dick Cardenas had his best day in the saddle for some time booting home a three-timer.
DaCosta shared his two wins with Cardenas — Exotic Gold in the second race for owner Alexander Haber and Jack De Charmer in the sixth for owner Carlton Watson. Cardenas had earlier opened the programme aboard Aventura for trainer Gresford Smith and owner Christopher Wellington to complete his three-timer.