WEDNESDAY’S eight-race card lived up to expectation — it was dull and almost unexciting.
The only real excitement came in the seventh event. The Jockey Club Stakes over 1,400 metres ended, as they say, in a bang-up finish as the late finishing Sir South, owned, trained and bred by Gordon Lewis, came with a storming outside run to catch and beat the pair of MinisterofJustice and The Guv.
Ridden by Dick Cardenas, the race was so close we had the rather unusual situation of the champion jockey Cardenas and champion in waiting Dane Nelson both parading their horses, Nelson on MinisterofJustice in the winner’s enclosure.
Needless to say, those at the track, especially punters located near to the winner’s enclosure, hyped the moment with their take on the event.
Shane Ellis returned from Trinidad where he rode a winner on their Derby Day programme to pilot the new ‘Master Blaster’ of the claiming ranks, Mr Skill, to his seventh victory of the year.
Most of Mr Skill’s wins have been over sprint distances as he seems to perform well for the trainers who have thus far been favoured to have him in their stables.
Mr Skill is one of those horses who is better than claiming, especially in sprints, but not good enough to go beyond the top claiming grade. Nevertheless, he has developed an enviable record and always seems to excite punters with his bold front-running style.
Trainer Patrick Chang of Awesome Power fame took the trainers’ honours with two wins, Gwenniethebutcher and No Coincidence.