ERSTWHILE promising but winless two-year-old colt, Perfect Neighbour overcame a hugely indifferent start in the Supreme Ventures Two-Year-Old Series II $3,600,000 Pick 3 Super Challenge Trophy feature at Caymanas Park yesterday to upstage his better-fancied stable-mate and 4-5 favourite Royal Vibes in a driving finish to open his winning account by three parts of a length the fourth time of asking.
Owned by Alfred A Lee & Jeffrey S Mordicai, Perfect Neighbour was the least fancied runner of the three entries for trainer Wayne DaCosta, at odds of 5-1, but showed that he was grossly underestimated and ran a plucky 1400 metres in a time of 1:27.2 to gain a narrow win and proved otherwise ridden by the young claiming apprentice Orlando Foster.
The victory of the son of Natural Selection was the more meritorious as he had to recover from a horrible start that at one stage of the race put him some 10 to 15 lengths adrift as the fleet-of-foot filly Country Train made the best of the early lead ahead of the field by a similar margin under claiming apprentice Prince "Daggaman" Holder.
Entering the final 600m, Perfect Neighbour looked hopelessly out of it, but the claiming apprentice of a mere three months never gave up and by the time the field settled for the final 400 metres run he had dropped on them like a ton of bricks. Running like a loose horse along the running rails where he found ample racing room and the progeny of two stayers hooked up with stable-mate Royal Vibes, ridden by Dane Nelson, some 15 metres out before hitting the wire with an advantage close home.
Hover Craft, ridden by champion jockey Dick Cardenas, the joint 4-5 favourite with stable-mate Royal Vibes, finished another 2 3/4 lengths back with the 7-1 chance El Numero Uno, ridden by five-time champion jockey Winston Griffiths, completing the frame of nine following the very late withdrawal of the early favourite Uncle TAF who injured himself in the gates just before the starter sent them on their way.
Had Uncle TAF not late non-started, trainer DaCosta was still hopeful that "I would have done well in the event."
Asked whether or not he was surprised by his horses finishing 1, 2, 3, he said: "Not at all". Commenting on Perfect Neighbour as one for the future, DaCosta said: "He is bred to stay and from here in he could only get better."
Perfect Neighbour, a two-year-old bay colt by Natural Selection out of Desperatehousewife (Ghost Ransom) and bred by YS (1955 Ltd, was copping his first win from four career starts and earned $1,965,600 as the winner's share for earnings of $2,383,700 lifetime.