Sport

Potcheen coming of age, and the family partnership

Wes Martin

Saturday, September 29, 2012    

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HE has been dogged by injuries which have curtailed his appearances and quality of performance in the Classics, but Potcheen, after a good two-year-old season, is seemingly now showing his worth with two consecutive wins, the last on Saturday in the Overnight Allowance grouping.

Omar Walker had the three-year-old Traditional-Bubble Gum Hottie colt in touch from the start of the event over 1,100 metres before quickening rather impressively in the straight to win by an expanding three-and-a-half lengths.

The hope is that the Ian Parsard-trained colt will move quickly up the racing ladder, eventually reaching the pinnacle of the top class. This, indeed, will be fitting tribute to Triple Crown champion War Zone, whose trophy race he won on Saturday.

For too long, too many of our good three-year-olds have failed to fulfil their early promise by not rising to join the best in the land in ‘A’ Class. The survival nature of present-day racing demands that our best three-year-olds must swell the top class in order to engender larger and more competitive races, as well as providing excitement for punters who are yearning for the competitiveness involving the ‘big’ horses.

Parsard, who delves in the claiming market with some amount of success as well as investing in relatively good horses both at home and overseas, is having a good season with 10 winners thus far.

The partnership that has developed between Parsard and his father, Harry, is good for the sport and a ringing endorsement of family members working together for a common goal — success.

The nation’s only female trainer, Margaret Parchment, visited the winner’s enclosure for the second time this year when Orchist (Rudolph Paige) broke his maiden in a four-year-old event over 1,600 metres.

Parchment, who is well known for her great love and care of horses, enjoyed this winning moment with long-time racing partner Vin Lumsden, the listed breeder of Orchist, and her son Wayne, also a trainer.

The three — Vin, Margaret and Wayne — form the owners’ syndicate of VMW and are another example of family members coming together in racing. Hopefully, the trio will continue to have more successes in the near future.

At long last the two-yearold season seems to be warming up, as 11 juveniles faced the starter in the 1,000 metres round Winnie Anglin Memorial Cup. The race ended in a close finish between the first and second favourites, Lady of Merit and Shamrock, with the former, ridden by Dick Cardenas, getting the nod in the final stride.

The close finish and 11 starters in the Winnie Anglin was pleasing, but this joy was somewhat scuppered when the Overnight came out at the end of the raceday.

A two-year-old event was listed as abandoned with five horses entered. Wednesday’s raceday had eight races, meaning the popular Pick-9 wager was not on offer.

Separate and apart from not having the Pick-9 exotic wager, it is not wise to throw out two-year-old races as nonwinners of two races have to be developed to enhance the juvenile programme.

It is strongly believed that this two-year-old race was dispatched because of finance. Care, however, must be exercised, as racing must not bite its nose to save its face.

Lady of Merit’s success provided a long overdue win for owner Carlton Watson, who is a very strong supporter of racing through his company, Cal’s Manufacturing. The rewards will come.

At this time of the year, three-year-old maiden races become very special as winning such an event is decidedly more lucrative than winning a fouryear-old maiden event.

The difference in purse money is approximately $250,000. So, with little time to go before the end of the season, trainers are doing their best and trying their hardest to ensure that they get this elusive win before time runs out.

On Saturday, this burden was lifted from the shoulders of trainer Victor Williams and owner SAC when Supen Ago Happen broke her maiden with a decisive four-length win over JT Express and ConflictofInterest, who deadheated for second place. Odds on 4/5 favourite Special Report finished fifth.

For the rest of the year punters can expect not only large fields for these threeyear-old maiden races, but also fierce competition as the ante gets larger and larger.

Supen Ago Happen was ridden to victory by newlyappointed apprentice Renardo McNaughton, who now has the distinction of riding a winner per raceday since this new batch of claimers began plying their trade three weeks ago.

McNaughton was upstaged on the day by Ruja Lahoe, who became the first of these apprentices to ride a double on Time Of Storm for trainer Joseph Durrant and She’s So Special for trainer Gary Griffiths.

Congratulations to trainer Borris McIntosh for posting his first winner, Lady Gorakhpur.

More anon!

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