Potcheen romps War Zone feature

BY HURBUN WILLIAMS Observer writer

Sunday, September 23, 2012    

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OMAR Walker, the four-time champion jockey, returned to the winner's circle with a three-timer; Potcheen romped the $845,000 War Zone Trophy feature and Lady of Merit took the two-year-old $715,000 Winnie Anglin Memorial Cup secondary feature to highlight the 11-race card at Caymanas Park yesterday.

It did not stop there as the new batch of apprentices continued to produce the winners with Ruja Lahoe riding his first double to join Renardo McNaughton at the top of the apprentices jockeys' standings with three victories.

McNaughton, who also rode a winner, started the day leading with two wins. Lahoe had the leg up on the 5-1 shot Time Of Storm in the sixth race and She's So Special in the eighth, while McNaughton's lone win was aboard the 5-1 chance Supem Ago Happen in the third race.

Potcheen, winning his second straight race since returning to full fitness after recovering from a liver infection, took the War Zone Sprint Trophy among Restricted Stakes, native-bred three-year-olds by 3 1/2 lengths.

Trained by Ian Parsard for owners Curragh Jamaica Agency, Potcheen, installed the 4-5 favourite, ran 1,100 metres in 1:06.0 to beat the 26-1 betting option Sunshine Boy, ridden by Dick Cardenas.

Potcheen, who provided Walker with one of his three wins, showed no ill-effects of his recent malady and was just a step behind Sunshine Boy as both rounded the bend to set down for the final 400m drive.

There was little between them for the next 60m; however, Potcheen found another gear and inched away for a comfortable victory.

Lashing Force, the mount of Richard Mitchell, kept plugging away after the first two had separated themselves from the pack to be third as a 5-1 bet, while El Patron, ridden by Shane Ellis, completed the frame at odds of 7-2 in the field of 11.

The bay three-year-old colt who cost $1,5000,000 at the Yearling Sale in 2010 is by Traditional out of Bubble Gum Hottie (Hermitage) and bred by Percival Tomlinson.

He was winning for the fourth time from 12 career starts and earned $461,350 as the winner's share for earnings of $2,229,650 lifetime.

Earlier, 2-5 favourite Lady Of Merit, ridden by Dick Cardenas, came running on to beat the speedy long-time leader, 8-1 shot Shamrock with Aaron Chatrie up, to win the $715,000 Anglin Memorial Cup by a head.



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