THE down-in-class American import, Raise a Ruckus, completed a quick double at Caymanas Park yesterday after romping the $528,000 Paul Newman Memorial Trophy feature by 4 1/2 lengths.
Campaigning on a $400,000 tag among the claiming group $450,000 - $400,00 three-year-olds upward, and ridden by five-time champion jockey Trevor Simpson for the 14-time champion trainer Philip Feanny, Raise A Ruckus, the 4-5 favourite, raised eyebrows with a sturdy gate-to-wire performance.
The performance was the more meritorious considering that the five-year-old horse's legs are not considered to be as sturdy as they once were. He, however, showed he still had in him what it takes to win races and ran 1,600m in a time of 1:41.3 to land his second consecutive win among claiming company after stepping down to the grade on a $500,000 tag on December 8.
General C, who was saddled with top weight of 56.0kg for jockey Cavel Brown, battled gallantly against his American rival for parity, but lacked the class and had to settle for second money at odds of 14-1.
Bredda Papa, ridden by Dane Nelson, also made a valiant effort to be competitive, but could only managed third as a 6-1 bet. It was then left to the well supported Ghost Rapper, at odds of 4-1 to complete the frame under Omar Walker in the field of 11.
When this calibre of horse is thrown in for a tag and continues to perform as well as Raise A Ruckus is, it raises questions about his well-being and ability to stand up to rigorous training schedules. So the question of ability to train was put to trainer Feanny.
"It is not a question of difficult to train, but his legs are leaving him and, therefore, he is no longer competitive in the top class. This being so, you would have to wait four months for him to be demoted into the lower class, which will be Open Allowance. This will make no sense. So you go claiming," said training guru.
Raise A Ruckus, owned by Houston Stables, is by Graeme Hall out of Likely Ruckus (Bold Ruckus) and bred by Eugene Melnyk in the USA. It was the 10th win for the American-bred horse from 28 career starts and he earned $288,300 for a bankroll of $6,372,550 lifetime.