Sport

Relampago's Derby success a special victory for groom

Kevin Williams says his charge loves to eat mangoes

BY RUDDY ALLEN OBSERVER STAFF WRITER

Friday, June 20, 2014    

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ON Saturday last, Relampago made a lot of people happy. His victory in the 94th running of the Jamaica Derby this year sponsored by McKay Security Limited solidified his position as one of the top three-year-olds in the country.

Preparing a horse for the gruelling 12 furlongs of the Derby is no easy task. And while the main management responsibility lies squarely on the shoulders of the trainer, there is no doubting the critical role of the groom in the success of any racehorse.

Kevin Williams, groom of Relampago, put in the hours and the hard work and was able by dint of his dedication and his expertise to reap the ultimate in horse racing and that is the reason why he is so happy at the moment.

"Relampago fulfilled all my expectations. I feel great, it is a wonderful feeling. This victory by Relampago means a lot to me, I have been in racing from around 1979 and this is my happiest time. It is my first Derby win since I am grooming horses and is a moment that I will treasure for the rest of my life," Williams with obvious emotion etched on his face told the Complete Racing Guide.

Williams said that he was always confident about his horse going into the Derby despite the presence of the classy Talented Tony K and his rider - the much acclaimed Edgar Prado.

"When you have a jockey like Shane Ellis riding a horse in a Classic race that has a chance of winning, you are very confident in victory. Ellis is the second best Classic rider at Caymanas Park right now and he will ride your horse to the fullest. The 'Canter Man (Ellis) is good and you can depend on him," Williams said with a great degree of certainty.

Commenting on his charge on Sunday, a day after his Derby win, Williams said Relampago came out of the race healthy and that he has high hopes for the bay colt by Seeking The Glory - Jettish by Eltish to run well in the St Leger on July 5.

"Relampago is very good at the moment, he is the solidest horse that came out of the Derby. He is eating very well and I am making sure that he is kept clean, nice and healthy. This horse loves to eat mangoes and is a horse that I just love to be around.

"As long as he keeps healthy, I believe that he will win the St Leger as he is very consistent and he is easy to train as well," he affirmed.

Williams said that he has no regrets choosing a profession in the racing industry.

"Since I have been in racing everyone has been good to me and I want to thank them for it. But special thanks to trainer Anthony Nunes for his guidance and support," he concluded.

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