Horse Racing

'Country's' 700 winners

BY RUDDY ALLEN
Observer staff reporter

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

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Paul 'Country Kid' Francis entered the record books last Saturday when he steered the Christopher Pierre-conditioned Ten Carats to victory, to become the 11th jockey in the history of Caymanas Park to ride 700 or more winners.

Ten Carats sprinted away from rivals at the top of the lane to win by three-and-a-half lengths ahead of Eddie's Princess and Milagro in a time of 1:13.3 for the six-furlong (1,200m) Restricted Allowance event.

Francis added another winner to his tally when he won aboard Lightning Lily, trained by Philip Feanny, in the ninth race.

While the accomplishment of riding 700 winners is not new – several riders over the years have achieved this particular feat – Francis said that this was the start of something new for him, the kind of resurrection he needed.

“The feeling of winning 700 races is really a great feeling. Trust me, 700 winners is nothing to scoff at; it is really a wonderful feeling. I feel so good within myself knowing that I have reached another milestone in my career.

“I must give all thanks and praises to God for carrying me through all of this. To all the trainers, owners, all the racing fraternity, I just want to thank you for the support over the years that led me to win these 700 races,” Francis said.

Having started his career as a jockey in 2002 with his first win aboard LAC Choice, Francis spoke with pride about his years in the racing industry.

“Horse racing is a sport that I've had a special liking for [over the years]. I was in racing from 1993 and slowly got my thing going, and started riding in 2002. My career has been very good thus far. I really can't complain, I am right here and that's the best thing.

“You know, in every journey there are always going to be obstacles in your path to success. I have encountered some obstacles and I give thanks for them also, as they keep me pushing for better,” Francis told the Supreme Racing Guide.

He recalled the 2009 Jamaica Derby as the biggest race he has won in his 15-year career.

“The biggest race I ever won in my career is the biggest race in the country, and that is the Jamaica Derby. That was just wonderful, and I was very happy that day. Not many jockeys have the distinction of winning a Derby, and for me to do it, I give all the praises. I won aboard He's Really Ok.

“The best horses that I've ridden so far in my career are Commanding Chief and Bruceontheloose. Those two horses were two very good horses,” said Francis.

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