A day littered with upsets


A day littered with upsets

Review of race day — Saturday, November 21, 2020


Tuesday, November 24, 2020

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Speedy little filly Ocean Wave (Dick Cardenas) enjoyed an uncontested lead to the top of the home straight to put her field in trouble.

Running well from this point, her sprint to the 200-metre marker gave the chasing pack little hope of getting on terms, even when her strides shortened 50 metres out. It was only a matter of momentum for her to last home, and there was enough to secure the odds of 11/1 for trainer Fitznahum Williams.

Half an hour later there was no relief for the short-odds players as trainer Wayne Parchment's moderate but attractive grey Smoke Haze (Dennis Brown) ran determinedly from in front at 16/1 to deny odds-on favourite Above Hall Links (Anthony Thomas) the opportunity of releasing her maiden tag.

More success for second generation trainer Parchment was only an hour away as Orlando Foster guided Azul through a path on the far rails to win the fourth at odds of 6/1.

Prior to the fourth, the third event inflicted further agony on the now-frustrated form bettors as Funky Fashion (Dane Dawkins) at 4/1, having been cured by trainer Errol Pottinger of her habit of starting slowly, led from 800 metres out and fought gamely to repel the late sustained attack of odds-on favourite Top Gear (Anthony Thomas) by a short head.

In the fifth, Ryan Darby was taken to the winners' enclosure in his capacity as owner/trainer with perennial slow starter Subbie abandoning the frustrating habit.

Prominent from early the six-year-old bay horse went clear in the upper home stretch under Paul “Country” Francis to arrive at the winning post just under two lengths clear of closest pursuer Royal Aviator (Omar Walker).

Having endured the sequence of 11/1, 16/1, 4/1, 6/1 and 7/1 winners, sanity was returned to the form players when Dane “Warrior Chief” Nelson won the sixth with the 4/5 favourite Mirabilis for champion and leading trainer Anthony Nunes.

Things were made a lot easier for Mirabilis as main rival Sir Arjun Babu (Oshane Nugent) drifted right throughout the home straight and lost the rider just before the winning post after being a clear second at this point.

Nugent suffered no ill effects from the fall and gave a good display of his improvement as a rider to win the seventh with 1,000-metre straight course specialist Weekend Jazz (4/1) in a driving finish for trainer Byron Davis to post this colt for a third win at the trip.

Nelson won for second time on the day when long odd-on choice Executive Chief, after an untidy start, wore down front-runner Triple Seven in the eighth. This was the first of two for trainer Patrick “Wacky” Lynch.

The ninth, a Maiden Special Weight for juveniles, gave Nelson his third winner when Calculus (3/5), conditioned by Nunes for the trainer's second win, came from off the early pace to sprint clear at the distance and score by nearly three lengths.

The Warrior Chief's three-timer moves him on to 70 winners to reduce leader Anthony Thomas's advantage to only four; down from 15 in September.

Dick Cardenas riding High Diplomacy (5/2) for Patrick Lynch secured double success for both horsemen as the three-year-old colt defied top weight to deny the late burst of My Time Now (Phillip Parchment) by three parts of a length in winning the tenth event. The Errol Waugh-owned and trained Jamai Raja (24/1) won the 11th and closing event decisively under journeyman Devon Thomas's expert execution of front-running tactics.

The Training Feat Award is presented to Errol Waugh for the return to winning form of former top-class Stakes and Futurity contender when trained by Richard Azan four years ago. This was patience getting just rewards. The seven-year-old Jamai Raja galloped resolutely throughout and stayed on strongly from in front to earn The Best Winning Gallop accolade. The Jockeyship Award, his second in a week, is reserved for Devon A Thomas whose experience assisted the gelding's success in no uncertain terms.

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