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At long last Uncle Taf is a winner

Observer staff reporter

Friday, February 09, 2018

Hard work, patience and confidence paid off for the connections of Uncle Taf as the Owen Sharpe trainee picked up a well-overdue win in the $1-million Overnight Allowance event at Caymanas Park last Saturday.

The winner of eight previous races, Uncle Taf, an eight-year-old chestnut gelding, went completely off the boil. Mainly because of his lack of form, bettors sent him off at 10-1 in the five-furlong (1,000m) straight event on Saturday — but jockey Shane Ellis knew better.

Ellis got Uncle Taf running out from the number seven post, but he was unable to go with the blistering early splits and was relegated to last position.

Ellis kept his mount well balanced and slowly took Uncle Taf from the middle of the racetrack to the outside under the stand side area for his run, but he was still in last position as Princess Emanuelle (Omar Walker), Gary Glitter (Anthony Thomas), Cartel (Jerome Innis), Ras Emanuel (Robert Halledeen), and Polly B (Oneil Scott) battled for the lead.

Inside the last furlong (200m) Ras Emanuel took over, but Ellis kept prodding his mount. Uncle Taf responded well and got up in the nick of time to nip Ras Emanuel, winning by a neck in the end. Princess Emanuelle was a neck behind in third. The winning time for the three-year-old and upward event was 57.0.

“It was a brilliant performance by Uncle Taf to make up so much ground and still be able to come out the winner. It was a good run…a really good run.

“[Although] we got a good break, I was squeezed out and ended up in last position, but he was still going. Coming into the last two furlongs, I asked him to go and he responded so well and got up in the nick of time,” Ellis said.