Sports

Bagwandeen happy but not pleased how Diamond Mile was won

...Owner of Will In Charge says he wanted to see duel with She's A Maneater, decries riding tactics by his jockey

BY HURBUN WILLIAMS
Observer writer

Friday, December 07, 2018

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Winning a race as prestigious as the Diamond Mille is always associated with an outpouring of happiness and joy.

Indeeed, that was the case for Wilbert Bagwandeen, owner of 2018 Diamond Mile winner Will In Charge, on Saturday last (December 1) at Caymanas Park, but there was also a grey clouding hanging over his head.

“First of all, I must say that the feeling of winning the prestigious Diamond Mile is good. I feel good,” Bagwandeen said, while admitting that a bitter taste was left in his mouth with the performance of the jockey aboard Will In Charge, Robert Halledeen.

“I think I got a gift after She's A Maneater bolted before the start of the race and was declared a non-runner and then, mystery of all mysteries, the jockey stop riding, almost giving the race away.

“He (Robert Halledeen) was riding a one-horse race and not a race with other horses in it.

Will In Charge and She's A Maneater would have made the Diamond Mile a two-horse race between them, but She's A Maneater was scratched, so he (Robert Halledeen) was riding a one-horse race, that was what happened.

“He (Halledeen) never had any competition and he just stopped riding from half a furlong out.

“I was so upset when I saw Bigdaddykool, coming and coming, getting closer and closer; with the winner eventually being decided by a photo finish.

“At one stage I could not move from my seat, I simply could not beilieve what had just happened.

“I was angry, I was nervous as it should not have been like that but I am happy to have won in the end,” Bagwandeen shared with emotion in his voice.

As to the plight of She's A Maneater.

“I have always said privately and publicly that my horse, Will In Charge and She's A Maneater are the two best horses in training right now.

“People came to the track to see the duel between these two horses and were denied.

“I certainly do not want what happened to She's A Maneater to have happened to my horse as I enjoy the competition and I know how the connections are feeling.

“It was not good for racing, and it was not good for the thousands who came out to watch the Diamond Mile on Saturday,” Bagwandeen said.

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