Horse Racing

Contractor — not a flash in the pan

Observer writer

Friday, March 16, 2018

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Contractor a three-year-old chestnut colt by Blue Pepsi Lodge out of the Royal Minister mare Princess Terri bred by Terrence Strachan — surprised punters on February 24 with a 2 1/4-length debut win going 1,000 metres straight in a relatively slow time of 1:01.1. Contractor won that first race at the imposing odds of 56-1.

Many thought that the February 24 win by Contractor, when he came from well of the pace to beat a fairly moderate field of his peers, was a flash in the pan. Then Contractor defeated Golden Destiny with Son Son occupying third spot.

Contractor returned last Saturday against a field of much better horses including three foreigners. Still not convinced that Contractor was the real deal, punters again shied away, allowing him to go off at odds of 16-1.

When the gates opened Robert Halledeen kept Contractor behind the front-running pair of Harry's Train (Wesley Henry) and Yaya's Dream (Omar Walker). Turning for home, the short sprint was boiling down to a straight contest between Harry's Train and Yaya's Dream. Contractor was three wide on the outside and, in another demonstration of his capabilities, significantly increased the tempo in the final furlong and surged by both Harry's Train and Yaya's Dream for what turned out to be an easy one-and-a-quarter length victory.

The winning time of 1:01.2 was slow, but no one left the track on Saturday without knowing that Contractor had made it two from two and that he was being primed by trainer Lynch for much better things.

Following the colt's Saturday evening victory with a lot in hand, trainer Lynch, as usual, was not available for a comment.

Halledeen, who rode the colt to victory on both occasions, was approached for a comment and responded: “He ( Contractor) is a good colt. He might be running short races at this time, but that is only part of his preparation. He will be right there for the Classic races.”

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