Granite, but only just

SVL Jamaica Two-Year-Old Stakes a possibility

BY HURBUN WILLIAMS
Observer writer

Friday, December 15, 2017



Dark bay colt Granite displayed stamina and determination when he came storming home to win the $900,000 Andrew HB Aguilar Memorial Cup, a maiden special weight event for native-bred two-year-olds going one mile (1,600m) last Saturday.

In only his third run, Granite grew his stocks, as after running green for most of the race, he was able to get up in the nick of time to nip Royal Aviator on the line by three-quarters of a length.

By Natural Selection out of the Royal Minister mare Bella In Bloom, Granite, who was installed the 4-5 favourite in the 10-horse field, was off the pace along the backstretch, and at one time shared last position in a three-way knot at the back.

Though running green along the backstretch after turning up the driveway, Granite responded to the strong and persistent urging by the three-time champion jockey Dane Nelson and began to round rivals approaching the final bend.

The far-striding colt opened up going past the half-furlong (100m) marker and began to look the part before laying siege for a knockdown.

He then accelerated to get up in time for the victory ahead of Royal Aviator (Linton Steadman), who sneaked up on the rails to take second spot. Hot Ice (Javaniel Patterson) and Free Marie came home next in that order.

Bred at Y.S. (1955) Ltd and owned by Alexander Haber, Granite posted 1:41.2 for the distance – a clear indication that he is going to relish the longer races.

While having some concerns, trainer Wayne DaCosta was pleased overall with the win by Granite.

“He ran on the green side along the backstretch. I am not sure whether or not the underfoot conditions had anything to do with this, but after he straightened for the drive he looked more organised; but he needs a little more time,” DaCosta said.

Nelson was also happy with the victory.

“Well, he got going late but he got up in time for the win. He is a nice horse that will get a distance of ground and he looked good as well. There is more room for improvement and he will only get better from this,” Nelson offered.

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