Horse Racing

Gut-fighter Superluminal takes home Kenneth Mattis Trophy

BY RUDDY ALLEN
Observer staff reporter

Friday, September 22, 2017

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Much was expected from Superluminal , especially after his one-length victory over current Horse of the Year Seeking My Dream in the 2015 10-furlong (2,000m) test of the Jamaica St Leger, but a number of setbacks have curtailed the progress of the now five-year-old bay horse.

In 2016, the Ian Parsard-trained Superluminal managed to score two victories, including one in the Kenneth Mattis Memorial Trophy race over 10 furlongs (2,000m) from six outings.

Returning from a four-month break in March of this year, Superluminal ended down the track in a mile (1,600m) event before he returned one month later and won an Overnight Allowance event.

Superluminal finished second in his next two starts, but on April 12 he finished in last position in Open Allowance company over seven-and-a-half furlongs (1,500m).

Despite that last run which many dismissed as an aberration, Superluminal scored a fighting win on Saturday in the Kenneth Mattis Memorial Trophy, a race and distance for which he seems to have particular affection.

Superluminal held off the stern and persistent challenge from Timeforarms to win by three parts of a length in the Overnight Allowance event for three-year-olds and upward. Hover Craft finished in third place ahead of stable companion Ian Links. The final time for the 10-furlong (2,000m) event was 2:08.2.

“It was a good enough performance. I mean, Superluminal is not really going to win any of his races by far distances as he likes to fight. He is a gut-fighter, so when I saw the other horses take him on at the three-furlong marker, [I knew] that was the best thing for him.

“I felt very confident that he would win the race. He is a five-year-old and sometimes he doesn't really kick on to head in terms of Open Allowance and Grade One, and that is because he has a couple of issues that we have to deal with. I think from here on, it comes down to how we manage him to get the best out of him for the rest of his career,” Parsard said.

Superluminal, under top weight of 56.0 kg (123 lb) raced close behind the early leader Montegonian (Andree Powell) going into the first turn, with Typewriter (Aaron Chatrie) just on his inside.

Down the backstretch, Superluminal maintained his steady gallop even when Danos La Paz (Prince Holder) challenged Montegonian for the lead.

At the half-mile (800m), jockey Paul Francis sent Superluminal to the lead, but he was quickly surrounded by Timeforarms (Anthony Thomas) and Hover Craft (Omar Walker) approaching the final bend.

With Timeforarms refusing to give up and Hover Craft under strong pumping three-wide, a battle for supremacy then developed in deep stretch. Francis kept his mount well balanced on the inside rails, and Superluminal found something extra and began to edge away, scoring his second victory for the season and his second win in the Kenneth Mattis Trophy.

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