Mixed fortunes for jockey Anthony Thomas

Sports

Mixed fortunes for jockey Anthony Thomas

Review of race day — Saturday, November 28, 2020

BY WES MARTIN
Contributor

Tuesday, December 01, 2020

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Title-chasing reinsman Anthony Thomas had mixed fortunes on the 10-race card as he seeks to add the 2020 championship to his 2018 triumph.

Both Thomas and chief protagonist Dane “The Warrior Chief” Nelson secured competitive mounts with seven and six opportunities, respectively.

With speedy Supreme Authority, highly fancied for the 800-metre fifth race dash the sole non-runner announced prior to post time, it could be deemed an ill omen of what was to unfold for Thomas.

In the opening event Thomas' hair-raising experience was the epitome of mixed fortune. Delivering what looked sure to be a successful late challenge for trainer Fitzroy Glispie's No Identity, the colt's left foreleg landed on a spot deeper than normal and lost balance.

This resulted in Thomas flipping over to the left and miraculously avoided falling off completely until a few strides beyond the winning post.

The talented jockey's luck held in that he was up quickly and walked away unscathed. No Identity lost by just a neck to long-time front-runner Zabratone ridden by apprentice Nicholas Hibbert for conditioner Richard Azan.

Indy Arazi (Kiaman McGregor) won the second event for veteran owner/trainer Richard Todd forcing Thomas to settle for second aboard No Money Friend trained by Andrew McDonald.

Starting the day on 74 wins, four more than Nelson, Thomas' lead was reduced in the three as the “Warrior Chief” did exceptionally well to stay aboard odds-on favourite Pure Heart trained by Patrick Lynch.

Stumbling on the first stride Pure Heart must have had significant racetrack sand in nostrils and lost significant ground but still proved to be nearly two lengths superior to the second-place finisher.

The fourth was won by lightly-weighted filly Get Storm, ridden by apprentice Jordan Barrett for trainer Patrick Fong and in the fifth the most predictable winner Polly B (Oshane Nugent) obliged for trainer Steven Todd.

Thomas used the opportunity give a timely reminder to the pundits why he was good enough to win the 2018 title in only his first full season of riding.

His handling of Isinbayeva in the sixth for jockey turned trainer Linton Calder met the criteria for great tactical race-riding and technical application of skills comfortably in all respects.

Isinbayeva had only margins of a head and a neck over the two closest rivals in a stretch drive where victory looked unlikely until her arrival at the winning post.

The hour slated for the seventh and eighth races was controlled by title-chasing former 18-time champion conditioner Wayne DaCosta.

Rusty made all the running to win the traditional Andrew H B Aguilar Memorial Cup under Thomas for this rider's second and Loose Ball won the next under a skilful ride from veteran Devon Thomas who took the risk of probably failing to secure a clear run on the far rails.

Before dealing with the dramatic ninth, just to interject, the 10th was won by US-bred Victory Turn ridden from in front by Raddesh Roman using his preferred tactic for trainer Gary Crawford.

DaCosta's and Thomas' third time past the post in front on the afternoon could not be confirmed as Sir Alton's interference and intimidation of his chief rival made disqualification from first in the ninth inevitable.

Drifting left when in the lead he got into the path of rail-running Nipster who looked likely to deliver a successful bid for the lead 150 metres out.

Outgoing champion Christopher Mamdeen could hardly contain himself as after dismounting the Gary Subratie-trained Nipster he sprinted to the Steward's Room to lodge an objection to the unofficial winner in addition to the deliberations of the officials.

The Training Feat Award is presented to DaCosta for schooling Loose Ball to win a very competitive event on the round course after the colt demonstration of a distinct preference for the straight course with his previous best efforts there. Naturally, Loose Ball's performance is the Best Winning Gallop and veteran Devon A Thomas gets his third-straight Jockeyship Award given the degree of difficulty his last three mounts presented.


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