Horse Racing

No mirage

The Illusionist triumphs after long wait

Observer staff reporter

Friday, October 13, 2017

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After being plagued by injuries for months which seriously curtailed his progress, the Norman Palmer-conditioned The Illusionist made his long-awaited debut at Caymanas Park on Saturday in a maiden special weight event for native-bred three-year-olds over six furlongs (1,200m).

The Illusionist, ridden by the capable Orlando Foster, showed a lot of promise when he led impressively from start to finish in a commanding 12 -length victory, under a gentle hand ride. After setting splits of 23.1 and 46.0 seconds, The Illusionist completed the distance in 1:12.3, leaving Palmer to wonder whether he had another great prospect in his stable. The track condition was deemed as fast.

Palmer said that the colt's appearance was greatly anticipated, especially after several sacrifices were made in order to get the Porto SantoI'm Magic offspring ready for the races, and his charge lived up to expectations.

“I am so happy with the performance by The Illusionist. I have waited on him for so long to race, to grace the racing surface, and I am very pleased with the effort as this was the first time of asking and he lived up to the hopes and expectations. I now hope that he comes out of the race in good shape so that we can take it from there.

“We had a lot of problems with him, three to be exact. He has had a broken splint bone, joints issues and one other niggling problem. We had to give him a chance to get sorted out and so we had to pass the big races, but at least he is back now, he is in good shape, and hopefully he goes on from here.

“I am not sure how to determine how good he is at this moment. I mean, it was his first run and the competition wasn't that strong. However, he looked good when winning and if he goes on from here, we might never know,” Palmer told The Supreme Racing Guide.

From a level break, The Illusionist shot into an early lead, with Rockdale (Shane Ellis) and the others trailing in earnest.

Foster then let loose a bit, and The Illusionist began to lengthen his lead with every stride passing the half-mile (800m), and by the time he had reached the turn for home, the remaining nine runners were left in the distance as the chestnut colt stamped his name with authority in the end.

Rockdale, who was expected to give the winner some competition, finished in second place, three lengths in front of Rage Of The Angels (Oneil Scott) and Trini Magic (Andre Powell).

The Illusionist was bred by David Willers and is owned by Incognito Racing Stables.




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