Horse Racing

Omar Walker pairs well with Armageddon

Observer reporter

Friday, February 09, 2018

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Champion trainer Wayne DaCosta believes the presence of jockey Omar Walker is behind the improved form of his dark bay colt A rmageddon who registered his second-consecutive win and fourth overall in a Restricted Stakes event over six furlongs (1,200m) at Caymanas Park on Saturday.

Armageddon showed good promise in his early days, but due to the lack of staying power he was a missing factor during his Classic three-year-old races last season.

Armageddon then tried sprinting without any real success until Walker returned to the saddle on January 6. Running over five furlongs (1,000m) straight, Armageddon defeated rivals by a length and a quarter in a quick 58.2.

On Saturday, Armageddon again dismissed a good but small field of six runners with Walker returning to the saddle.

After getting a bullet start, Armageddon was smartly held in check by his rider to be second behind A.P.I (Wesley Henry). He then dropped back to third place as Sweet Peppa (Georgina Sergeon) challenged A.P.I on the inside rails for the lead.

But that was short-lived as Walker gathered momentum and began rubbing shoulders with A.P.I. on the outside. He pushed Armageddon forward, brought him in the lane from the outside, then moved ahead after straightening for the drive. He then went about his business to cover the distance in a useful time of 1:13.0 on a slow track and won by two-and-three-quarter lengths to make it two from two.

Nadeshico (Dick Cardenas), who was fourth for most of the journey, ran on past fading horses to be second ahead of stablemate A.P.I.

“Well, he [ Armageddon] has been promising more than he has been delivering, but Omar seems to have a knack with him. The other jockeys who rode him seem not to be able to manage him, especially around the corners. But Omar seems to be able to get the job done on him and that is satisfactory,” DaCosta said.

Armageddon is a four-year-old colt by Nuclear Wayne by the Mr Nutcracker mare Bonsai, bred and part-owned by Edison Chai and Dr Graham Brown and Elizabeth DaCosta.

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