Sports

Records and milestones at Caymanas Park over 60 years

BY OBSERVER RACING
WRITER

Friday, August 23, 2019

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As the racing community celebrates 60 years of horse racing at Caymanas Park tomorrow, Saturday, August 24, The Supreme Racing Guide reminds readers of some of the records and milestones achieved at the home of racing in Jamaica. This is part two in the series.

The responses have been coming thick and fast since the publication of the first article on Tuesday last. The Editor is thankful for the various comments and now shares three of these insightful contributions by our readers.

Edward Barnes in his comment pointed out that Azel Cowie was not the first woman to ride a winner at Caymanas but was the first Jamaican woman to achieve that feat. Here are Barnes' comments.

Great story on Caymanas Park. Pat Norman out of England was the first female jockey to ride a winner at The Park. She did so with the horse Swiss Silver for trainer Eileen Cliggott defeating Ken Mattis on See and Go in the 1960s. There was a super close race for the jockeys' championship in 1964 when Winston Ellis won his first title. Entering the last race on the last race day of the year, Ellis and Neville Cousley were tied on 44 wins each. Cousley rode the favourite My Precious and Ellis rode a maiden Darcy an English-bred. Ellis won the event and the riding title 45/44.

Reader Errol Hobson posted the following comment: “Those were indeed pleasant memories. Please note some other records and milestones to remember. Legal Light was the only horse at Caymanas Park to have won eight races straight on two separate occasions. Also, Menudo is the only horse to have won The Red Stripe Superstakes four consecutive years from 1999-2002.

Chairman of the Jamaica Racing Commission and the Betting Gaming and Lotteries Commission, Clovis Metcalfe in his post asked: “ how many rides was George HoSang on when he established his record in 1974 of 167 winners in a single racing year? And why all six of Reprieve's rivals were scratched from the St Leger leaving Reprieve with a walk-over?”

The answers to Chairman Metcalfe are as follows. According to the 1974 Racing Year, George HoSang rode 478 times for his 167 winners for an average of 34.9 per cent.

The following is taken from the 1974 Racing Year: “For the third successive year, George HoSang has totally dominated his contemporaries and this year for the first time he passed the magical figure of 100 winners in a season, setting a new record of 167. When he first headed the list in 1972, he had 99 winners and seemed set to pass that figure in 1973, but a break in racing prevented this certainty. In 1974, however, from his 478 rides, he managed the remarkable percentage of 34.9 and was only out of the frame on 158 rides. Carl Morgan who rode consistently throughout the season had 52 winners, eight more than third-place Charles Hussey. While young Neville Anderson continued to show improvement with 39 winners. Donovan Lindo took fifth position with 31 winners.”

SIX TIMES A CHAMPION JOCKEY

In the long and glorified history of Caymanas Park, only one jockey has ever won the jockeys' title six times. That particular record belongs to Omar Walker who is still riding in peak form as evidenced by his superb ride on Lady Blue last Saturday (August 17). Walker started his historic trek in 2007 and then won four championships in a row. It should be noted that Arthur “Daddy” Jones crowned himself champion jockey nine times but only twice at Caymanas Park — 1959 and 1961.

JOCKEYS’ STATISTICS FOR 1974

1. George HoSang 167 96 57 158 478 34.9
2. Carl Morgan 52 51 50 154 307 16.9
3. Charles Hussey 44 38 32 140 254 17.3
4. Neville Anderson 39 44 48 218 349 11.1
5. Donovan Lindo 31 30 31 128 220 14.1
6. H Matthews 26 24 17 116 183 14.2
7. Emelio Rodriquez 26 19 21 121 187 13.9
24*. Joe Mercer 7 10 1 10 28 25.0

Of special note is that former top British jockey Joe Mercer visited Jamaica’s shores in 1974. Mercer rode 28 times and won on seven occasions.
As to Metcalfe’s other question regarding Reprieve, no answer is as yet available.


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