Sports

The day He's Really OK, Patrick Smellie conquered

BY HURBUN WILLIAMS
Observer writer

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

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Winning a Derby event in any racing jurisdiction is the pinnacle of success for any horseman's racing career — whether owner, trainer, jockey, or groom.

Derby-winning trainer Patrick Smellie has the memorable distinction of having been both owner and trainer of the 2009 Jamaica Derby winner He's Really OK.

An added distinction to this glorious moment and notable achievement was that Smellie defeated Philip Feanny and Winston Griffiths who, respectively, trained and had ridden the outstanding performer, Bruceontheloose, in defeat.

Since then Smellie has not had the good fortune to repeat his momentous feat of 10 years ago, but he spoke on this year's renewal.

“Trainer Anthony Nunes seems to have a stranglehold on the event. He has a possible four, and at the very least three of the four are in with excellent chances.

As to when he won the Derby: “When, I won the Derby it was a wonderful feeling. The accomplishment was a glorious feeling. In fact, that was the pinnacle of my racing career and after such an achievement, it gave you the impetus to get more horses and win more races.”

Regarding preparing for the Derby smellie said,

“Preparing for the Derby, the trainer has to be on his Ps and Qs, but the horse is at the fulcrum of any expectation. The horse shows you coming up to the event whether or not it is up to the task or not, therefore, you would have a better-than average idea where you are and who are the horses to beat.

“The horse, therefore, is the major trump card entering the race. In every racing event it is a combined effort between horse, groom, jockey, and the trainer to get the result anticipated, based on preparation.

“When I won I was so confident of winning, — as a matter of fact, it was the closest win in the history of the Derby; it was by a short head. No other Derby had been that close,” he pointed out.


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