The review of race day — Friday, October 23, 2020


The review of race day — Friday, October 23, 2020

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

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Trainer Spencer Chung, one of the most patient, dedicated, and meticulous practitioners in the schooling of horses, demonstrated a master class in the success of the Lakeland Farms filly Roses For Elle, who handled the muddy track with a minimum of fuss.

Racing for the fifth time since her undistinguished debut on August 20, the Storm Craft-bred filly, ridden by Dane Nelson, did nothing wrong after being slowly into stride and bolting in her first attempt on the round course. She showed promise on the 1000-metre straight course with placed finishes in two of the three starts there. Back on the round course, Roses For Elle looked a different horse and travelled easily from early to score by over four lengths convincingly in the opener.

Trained by Kingsley Davis and making full use of a favourable allotment at the weight, Powerful Red (Raddesh Roman) closed strongly in the last 200 metres to win the second event over 1,100 metres, a distance considered short of his best.

Title-chasing jockey Anthony Thomas had to work hard to get the US-bred Whoshotthesheriff, trained by Wayne DaCosta, to assume a late lead over front runner Basilicus (Paul Francis), who missed a step and lost vital and crucial momentum 50 metres out in the day's third.

In the fourth, former top-class campaigner Dontae (Dick Cardenas), conditioned by champion Anthony Nunes, was presented with a gift in starting for a $450,000 tag at an extraordinary weight advantage and won by over five lengths to give the former champion jockey his first of three wins.

Unraced for 18 months, fifth race favourite Princess Lauren (Omar Walker) confirmed the promise demonstrated in her early career. The daughter of Soul Warrior was presented in unbeatable condition by second-generation trainer Robert Pearson for her four-length romp.

Cardenas was back in the winners' enclosure in race six for his second, following a return to form by Marquesas, the 2018 Jamaica Derby runner-up and 18-length St Leger winner. Extensively drilled and well prepared the former successful Classic contender looked exceptionally well in the post-parade and outstayed the front-running Roy Rogers (Raddesh Roman) by two-and-a-half lengths over the 1700-metre stamina test.

The seventh was a Maiden Condition for horses failing to finish as high as second in any race prior. Winner State Of Emergency (Roger Hewitt) lost her previous eight races by margins totalling 192 lengths. Failing to secure a good start again, the Strikewhileitshot-bred, light-framed three-year-old had only one rival behind at the end of 100 metres.

Mending steadily and turning for home extremely wide and still well behind her stretch run was a revelation. She accelerated from this point and maintained a strong gallop, arriving in the final stride to land the major slice of the purse by a head.

It was an extremely satisfying moment for Track & Pools editor Ainsley “Jimmie” Walters, a member of the ownership syndicate Baad Boyz who endured continuous ridicule, even from some of his close associates, for what they deemed to be an exercise in futility, even with a change of trainer to Phillip Lee after parting company with the filly's original schooler Lincoln Lungs.

Toting top weight, Richard Azan's Voytek relished the gallop in the rain, mud and water to give Cardenas his third, as the gelding sprinted outstandingly throughout the homestretch to deny Dejae's Boy (Omar Walker) by three parts of a length to close the eight-race Friday card.

The Training Feat award is presented to Michael Marlowe for the performance of Marquesas, returning from a 10-month hiatus. And to the five-year-old stayer, goes the Best Winning Gallop recognition for the flawless gallop. Given the sloppy track, the Jockeyship Award is merited by Cardenas for his superb handling of Voytek in the hugely competitive Restricted Allowance II final event over 1,000 metres round.

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